Innovatives Supercomputing in Deutschland
inSiDE • Vol. 6 No. 1 • Spring 2008
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DEISA to enhance the European HPC Infrastructure in FP7

In EU FP7, the DEISA Consortium con- tinues to support and further develop the distributed high performance computing infrastructure and its services through the DEISA2 project funded for three years as of May 2008. Activities and services relevant for Applications Enabling, Operation, and Technologies are continued and further enhanced, as these are indispensable for the effective support of computational sciences in the HPC area. The service provisioning model will be extended from one that supports single projects to one supporting Virtual European Communities. Collaborative activities will be carried out with new European and other interna- tional initiatives.

Of strategic importance is the co-operation with the PRACE project which is preparing for the installation of a limited number of leadership-class Tier-0 supercomputers in Europe. The key role and aim will be to deliver a turnkey operational solution for a future persistent European HPC ecosystem, as suggested by ESFRI. The ecosystem will integrate national Tier-1 centres and the new Tier-0 centres, as illustrated in the following sketch.

DEISA Background

In spring 2002 the idea emerged to overcome the fragmentation of supercomputing resources in Europe both in terms of system availability and in the necessary skills for efficient supercomputing support. The establishment of a distributed European supercomputing infrastructure was proposed. In May 2004 the DEISA project was started as a EU FP6 Integrated Infrastructure Initiative by eight leading European supercomputing centres. In 2006 DEISA was joined by three additional leading centres. Through the joint efforts, DEISA reached production quality soon after to support leading edge capability computing for the European scientific community. DEISA has also contributed to a raising awareness of the need for a persistent European HPC infrastructure as recommended in the ESFRI report 2006.

DEISA Extreme Computing Projects

The DEISA Extreme Computing Initiative (DECI), launched in 2005, continues to support the most challenging supercomputing projects in Europe which require the special resources and skills of DEISA. A European Call for Extreme Computing Proposals is published annually in spring. By selecting the most appropriate supercomputer architectures for each project, DEISA is opening up the currently most powerful HPC architectures available in Europe for the most challenging projects. This mitigates the rapid performance decay of a single national supercomputer within its short lifetime cycle of typically about 5 years, as implied by Moore´s law. So far scientists from 15 different European countries with collaborators from four other continents have benefited.

DEISA2 Essentials

In the follow-up FP7 project DEISA2, the single-project oriented activities (DECI) will be qualitatively extended towards persistent support of Virtual Science Communities. DEISA2 will provide a computational platform for them, offer- ing integration via distributed services and web applications, as well as managing data repositories. Emphasis will be put on collaborations with research infrastructure projects established by the ESFRI, and European HPC and Grid projects. The activity reinforces the relations to other European HPC centres, leading international HPC centres in Australia, China, Japan, Russia and the United States, and leading HPC projects worldwide. For supporting international science communities across existing political boundaries, DEISA2 participates in the evaluation and implementation of standards for interoperation.

Taking care of the operation of the infrastructure and the support of its efficient usage is the task of the service activities Operations, Technologies and Applica- tions. Operations refers to operating the HPC infrastructure and advancing it to a turnkey solution for the future European HPC ecosystem. Technology covers monitoring of existing technologies in use and taking care of new emerging technologies with relevance for the infrastructure. Applications addresses the areas applications enabling for the DECI, Virtual Communities and EU projects, environment and user related application support, and benchmarking

for the provision and maintenance of a European Benchmark Suite for supercomputers. In addition, Joint Research Activities aim at an integrated environment for scientific application development, and at the enabling of applications for the efficient exploitation of current and future supercomputers by an aggressive parallelism. Further reading:

DEISA Members

• BSC, Barcelona, Spain
• CINECA, Bologna, Italy
• CSC, Espoo, Finland
• ECMWF, Reading, UK
• EPCC, Edinburgh, UK
• FZJ, Jülich, Germany
• HLRS, Stuttgart, Germany
• IDRIS-CNRS, Orsay, France
• LRZ, Garching, Germany
• RZG, Garching, Germany
• SARA, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


The DEISA Consortium thanks the European Commission for support through contracts RI-508830, RI-031513 and RI-222919.


• Hermann Lederer
• Stefan Heinzel

Rechenzentrum Garching der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

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