Supercomputer Hornet Up and Running

28 November 2014
Supercomputer Hornet Up and Running

Cray XC40 System Hornet Replaces Hermit

HLRS announces the completion of the installation of its new High Performance Computing (HPC) system code named "Hornet". The CRAY XC40 supercomputer delivers a peak performance of 3.8 PetaFlops with which is almost quadruples the performance of its predecessor system "Hermit". Hornet has now been declared fully operational and will be available for its scientific and industrial usership as of immediately.

HLRS's new Cray XC40 system is based on the new Intel Xeon processors, formerly code-named "Haswell", and the Cray Aries system interconnect. In its current configuration state, Hornet consists of 21 cabinets hosting 3,944 compute nodes, which sums up to a total of 94,656 compute cores. The system's main memory capacity is 493 Terabyte. Users will specifically benefit from the now quadrupled storage space the HLRS supercomputing infrastructure provides: 5.4 Petabyte of file storage with an Input/Output speed in the range of 150GB/s are available to meet the performance challenges of today's most demanding users of HPC systems (High Performance Computing), which come from a wealth of fields ranging from the automotive and aerospace research and industries to medicine and life sciences, astrophysics and geophysics, amongst others.

Hornet is the successor of HLRS's previous flagship computer Hermit, which after about three years in service is gradually been taken out of operation. The system replacement went according to the earlier agreed HPC system roadmap in which – given the rapid pace of technology change – a 3-year-life-cycle for Hermit had been defined. "HPC systems have become an indispensable tool to achieve breakthrough discoveries and innovations. With Hornet, we have taken the next step for HLRS to enable world-class research," states Professor Dr.-Ing. Michael M. Resch, Director of HLRS. "It is very important for us that we are now in a position to offer state-of-the-art HPC technology also to our industrial users. Together with our simulation expertise the extended simulation capacities and capabilities of Hornet provide our scientific and industrial users in Germany and Europe with perfect means to continue enabling innovation and quality of the highest degree."

More Power Output – Less Power Consumption

HLRS's new high-end HPC system delivers significantly increased computing power – it outperforms Hermit both in peak as in sustained performance by a factor of about 4 – while at the same time excelling in drastically reduced power consumption. In combination with the at HLRS installed energy-efficient cooling system, an optimal cost-of-ownership is achieved which furthers the national HPC centre's aspirations to be a model example in the area of energy efficiency and sustainability.

Outlook

Following its ambitious technology roadmap, HLRS will extend Hornet in 2015 with 20 additional cabinets, boosting the system’s expected peak performance to then over 7 PetaFlops.

Hornet as well as the system expansion planned for 2015 is funded through the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing with support of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Arts Baden-Württemberg.

See also: Systems

Systems