Big Science on DEISA and PRACE - A European HPC Ecosystem

Gentzsch, Wolfgang

Computational sciences have advanced dramatically, due to ever faster and better computers, more accurate modelling, sophisticated numerical algorithms, and advanced software tools. But the better the technologies we build the more demanding our scientific applications. While the need for challenging high performance computing simulations only 5 years ago was in the order of a few teraflop/s and terabytes, today we see requirements from scientists approaching petaflop/s performance and petabytes of storage, with the aim to further reduce job processing runtime and increase accuracy and insight.

Today, the computational foundation of these scientific grand challenges are compute clusters, and grid and cloud infrastructures. Our contribution will examine these e-Infrastructures and present the DEISA Distributed European Infrastructure for Supercomputing Applications and the PRACE Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe. We will describe the DEISA system architecture and the service layers, the production environment, the access infrastructure, the distributed user management and administration, all together forming a successful European distributed virtual supercomputer center.

Finally, we will describe a few science projects successfully run on DEISA and PRACE HPC systems, with a special focus on astronomical application simulations such as turbulent astrophysical flows, the forming of galaxies and local universes, rotating stars, supernovae, and the observation of gravitational waves.

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