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DKRZ's New Super Brain

Hamburg's German Climate Computing Centre is currently installing a new high-performance computer. Mistral's official inauguration scheduled for 5 October 2015

Like this wind, this new high performance computer “Mistral” comes from France. The French computer manufacturer Bull installed the first phase of of this new system in Hamburg. “Mistral” replaces DKRZ’s IBM Power6 named “Blizzard” since 1st July 2015. Blizzard has been serving scientists in climate research since 2009. The official inauguration of DKRZ’s new super brain will be celebrated on 5 October 2015, with Dr Daniela Jacob (CS 2.0) and Prof Dr. Arndt Bode (LRZ/TUM) holding keynotes.

Peak Performance of 1.4 PFlops

Mistral, the new High Performance Computer System for Earth System Research (HLRE-3) consists of computer components by Bull, a disk storage system by Xyratex/Seagate and high performance network switches by Mellanox. These components are distributed over 41 racks weighing up to or even more than a ton, which are connected by bundles of fiber fabric.

About 1,500 compute nodes on the basis of Bullx B700 DLC systems with two 12-core Haswell processors each – a total of 36,000 cores – will reach a peak performance of 1.4 PFlops. This would be an increase by a factor of 9 compared with the Blizzard. At 120 TByte, the system’s main memory is six times larger than that of the IBM, and the new Lustre-based parallel file system will offer 20 PBytes, being more than three times larger than the current disk system. Furthermore, twelve visualisation nodes equipped with NVidia Tesla K40 GPUs and 50 nodes for interactive access and pre- and post-processing of simulation data complement the system.

HLRE-3’s Final Set-Up Until 2016

The full capacity of HLRE-3 will be available by summer 2016 with its final extension be installed until then. It will additionally roughly double computing and disk storage capacity. With a peak performance of 3 PFlops and a 50 PByte parallel file system, scientists can improve the regional resolution, account for more processes in the Earth system models or reduce uncertainties in climate projections.

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