SGI Selected by Air Liquide to Power Numerical Simulation
SGI Delivers a 15 Teraflop HPC System With State of the Art SGI(R) ICE X(TM) Servers to Claude-Delorme, Paris-Saclay, Research Center
As SGI France's longest-standing client, Air Liquide is the world leader in gases for industry, health and the environment with a presence in 80 countries and 46,200 employees. The new system is an essential tool for the group's scientists as they search for solutions that can benefit their clients.
The HPC configuration is the third upgrade of the SGI ICE blade server initially installed at Air Liquide in 2008 demonstrating the ability of the ICE platform to be refreshed regularly with newer technology, in this case with Intel® Xeon® E5-2670 processors and Mellanox FDR InfiniBand® Non-blocking Interconnect technology. The system is configured in a dual-plane 'hypercube' topology, one of four topologies supported by SGI ICE X, and contains several hundred Xeon cores and 2.3 terabytes of memory. An SGI® InfiniteStorage(TM) 5500 RAID array is integrated with the system to provide user temporary file space via network file system (NFS) or common Internet file system (CIFS), and a remote visualization capability was also developed by SGI using VirtualGL/Tiger software and NVIDIA® GPUs.
"Since 1987 when Air Liquide's first graphics server was installed at the Claude-Delorme Research Center, SGI and Air Liquide has built a long-standing relationship driving innovation with HPC," stated Marc Simon, technical director of SGI France. "The various configurations that have entered into production based on our close collaboration for more than 25 years are a source of pride for all of us at SGI."
"High Performance Computing requirements are steadily increasing in our sector and are allowing for accelerated innovation in the areas of energy, environment and health," said Frédéric Camy-Peyret, Modelling & Numerical Simulation R&D program director for Air Liquide. "With simulations that are increasingly reliable and detailed, our molecular modelling and fluid dynamics applications require not only innovative computing architectures, but also high-performance storage. This is a comprehensive solution that SGI can provide."
At Air Liquide, numerical simulation represents a cornerstone of the approach to innovation chain used in order to understand, predict and optimise Air Liquide's processes and those of its clients. This approach opens up new paths for gases for industry, health and the environment. In particular, high-performance simulation allows for the better forecasting of technological changes and makes it possible for new solutions to reach the market faster. In the areas of energy and environment, it is extremely important to control an innovation from the laboratory phase through to industrial deployment via predictive numerical simulation.
"Our researchers are coming up with more and more simulations and are generating increasingly high-volume amounts of data. Access to files has become just as important as raw computing power. This balance has had a crucial impact on our IT infrastructure," Camy-Peyret concludes.
The computing power is expected to be upgraded in 2013 with the addition of approximately 10 teraflops to the SGI ICE X supercomputer, making use of the next-generation Intel Xeon processor family.
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