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SARA to deploy IBM POWER-based System as new Dutch National Supercomputer for scientific research

(PresseBox) (Stuttgart, ) SARA and IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that IBM has been granted the contract to build the Dutch National Supercomputer devoted to solving grand challenges of science. The new system will be hosted by SARA Computing and Networking Services; the National Supercomputing Center and one of Europe’s most advanced ICT service centers.

IBM has been selected following a European Procurement issued by the Netherlands National Computing Facilities foundation (NCF). The funding has been granted by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

The new IBM System p supercomputer is capable of more than 60 trillion calculations per second (60 Teraflop/s) theoretical peak performance and provides 15 terabytes of main memory (15.000 times more memory than modern PC).

The system will allow researchers to carry out complete and powerful research in sectors where massive calculations are essential. Very fast bandwidth from and to the engine and an online storage capacity of 800 terabytes will be capable of processing the most demanding applications. The system, to be installed at SARA in the second quarter of 2008, has been designed to be fully scalable, accommodating increasing research demands in the future.

To bridge the time till half 2008, an IBM Supercomputer based on POWER5+ technology will be placed at the SARA premises in the second quarter of 2007. This temporary system has a theoretical peak performance of 14 Teraflop/s, which is 4 times more compared to the capacity that is available on the contemporary National Supercomputer (TERAS/ASTER). By mid 2007, SARA can provide computing power of this new POWER5+ system to the scientific community in the Netherlands.

e-Science In the Netherlands, hundreds of scientists are making use of advanced computer systems, like supercomputers to investigate climate, materials, bio-molecular, astronomy, medical issues and other important subjects, These “computational e-science” endeavors are marked by the complexity of the systems that are being researched -- from the very large (i.e galaxies) to the invisible (i.e. cellular biology) to the inaccessible (i.e. simulation of the heartbeat or bones growing). The new National Supercomputer is meant to serve these scientists and research programs. It will be nicknamed to the famous Dutch scientist Christian Huygens.

Prof. dr. P. Nijkamp, Chairman of the Board of NWO: "This allows Dutch scientists to continue conducting research at the highest competitive level and also to have the best of Europe's Computational Research performed here in the Netherlands".

“This is a major step for collaboration between SARA, IBM and NWO towards a Petaflop level consolidating the position of Amsterdam as a Supernode in the European e-Science Grid," said dr. Anwar Osseyran, managing director of SARA Computing and Networking Services that will host the supercomputer.

The supercomputer will consist of more than 3,000 POWER next generation processors. In addition, SARA, NCF and IBM have agreed to coordinate their efforts to further extend the system, possibly up to a capacity level of 120 TFlop/s, when research requirements will demand extra compute power.

"SARA is at the forefront of supercomputing research in Europe", said Dave Turek, Vice President, Deep Computing at IBM. "They are helping to position Europe for a future where supercomputers will play an increasingly vital role in all areas of science. The choice of System p technology will help SARA and NWO expand their offerings as demand for supercomputer resources grows in The Netherlands."

About SARA ( SARA Computing and Networking Services is the National e-Science support and grid service center and advanced ICT service center that supplies a complete package of high performance computing & visualization, high performance networking and infrastructure services. Under the authority of the Netherlands National Computing Facilities Foundation (NCF), SARA is since 1985 responsible for the National Supercomputer Service. The most eye-catching activities and facilities at SARA are the National Supercomputer, the National Compute Cluster, the Network Operations Center of the academic high-bandwidth network SURFnet6, the optical exchange point NetherLight which connects many National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), and a CAVE™ virtual reality facility. SARA is one of the locations of the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), one of the largest Internet exchanges in the world. SARA is partner in DEISA, a consortium of the leading national supercomputing centers that deploys and operates a persistent production quality distributed supercomputing environment supporting the advances of computational science in Europe. SARA is an independent organization with offices in Amsterdam and Almere, and collaborations with many partners. SARA has unique expertise and provides state-of-the-art solutions in respect of consultancy, facilities and management. Among SARA’s customers are scientific, educational and government institutions, and businesses.