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May 2007
Business cases

• Hanover University (Germany)
• Reims University (France)

• Quadrics (Italy)

• Kraftway (Russia)
• Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital (United Kingdom)

Quadrics selects Bull to provide the aeronautics industry in Italy with large-scale simulation capabilities

Quadrics, a Finmeccanica Company, and a leading supplier and developer of high performance networking products and resource management software, has commissioned Bull (through its Italian distributor, Eunics) to provide a supercomputer for a high-performance computing (HPC) center that Quadrics has built for its customer Alenia Aeronautica, also a Finmeccanica Company, one of Europe's leading corporations.

Quadrics logo   Eunics logo

Leveraging its longstanding expertise and technology strength to the benefit of Alenia Aeronautica, Quadrics can combine world-leading technology and a collaborative industrial approach to develop new business.

The high-performance computing (HPC) center (called Pomigliano Center) will be used to run VP3S (Virtual and Physical Product Prototyping System).This system caters for the design and production of aero structures, commercial and military aircraft, plus their overhaul, maintenance and modification. Advanced virtual simulations for testing and validation, associated with PLM processes, plus a wealth of competence when it comes to “Extended Enterprise” technologies, will prove a key asset for enterprise competitiveness.

The offering of HPC computing resources and services to a wider spectrum of organizations is the latest outcome of the Bull-Quadrics partnership and means Quadrics is now ideally placed to remain at the forefront of supercomputing, with Bull as its preferred partner.
The customer naturally turned to Quadrics, whose networking products are behind some of the world's fastest computers. Quadrics, a Bull partner, selected Bull for its HPC expertise. The platform selected is the new standard for high end cluster solution based on Intel® Itanium® 2 dual core processor and Bull NovaScale servers.

In December 2006 the new supercomputer was installed in Alenia’s facility in Pomigliano d'Arco (Naples). It will run advanced simulations for Finmeccanica Group companies and for industrial market design and research activities, such as structure analysis with Nastran, or aerodynamic studies with Fluent. One of Quadrics’ major objectives was also to rationalize the HPC resources in one center.
To meet these needs, Bull’s supercomputer is a hybrid cluster that will enable the company to efficiently run applications needing the power of Itanium-based servers, and also those that would rather use x86-64 based systems. In addition, the new computing resources and services will be shared with other Finmeccanica subsidiaries and will also be offered to other manufacturers in the aeronautic and automotive industries as well as to universities and other research centers.

With a peak performance of almost 5 Teraflops, the Quadrics supercomputer will be one of the most powerful in Italy. Roughly half the computing power of the cluster is delivered by Bull’s Intel® Itanium® 2-based NovaScale 3005 and 5165 servers. The other half comes from x86-64-bit commodity servers. The cluster’s global infrastructure and architecture was designed and is being implemented by Bull, especially the single global file system common to all servers. All servers communicate through a high-performance Quadrics QsNet II interconnection network. Bull is also providing its complete and integrated HPC software environment, including software development tools and cluster management tools, as well as the storage infrastructure based on the enhanced Bull version of the Lustre file system.

"We have a long history of successful cooperation with Bull on the most demanding HPC projects. The most famous one is the French Atomic Energy Authority's TERA-10, the most powerful computer ever designed and built in Europe. We are very pleased to be working again with Bull on the HPC center. They will benefit from Bull's HPC expertise, team spirit and knowledge transfer, which will help to open up this Center to the scientific community and to the private Research Departments" said Cristoforo Romanelli, CEO of Quadrics.


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