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July 2007
Business cases

• Taiwan Post (Taiwan)
• Ministry of Finances (Bulgaria)

• University of Düsseldorf (Germany)
• RATP (France)

Bull and the University of Düsseldorf join forces to design the high-performance computing systems of the future

This co-operation agreement was announced during the Dresden International Supercomputing Conference (ISC 2007), and covers the areas of visualization technologies, software components and HPC cluster technologies. The results of joint development will be gradually incorporated into Bull’s product range


The Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf and Bull Germany have announced a two-year co-operation agreement to coincide with the commissioning of Bull’s supercomputer at the University’s Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (ZIM).
The Bull Group has been contributing for several years now to high-performance computing projects internationally, particularly in Germany, in the public sector for research and education, and in the private sector. Bull has recently delivered two of the most powerful European supercomputers to the French Atomic Energy Authority, the CEA (Tera-10), and to the CCRT, the French Center for Research and Technology Computing.

Under the leadership of Professor Stephan Olbrich, the Institute of Research at the Heinrich Heine University, the ZIM Institute and the Chair of IT Management are predominantly involved in the following key areas, also the main areas for future co-operation:

  • Visualization technologies. These technologies are concerned with developing algorithms, models and application concepts for analyzing series of complex data, for scientific and e-learning applications. This area includes simulations and visualization scenarios with highly interactive 3D virtual reality technologies.
  • Scientific computing. The objective is to develop and test collaborative solutions including simulations and visualization. The research work particularly covers optimization (parallelization, ultra high-speed networks), resource management and information system security.

Three key projects in the areas of intensive visualization and high-performance computing technologies

  • Project 1: Design of administration tools for Bull’s clusters and hybrid clusters. The aim is to develop methods and tools for administering and optimizing HPC cluster solutions used by the university. The cluster architecture is hybrid (heterogeneous), and is built around a network of front-line, administration and computation servers, combining Intel® Itanium® 2 (‘Montecito’) and Intel® Xeon® (‘Woodcrest’) processors. The first such hybrid cluster to be installed in a German higher educational establishment, it features homogeneous management of different platforms integrating the two types of Intel® processor.
  • Project 2: Bull competence and demonstration center to present shared developments and results, as well as for benchmark testing and customer demonstrations. The center will also be used to port applications to Intel® Itanium® 2 and Intel® Xeon® environments.
  • Project 3: Ultra powerful visualization solutions for scientific computing. The aim is to offer services to analyze technological advances, particularly in intensive visualization (Scalable Graphics), and visualization of data and specific customer queries in graphical format, and making virtual reality and mobile components for 3D visualization available to research laboratories.

Anticipating the HPC systems of the future
We have a particularly effective co-operative relationship with Bull’s experts, enabling us to undertake projects that are scientifically enriching – both in terms of skills and products – for both our organizations, in the areas of cluster administration and intensive visualization,” said Professor Stephan Olbrich.

Development work in the domains of software components and HPC cluster environment technologies have been part of our core commitment for several years now, underlining the vital role that research plays at Bull,” emphasized Michael Gerhards, Managing Director, Bull Germany.

For more information, please visit: www.bull.de and www.zim.uni-duesseldorf.de/server

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