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A big day for High-Performance Computing in Europe


Three supercomputers inaugurated at the Jülich Research Center


On 26 May, no less than three new supercomputers were simultaneously inaugurated at the Gauss Center for High-Performance Computing at Jülich in Germany. Alongside JUGENE (which is now Europe’s biggest system, delivering one Petaflops of power) two systems designed by Bull – JuRoPA and HPC-FF – were officially launched. The JuRoPA supercomputer delivers peak power of 207 Teraflops and comprises a cluster of Bull NovaScale servers and Sun blades. The HPC-FF system is based on latest-generation Bull NovaScale servers, and is capable of up to 101 Teraflops of peak power.
Representatives of the various suppliers involved, along with numerous members of the HPC community, attended this prestigious event. The guests of honor included Professor Dr. Annette Schavan, Germany’s Federal Minister for Education and Research and Dr. Jürgen Rüttgers, First Minister of the German region of North Rhine-Westphalia.

A great day for Europe
In his speech, First Minister Rüttgers highlighted the strategic importance of High-Performance Computing (HPC) and explained: “We want to ensure that North Rhine-Westphalia is the number one “land” for innovation.” Prof. Dr. Schavan said that she saw in the acquisition of these supercomputers... “Germany’s determination to play a leading role in this technology sector, which is so important for overall economic activity.” She continued: “It is a great day for the GermanGaussCenter, as well as being a great day for Europe.” This is a view shared by the Chairmen of Germany’s three national HPC centers in Stuttgart, Garching and Jülich, who together make up the Gauss Center for Supercomputing, as each of them explained in their own presentations at the event. “We are providing Europe with independent access to one of the key technologies of the 21st century,” summed up Professor Dr. Achim Bachem, Chairman of the Board at the Jülich Research Center.

Bull is proud of its partnership with Jülich
Bull, the prime contractor for the JuRoPA and HPC-FF systems, was represented at the event by Didier Lamouche, Chairman and CEO. M. Lamouche took part in one of the round-table discussions which brought together various suppliers and partners where he put particular emphasis on Bull’s uninterrupted success in the HPC market. “This project confirms Bull’s position as a major player in the Extreme Computing market,” he explained. “And it highlights our ability to nurture partnerships both with the major manufacturers in the sector and with prestigious research centers. This is an extremely proud moment for Bull, and a major leap forward in the development of a truly European High-Performance Computing space.”

Of course, because this event was an inauguration, the new systems had to be symbolically ‘fired up’. This task was carried out by Federal Minister Schavan, First Minister Rüttgers and Prof. Dr. Bachem, who together operated a giant ‘switch’. Subsequently, the two politicians were keen to see for themselves the systems that they had set in operation: so they were taken on a tour of the computer hall, accompanied by representatives from the Jülich Research Center and the manufacturers involved.

Germany relies on the partnership model for its HPC infrastructure
The Jülich inauguration, as with many events involving the HPC community, was a relaxed and friendly occasion. Evidently those who attended from the worlds of research, science and industry knew each other well and it was clear that some had built up close partnerships over the years. This did not escape the notice of Prof. Dr. Schavan, who commented: “This event has confirmed our belief that the partnership model which Germany has put in place for HPC is the right one to follow.”