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With bullx, Bull opens up new horizons for HPC

EXECUTIVE OPINION

As Europe’s specialist in computer simulation, Bull today launched bullx a revolutionary, ultra-dense, ultra-powerful supercomputer, designed to be easily used by facilities of all sizes: from a research office to a leading R&D center. Philippe Miltin, Vice-President of Bull Systems and Products, and Fabio Gallo, Vice-President and Director of Bull’s HPC Solutions business, explain further.

What’s bullx?

Ph. Miltin

Philippe Miltin With its petascale1 capacity, bullx pushes back the boundaries of innovation. It’s the first standard supercomputer designed 100% by HPC experts for HPC experts. It’s entirely dedicated to computer simulation – without compromise – and it features the very latest available technologies and excludes anything that could affect performance. It’s presented as a series of blade servers that are assembled just like Lego. This modular approach means it can achieve the kind of computing capacity that the very largest publicly and privately-owned research centers now demand.

What are the benefits of this kind of solution?

Fabio Gallo – bullx combines two characteristics that have so far proved irreconcilable in the world of HPC: very high computing power and ease of use. It takes just a few hours to assemble thousands of blades, a few minutes to get them up and running, and a few seconds to get the first results! We have involved major industrial firms and research laboratories in the development of bullx from the start of the project, because it’s been conceived for production use. It’s a real industrial tool; robust and easy to administer. It’s not just a record-breaking machine, it delivers results, actively supporting R&D.

So who is bullx destined for?
FG – In every industry sector, most notably those such as oil and gas, automotive and aeronautical industries, computer simulation is now a fundamental driver for innovation. bullx is designed for all kinds of businesses who want to go farther and faster in design and simulation, and who need a high-performance, rapidly deployable solution to do so. And to ensure that bullx really supports competitiveness, we have paid great attention to its energy consumption. Some supercomputers use as much electricity as a small town! Thanks to ‘green’ technologies developed exclusively by Bull, bullx consumes a lot less, so its carbon footprint and operating costs are very attractive.

What are Bull’s ambitions with bullx?
PM – Today, Bull is a world-renowned specialist in computer simulation. With almost 500 HPC experts, we do have the most extensive resources in Europe and among the best in the world. We have designed and implemented some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. We are giving our customers access to all these skills and this experience through bullx, so they can equip themselves with a world-class, industrial-scale computing solution. Whether it’s installed at a large organization or shared between SMEs, bullx will be a true instrument for innovation and an accelerator for development. With bullx, Bull is ahead of the game in Extreme Computing, an outstanding strategic tool that opens up the possibility of numerous, spectacular applications that will have a significant impact on people’s everyday lives in the future.

1 1 a million billion operations a second (1015) operations a second