Infrastructure

The Center CERIT-SC operates more than 5,500 CPU cores and 4 PB of storage space.

Computing resources

The computing resources run Linux as the principal operating system, most of the nodes are virtualized to allow flexible assignment to batch processing or user virtual machines. OpenNebula cloud management system is used, with recent introduction of alternative OpenStack to make CERIT-SC more open to international collaborations, where this technology begins to prevail.

The computing equipment falls into several categories:

  • High density (HD) clusters have two CPUs (i.e., 8-20 cores) in shared memory (96-128 GB), offering maximal computation power/price ratio. They cover the needs of applications with limited or no internal parallelism that can make use of running many simultaneous instances (high-throughput computing). Another important class of applications are those that use commercial software with per-core licensing. Some nodes with GPU accelerators.
  • Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) clusters with more CPUs (40-80 cores) in shared memory (up to 1250 GB), oriented towards memory-demanding applications and applications requiring larger numbers of CPUs communicating via shared memory. SMP nodes are suitable for applications with finer parallelization on higher number of cores.
  • Special SMP machines (SGI UV2) with extremely large shared memory (6TB) and reasonably high number of CPU cores (up to 348). This machine is available for extremely demanding applications, either in terms of parallelism or memory. Typical examples of such applications are quantum chemical calculations, fluid dynamics (including climate simulations) or bioinformatics code.
  • Cluster with Xeon Phi many core processors - Xeon Phi is massively-parallel architecture consisting of high number of x86 cores. Unlike old generation, the new Xeon Phi (based on Knight Landing architecture) is a self-booting system (there is no conventional CPU needed), which is fully compatible with x86 architecture.

Cluster nodes and data storage are mutually interconnected with 1 Gbit/s and 10 Gbit/s Ethernet as well as local InfiniBand network with higher bandwidth (40Gbit/s) and lower latency.

Storage capacity

Storage facilities of two types are available:

  • Shared networked storage for work data - standard disk arrays to keep data used for computations on the clusters
  • High-capacity data storage (Hierarchical Storage Management, HSM with capacity above 3.5 PB) for storing semi-permanent and permanent data from scientific equipment and computations

Software

This is complemented by a wide portfolio of development tools (compilers, code analysers, debuggers), e.g., Intel and Portland C, C++ and Fortran compilers, Intel vTune, TotalView, Allinea DDT, and more than 200 modules of application software related to all scientific disciplines of the Centre’s users. In general, the software is purchased in tight cooperation with CESNET to maximise its impact.

How to become an infrastructure user

Access to all the resources (hardware and software) and services is available for free (Open Access) to all bona fide researchers and students belonging to Czech universities and research community in general. This is analogous to the way access is granted to the academic network in the Czech Republic. This access does not need any formal pre-allocation. Important users are prioritized (their limits expanded) in an automated way, based on evaluation of their research results achieved with the use of Center's resources. Being part of the EGI infrastructures, the resources of Center CERIT-SC are also available to users from abroad. A standard way is through recommendation of a Czech research teams already using the resources (through a particular Virtual Organziation) or through joint international projects with the Center and/or its users.

Registration & Rules

 

 

 

 

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