History of the high-performance computing environment at Masaryk University (and in the Czech Republic in general) goes back to the mid 1990s, to a project that involved building five independent and interconnected university computing centres. Since 1999 the project MetaCentrum became one of the strategic projects of CESNET association.

Center CERIT-SC is created through the transformation of the Supercomputing Center Brno (SCB) hosted at Institute of Computer Science (ICS, ÚVT in Czech) of Masaryk University (MU).

Supercomputing age

1994 ... SCB was founded. Its creation and initial phase were funded through the Universities Development Fund project “Introducing Supercomputing Technologies at Universities of the Czech Republic“ with a primary aim to make high-performance computing technologies available for a wide community of academic users from Czech universities.

1995 ... Five high-performance computers from SGI and IBM were available at five Czech universities (Masaryk University and University of Technology in Brno, Charles University and Czech Technical University in Prague, and University of West Bohemia in Pilsen)

1996 ... That collaboration with other universities leads to the inception of MetaCentrum as a core of national distributed (super)computing infrastructure in 1996, with Supercomputing Center Brno (SCB) at Masaryk University as the leading partner.

1998-9 ... SCB extended substantially its computing resources through provisioning of SGI Origin 2000 and SGI Onyx two supercomputers. The SGI Origin 2000 (combined later with the Onyx2 system to created a 40 CPU parallel system) represented the most powerful computer installed at Masaryk University (and in fact in the whole Czech academic environment). After 1999, no more funding programs to support supercomputing facilities were available, which created a shortage of funding for supercomputing activities. The only exception was the Program INFRA3, where SCB submitted a project for a National Supercomputing Center; the project was approved but never realized for administrative reasons. Start of 21st century had seen Czech Republic orienting to clusters, composed from de facto standard servers with Intel or AMD processors.


SGI Power Challenge XL with 12 MIPS R10000 processors, the most powerfull computer for the Czech academic community at that time (4.8 GFLOPS), member of the TOP 500 list of the 500 most powerfull computers in the world.
GI SGI Onyx 2 with 8 MIPS R10000 processors  (3.2 GFLOPS)  and top level graphics subsystem RealityEngine2.
SGI Origin 2000 computer with 32 MIPS R10000 processors and 12.8 GFLOPS was so powerfull that the import licenses were granted only after Czech Republic officialy joined NATO.

Powerful scalar processors were used in all these computers and they covered both main architectural designs: SGI and Digital systems were representatives of SMP (Symmetric Multiprocessing), this means that just a single copy of operating system runs on all processors and the memory is hardware shared among them, while the IBM SP2 computer with a typical representative of DM (Distributed Memory) system, i.e. a system where each processor runs its own copy of operating system and has its own memory (the total computer memory is thus distributed among the individual processors).

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