IP Projects

PRACE Sixth Implementation Phase (PRACE-6IP) project

PRACE-6IP is the sixth in a series of the pan-European supercomputing infrastructure Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) implementation phase projects. It is funded as part of the European Union’s H2020 framework programme and started on 1 May 2019. The PRACE-6IP project continues and extends the scope of the PRACE-5IP project, based on the long-running programme’s core principles:

  • Provision of Tier-0 service based on excellence and innovation.
    Regular PRACE access calls continue and constitute the bulk of the audited allocation of resources. A rigorous and proven peer-review model that meets or exceeds the standards of comparable processes in participating countries, and indeed globally, will be further enhanced. Other paths to explore are elastic/cloud services, linking with European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), and providing PRACE services to large-scale instruments (e.g. ESRF, CERN and SKA/AENEAS). PRACE-6IP will also consider how to accommodate for both existing and new Tier-0 resources (a class of leading HPC resources in Europe) in the EuroHPC framework.
  • Support a functional European HPC Ecosystem.
    The primary service provision at Tier-0 level is dependent on a well-functioning Tier-1 service at national level. This is exemplified in the domain of training where PRACE extended its Training Centres to ten PRACE Training Centres (PTCs). This will not only provide a service to the wider community but will also raise the profile of PRACE and prompt Tier-1 users to look beyond their borders in due course.
  • Provide and develop tailored training and skills development programmes.
    PRACE-6IP will strengthen training offers that the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking—a consortium of European research organisations collaborating on developing European technology solutions for exascale computing and beyond—can rely on.
  • Develop an inclusive governance model and a flexible business model.
    PRACE-6IP will continue to provide support and to oversee and monitor the evolution and effect of the refined and enhanced governance and business models. An expert team in business analysis and organisational support for the PRACE RI will provide support for organisational issues.
  • Coordination with European Technology Platform for HPC (ETP4HPC) and Centres of Excellence in HPC.
    PRACE’s complementary working relationship with ETP4HPC is exemplified by its commonly executed Horizon 2020 project EXDCI-2. In the context of the Centres of Excellence (CoEs), PRACE-6IP will further develop coordination with the CoEs, ultimately hoping to make excellent HPC activities in Europe less fragmented.
  • Support Tier-0 users and communities with novel software solutions.
    PRACE-6IP is heavily focused on the preparation for exascale computing by developing forward-looking software solutions for exploiting massively parallel systems.
  • Support the strategic development of a rich HPC environment.
    PRACE-6IP aims to support the strategic development of a rich HPC environment by delivering relevant information and guidance to the EuroHPC implementation process and to the national HPC strategies in Europe. The project will deliver a comprehensive view of the world-wide HPC technology and market competition by gathering information from major systems and technology vendors.
  • Support new user needs, new user communities, and new applications.
    The extended and enhanced SHAPE programme and the Preparatory Access work are targeting new user communities, with the SHAPE programme specifically promoting industrial usage of HPC services.
  • International HPC cooperation policy.
    The objective is to develop an international HPC cooperation policy, which will contribute to the development of an advanced research computing ecosystem at large, both inside and outside Europe. It will include activities such as joint training events, possibly joint calls for computational resources and joint service/software development projects to address interoperability between infrastructures and identify common services.

PRACE Fifth Implementation Phase (PRACE-5IP) project

The objectives of PRACE-5IP are to build on and seamlessly continue the successes of PRACE and start new innovative and collaborative activities proposed by the consortium. These include:

  • assisting the transition to PRACE2 including ananalysis of TransNational Access;
  • strengthening the internationally recognised PRACE brand;
  • continuing and extend advanced training which so far provided more than 18 800 persontraining days;
  • preparing strategies and best practices towards Exascale computing;
  • coordinating and enhancing the operation of the multi-tier HPC systems and services;
  • supporting users to exploit massively parallel systems and novel architectures.

A high level Service Catalogue is provided. The proven project structure will be used to achieve each of the objectives in 6 dedicated work packages. The activities are designed to increase Europe’s research and innovation potential especially through:

  • seamless and efficient Tier-0 services and a pan-European HPC ecosystem including national capabilities;
  • promoting take-up by industry and new communities and special offers to SMEs;
  • implementing a new flexible business model for PRACE 2;
  • proposing strategies for deployment of leadership systems;
  • collaborating with the ETP4HPC, CoEs and other European and international organisations on future architectures, training, application support and policies.

This will be monitored through a set of KPIs.

PRACE-5IP Public Deliverables

PRACE Fourth Implementation Phase (PRACE-4IP) project

PRACE aisbl and its Members collaborate in PRACE-4IP, the Fourth PRACE Implementation Phase project co-ordinated by Forschungzentrum Jülich (JUELICH) on behalf of PRACE aisbl. PRACE-4IP is designed to build on and seamlessly continue the successes of the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) and start new innovative and collaborative activities. These include: assisting the transition to PRACE 2; strengthening the internationally recognised PRACE brand; preparing strategies and best practices towards exascale computing, coordinating and enhancing the operation of the multi-tier HPC systems and services, and supporting and educating users to exploit massively parallel systems and novel architectures.

Project facts

  • Start date: 01/02/2015
  • Duration: 27 months
  • Budget: 16.46 €M
  • EC contribution: 15 €M
  • Grant agreement number: 653838

PRACE-4IP Public Deliverables

Objectives

  • Ensure long-term sustainability of the infrastructure. The project will assist the PRACE Research Infrastructure (PRACE RI) in managing the transition from the business model used in the Initial Period (2010-2015), where it demonstrated the case for a European HPC research infrastructure relying on the strong engagement of four hosting partners (BSC representing Spain, CINECA representing Italy, GCS representing Germany and GENCI representing France) who funded and deployed the petaflop/s systems used by PRACE RI.
  • Promote Europe’s leadership in HPC applications. Scientific and engineering modelling and simulation require capabilities of supercomputers. The project will enable application codes for PRACE leadership platforms and prepare for future systems, notably those with architectural innovation embodied in accelerators or co-processors, by investigating new programming tools and developing suitable benchmarks.
  • Increase European human resources skilled in HPC and HPC applications. The project will contribute by organizing highly visible events, enhancing the state of the art training provided by the PRACE Advanced Training Centres (PATCs), targeting both the academic and industrial domains. On-line training will be improved and a pilot will assess a Massively open online Course (MooC).
  • Support a balanced eco-system of HPC resources for Europe’s researchers. The project will contribute to this objective through tasks addressing: a) the improvement of PRACE operations; b) the prototyping of new services including “urgent computing”, the visualization of extreme size computational data, and the provision of repositories for open source scientific libraries. Links will be established with other e-infrastructures and the Centres of Excellence which will be created in Horizon 2020. The existing international collaborations will be extended.
  • Evaluate new technologies and support Europe’s path for using ExaFlop/s resources. The project will extend its market watch and evaluation based on user requirements, study best practices for energy-efficiency and lower environmental impact throughout the life cycle of large HPC infrastructures and define best practices for prototype planning and evaluation. This will contribute to solve a wide range of technological, architectural and programming challenges for the exaflop/s area.
  • Disseminate effectively the PRACE results. This targets engaging European scientists and engineers in the wider utilisation of high end HPC. The project will continue to organise well known events like PRACEdays, Summer of HPC and the International HPC Summer School in order to promote and support innovative scientific approaches in modelling, simulation and data-analysis. With the extended presence at conferences (e.g. SC, ISC or ICT) the project is seeking wider support of the general public for HPC, in particular by illustrating success stories.

Concept and Approach

The work of PRACE-4IP is structured into seven Work Packages to effectively achieve its objectives and address the requirements of PRACE and the European HPC ecosystem:

  • WP1: Management of the Contract
  • WP2: Organisational Concept of the RI
  • WP3: Communication and Dissemination
  • WP4: Training
  • WP5: HPC Commissioning and Prototyping
  • WP6: Operational Services for the HPC Eco-System
  • WP7: Application Enabling and Support

Collaboration with e-Infrastructures and EC funded projects

  • GÉANT – the pan-European data network for the research and education community
  • EGI – European Grid Infrastructure
  • EUDAT – EUROPEAN DATA INFRASTRUCTURE
  • HBP– Human Brain Project
  • IGE– Initiative for Globus in Europe
  • eIRG – e-Infrastructure Reflection Group
  • XSEDE – The Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (US)
  • RIKEN, Japan
  • Compute Canada | Calcul Canada
PRACE collaboration diagram

 Project Partners

  • JUELICH- Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany, Coordinator)
  • GCS – Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) e.V. (Germany)
  • GENCI – Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif (France)
  • EPCC – The University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
  • BSC – Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputacion (Spain)
  • CSC – Tieteen Tietotekniikan Keskus OY (Finland)
  • ETHZ – Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zuerich (Switzerland)
  • SURFSARA BV –Dutch national high-performance computing and e-Science support center, part of the SURF cooperative (Netherlands)
  • JKU – Johannes Kepler Universitaet Linz (Austria)
  • SNIC – Uppsala Universitet (Sweden)
  • CINECA Consorzio Interuniversitario (Italy)
  • PSNC – Instytut Chemii Bioorganicznej Pan WPoznaniu (Poland)
  • SIGMA2 – Uninett Sigma2 AS (Norway)
  • GRNET – Greek Research and Technology Network S.A. (Greece)
  • UC-LCA –Universidade de Coimbra, Labotatório de Computação Avançada (Portugal)
  • NUI Galway – National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland)
  • UYBHM – Istanbul Technical University, Ayazaga Campus (Turkey)
  • CaSToRC – Computation-based Science and Technology Research Center (Cyprus)
  • NCSA – National Centre for Supercomputing Applications (Bulgaria)
  • IT4I-VSB – IT4Innovations National supercomputing centre at VŠB-Technical University of Ostrava (Czech Republic)
  • NIIF – Nemzeti Információs Infrastruktúra Fejlesztési Intézet (Hungary)
  • UCPH – Københavns Universitet (Denmark)
  • IUCC – Inter University Computation Center (Israel)
  • PRACE – Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe AISBL (Belgium)
  • ULFME – University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (Slovenia)
  • CCSAS – Computing Centre of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (Slovakia)

PRACE Third Implementation Phase (PRACE-3IP) project

Twenty six partners collaborate in the Third Implementation PRACE Phase (PRACE-3IP) project: PRACE aisbl and its 24 Members under the co-ordination of Forschungzentrum Jülich (JUELICH). PRACE-3IP complements and extends the work undertaken in PRACE-1IP and PRACE-2IP , e.g. to deliver a broader set of HPC services suitable for use by industry.

Project facts

  • Start date: 01/07/2012
  • Duration: 24 months (PCP Component of PRACE-3IP will run for 66 months)
  • Budget: 26.8 €M
  • EC contribution: 19 €M
  • Grant agreement number: RI-312763

PRACE-3IP Public Deliverables

Objectives

PRACE-3IP is designed to continue, extend and complement the previous and on-going work in the implementation phase of the PRACE Research Infrastructure. This involves providing a long-term, high-quality infrastructure for European Tier-0 systems, managing the coordination between the shared portion of the national HPC resources (Tier-1 systems), and strengthening the established relationships with industrial users. PRACE-3IP will add a new key activity to the PRACE RI: the use of Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP).The following four activities are central to PRACE-3IP:

  • Pre-Commercial Procurement: Pilot exercise for a joint procurement and joint ownership of innovative HPC prototypes, focusing on high-energy efficiency.
  • Deployment of HPC services for European industry: Proposes a broad set of services suitable for use by industry, including access to HPC resources, knowledge transfer through application support, training and expertise.
  • Application scaling and support to address major socio-economic challenges: Tackles major socio-economic challenges and the use of simulation and modelling to deal with them.
  • Training and outreach for growth: Establishes a broad training and outreach activities specifically designed to engage more user communities, including industry, in the use of HPC systems.

Action plan

The work of PRACE-3IP and its objectives are structured into eight Work Packages that address the requirements of the European HPC ecosystem. Work Packages are mapped to four key objectives (PCP, HPC Services, Applications Scaling, Training & Outreach) using three activity types (Networking, Service and Joint Research activities). These activity types may be characterized as follows:

Networking activities

The Networking activities are designed to support the PRACE RI to fulfil its mission and to achieve the corresponding objectives of the call. All Networking activities will be carried out in close collaboration with the Service and Joint Research activities drawing on the technical results produced there and supporting them in legal issues and dissemination. The Networking activities to be performed include:

  • Mandatory tasks related to the EC funded project management.
  • Organisational and legal work in support of the Pre-Commercial Procurement pilot. Related requirements of the technical Work Packages, addressing especially the collaboration with industry and other projects.
  • Dissemination activities, complementing and expanding the ongoing/initiated activities. The special focus on outreach beyond the HPC experts and direct users (young people, general public, etc.).
  • Training: Extend the PRACE Advance Training Centres, developed and deployed in PRACE-1IP/2IP, to trainings dedicated to industrial users. Continuation of other well-proven educational concepts, such as PRACE seasonal schools, the PRACE Training Portal, and international collaboration with the US and other regions.

Service activities

The Service activities are designed and structured to maximise the return on investment of the PRACE RI for the academic and industrial users of the European HPC infrastructure. They address the needs of the user communities and/or individual users across the Tier-0 and Tier-1 levels and include:

  • Consistent services across the Tier-0 and Tier-1 levels, coordination of actions between the operational teams at the Hosting Partner sites and the Tier-1 centres, common tools, security standards, best practices, etc.
  • Design and pilot of a comprehensive Access Programme especially for SMEs. Provisioning of resources, focused training, and support to port, scale and optimize applications.
  • Operational services of the HPC infrastructure provided by PRACE, enriched by new Tier-0 and Tier-1 systems after the end of PRACE-2IP. New services and optimisation of the distributed infrastructure.
  • Application enabling and support on HPC systems, a very successful work by PRACE, now with focus on applications of major socio-economic impact. Including evaluation of tools and techniques developed in other projects and documented best practices.

Joint Research activities

The joint Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) pilot undertaken by PRACE to obtain a solution for a “Whole System Design for Energy Efficient HPC” is the first of its kind on a Europe-wide level. PRACE-3IP will follow the sound principles of its partners in procurement of advanced HPC where several departments (financial, legal, procurement, ICT) collaborate throughout the process from call for tenders, selection of vendor(s), contract, and acceptance. While the PCP pilot will build on this know-how, it has an extended scope: PCP addresses the necessity of one or more tangible additions to the technical offering of European companies which would not likely become available by market incentives alone. PCP requires a phased approach. Each phase contains refinement of requirements, definition of evaluation criteria, and evaluation of the proposed solution(s):

  • Solution exploration: Proposals received in response to the PCP call will be analysed to identify the suppliers to be invited to start development work and prototyping.
  • Prototyping: Retained suppliers will advance engineering work up to the construction of a prototype for evaluation by the procurers. The prototype will be used to confirm all major technical decisions.
  • Development of a first product/service: A limited number of first products/services will be developed in order to allow the retained suppliers to advance engineering. The delivered solutions will be tested by the procurers engaging users when possible.

 Collaboration with other EC funded projects

Project Partners

  • JUELICH- Forschungszentrum Jül
    ich GmbH (Germany, Coordinator)
  • GCS – Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) e.V. (Germany)
  • GENCI – Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif (France)
  • EPSRC – The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (United Kingdom)
  • BSC – Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputacion (Spain)
  • CSC-Tieteellinen Laskenta OY (Finland)
  • ETHZ – Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zuerich (Switzerland)
  • NCF – Stichting Nationale Computerfaciliteiten (The Netherlands)
  • JKU – Johannes Kepler Universitaet Linz (Austria)
  • SNIC – Vetenskapsradet (Sweden)
  • CINECA Consorzio Interuniversitario (Italy)
  • PSNC – Instytut Chemii Bioorganicznej Pan WPoznaniu (Poland)
  • SIGMA – UNINETT AS (Norway)
  • GRNET – Greek Research and Technology Network S.A. (Greece)
  • UC-LCA – Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal)
  • NUI Galway – National University of Ireland, Galway (Ireland)
  • UYBHM – Istanbul Technical University, Ayazaga Campus (Turkey)
  • CaSToRC – The Cyprus Institute (Cyprus)
  • NCSA – National Centre for Supercomputing Applications (Bulgaria)
  • VSB-TUO – VSB – Technical University of Ostrava (Czech Republic)
  • IPB – Institute of Physics Belgrade (Serbia)
  • NIIF – Nemzeti Információs Infrastruktúra Fejlesztési Intézet (Hungary)
  • UCPH – Københavns Universitet (Denmark)
  • IUCC – Inter University Computation Center (Israel)
  • PRACE – Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe AISBL (Belgium)
  • ULFME – University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (Slovenia)

PRACE Second Implementation Phase (PRACE-2IP) project

Twenty one PRACE members participate in PRACE-2IP, which extends and complements the work undertaken in PRACE-1IP.

Project facts

  • Start date: 01/09/2011
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Budget: 35.4 €M
  • EC contribution: 18 €M
  • Grant agreement number: RI-283493

PRACE-2IP Public Deliverables

Objectives

The purpose of the PRACE RI is to provide a sustainable high-quality infrastructure for Europe that can meet the most demanding needs of European HPC user communities through the provision of user access to the most powerful HPC systems available worldwide at any given time. In tandem with access to Tier-0 systems, the PRACE-2IP project will foster the coordination between national HPC resources (Tier-1 systems) to best meet the needs of the European HPC user community. To ensure that European scientific and engineering communities have access to leading edge supercomputers in the future, the PRACE-2IP project evaluates novel architectures, technologies, systems, and software. Optimizing and scaling of application for Tier-0 and Tier-1 systems is a core service of PRACE.

Action plan

PRACE-2IP is organised in twelve interrelated Work Packages that produce the project results in parallel. To structure the work they are grouped in four pillars: Tier-1 integration, Technology & Industry, Applications and Training and Dissemination. Actions directly visible to the users of PRACE include regular training events, scientific conferences and publishing a PRACE magazine focusing on the results from Tier-0 and Tier-1 projects. A special focus will be on the establishment of PRACE Advanced Training Centres (PATC) in Europe. In addition the deployment of additional Tier-0 systems and including Tier-1 systems in the European HPC ecosystem as well as a periodic call for proposals, petascaling of applications and creation of a petascaling guide will be covered by the project.

Networking activities

  • The Work Packages of the pillar Tier-1 integration will assist PRACE Research Infrastructure in implementing Tier-1 Services, building on successful work of the DEISA projects.
  • This includes DECI (Distributed European Computing Initiative), a cross-national access programme to national Tier-1 HPC resources.
  • Dissemination and training will be key activities.
  • Training material will be available through a training portal.
  • The HPC ecosystem relations include collaborations with the scientific communities, topical and national HPC centers to propose a model for cross-national access to Tier-1 resources. Dedicated focus is on the requirements of and solutions for industrial HPC users.

Service activities

  • Applications are at the core of the PRACE services for the users.
  • Building on the experience and know-how assembled in the preparatory and first implementation phase, experts from the project partners will support users of Tier-1 and Tier-0 systems to port applications – including those selected in the peer review processes.
  • They will work with the code owners to scale and optimise the applications to utilise the hundredth of thousands of processors.
  • A special focus will on be the refactoring of community codes both scientific and industrial in order to optimally map applications to future supercomputing architectures.
  • The associated techniques to come from efficient Tier-1 usage to Tier-0 scaling will be taught in the PRACE training events and published on the PRACE web site as best practice guides. The operation of the distributed infrastructure will deploy comprehensive common services at the Tier-1 level and integrate those Tier-1 resources and services in the PRACE distributed Tier-0 infrastructure.

Joint Research activities

  • To stay at the forefront of HPC and prepare for future generations of multi-Petaflop/s systems and software therefore, the PRACE-2IP project aims to prototype novel scalable computing platforms with the potential for ultra-high compute performance.
  • In addition to the research on hardware also novel programming techniques are covered by the PRACE-2IP project.
  • The work will focus on auto-tuned runtime environments, and automatic techniques to be applied in parallel programming, performance tools and file systems.
  • Partnerships with industry and research organizations will contribute to fostering European HPC developments.

Collaboration with other EC funded projects

Project Partners

  • FZJ – Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany, Coordinator)
  • GCS – Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) e.V. (Germany)
  • GENCI – Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif (France)
  • EPSRC – The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (United Kingdom)
  • BSC – Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputacion (Spain)
  • CSC-Tieteellinen Laskenta OY (Finland)
  • ETHZ – Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zuerich (Switzerland)
  • NCF – Stichting Nationale Computerfaciliteiten (The Netherlands)
  • JKU – Johannes Kepler Universitaet Linz (Austria)
  • SNIC – Vetenskapsradet (Sweden)
  • CINECA Consorzio Interuniversitario (Italy)
  • PSNC – Instytut Chemii Bioorganicznej Pan WPoznaniu (Poland)
  • SIGMA – UNINETT AS (Norway)
  • GRNET – Greek Research and Technology Network S.A. (Greece)
  • UC-LCA – Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal)
  • NUI Galway – National University of Ireland,Galway (Ireland)
  • UYBHM – Istanbul Technical University,Ayazaga Campus (Turkey)
  • CaSToRC – The Cyprus Institute (Cyprus)
  • NCSA – National Centre for Supercomputing Applications (Bulgaria)
  • VSC-TUO – VSB – Technical University of Ostrava (Czech Republic)
  • IPB – Institute of Physics Belgrade (Serbia)
  • NIIF – Nemetzi Informacios Infrasrtuctura Fejesztese Intezet (Hungary)

PRACE First Implementation Phase (PRACE-1IP) project

Twenty PRACE members collaborate in the First Implementation Phase (PRACE-1IP) project that complements the national investments to accelerate the deployment of the PRACE service to users from academia and industry.

Project facts

  • Start date: 01/07/2010
  • Duration: 24 months
  • Budget: 28.7 €M
  • EC contribution: 20 €M
  • Grant agreement number: RI-261557

PRACE-1IP Public Deliverables

Objectives

The PRACE-1IP project expedites the implementation of the PRACE services to enable European researchers to exploit the unprecedented resources of PRACE and to produce breakthrough results through large-scale simulations of natural phenomena and technical systems and analysis of the large datasets gathered in many disciplines. Experts from the PRACE-1IP project support users in porting, petascaling, and optimising their applications. An extensive education and training program familiarises current and future users with new methods, novel languages, and modern programming paradigms and a diversity of system architectures. The distributed systems will be managed consistently and integrated seamlessly into the European High-Performance Computing (HPC) ecosystem. The project will advise PRACE on next generation production systems. It explores advanced technologies through prototypes to stay abreast with hardware and software developments towards future exascale systems.

Action plan

PRACE-1IP is organised in nine interrelated Work Packages that produce the project results in parallel. Actions visible to the users of PRACE include: organising scientific conferences; establishing a training portal and preparing advanced training centres, presence at international conferences and exhibitions; creating an HPC user forum in Europe; organizing two industrial seminars; deployment of additional Tier-0 systems; planning for an ecosystem including Tier-1 systems, periodic call for proposals; petascaling of applications and creation of a petascaling guide; organising two infrastructure workshops and evaluating prototypes for future HPC technologies.

Networking activities

  • The project assists PRACE in enhancing the business and funding models and give guidance to the Director
  • Web presence and presentation of results at international events will be intensified
  • PRACE is running regular HPC training classes in seasonal schools and focused topical workshops. Training material is available on this web site
  • The HPC ecosystem relations include collaborations with the scientific communities, topical and national HPC centers to propose a model for cross-national access to Tier-1 resources
  • Dedicated focus is on the requirements of and solutions for industrial HPC users

Service activities

  • Building on the experience and know-how assembled in the preparatory phase, experts from the project partners will support users to port applications to the PRACE production systems. They work with the code owners to scale and optimise the applications to utilise the hundredth of thousands of processors. The associated techniques for efficient use of Tier-0 systems are taught in the PRACE training events and published on the PRACE web site as best practice documents.
  • The operation of the distributed infrastructure ensures a consistent management of the diversity of systems suitable for different applications, single administration and technical support for users, and a seamless technical integration into the European HPC ecosystem.The well-established relationship with vendors are being maintained in support of co-development, procurement and commissioning of HPC services by PRACE.

Joint Research activities

  • To stay at the forefront of HPC and prepare for future generations of multi-Petaflop/s systems and software therefore, PRACE founded STRATOS, a Strategic Technologies.initiative.
  • STRATOS advices PRACE and will collaborate with PRACE-1IP on hardware and software technology assessment, prototypes and energy efficient solutions.
  • Partnerships with industry and research organizations contribute to fostering European HPC developments.

Collaboration with other EC funded projects

Project Partners

  • FZJ – Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany, Coordinator)
  • GCS – Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS) e.V. (Germany)
  • GENCI – Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif (France)
  • EPSRC – The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (United Kingdom)
  • BSC – Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputacion (Spain)
  • CSC-Tieteellinen Laskenta OY (Finland)
  • ETHZ – Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zuerich (Switzerland)
  • NCF – Stichting Nationale Computerfaciliteiten (The Netherlands)
  • JKU – Johannes Kepler Universitaet Linz (Austria)
  • SNIC – Vetenskapsradet (Sweden)
  • CINECA Consorzio Interuniversitario (Italy)
  • PSNC – Instytut Chemii Bioorganicznej Pan WPoznaniu (Poland)
  • SIGMA – UNINETT AS (Norway)
  • GRNET – Greek Research and Technology Network S.A. (Greece)
  • UC-LCA – Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal)
  • NUI Galway – National University of Ireland,Galway (Ireland)
  • UYBHM – Istanbul Technical University,Ayazaga Campus (Turkey)
  • CaSToRC – The Cyprus Institute (Cyprus)
  • NCSA – National Centre for Supercomputing Applications (Bulgaria)
  • VSC-TUO – VSB – Technical University of Ostrava (Czech Republic)
  • IPB – Institute of Physics Belgrade (Serbia)

PRACE Preparatory Implementation Phase (PRACE-PP) project

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Fourteen PRACE members collaborated in the Preparatory Phase (PRACE-PP) project that complemented the national investments to accelerate the deployment of the PRACE service to users from academia and industry.

Project facts

  • Start date: 01/01/2008
  • Duration: 30 months
  • Budget: 20.1 €M
  • EC contribution: 9.98 €M
  • Grant agreement number: RI-211528

PRACE-PP Public Deliverables

Objectives

Building a world-class pan-European High Performance Computing (HPC) Service was a highly ambitious undertaking that involved governments, funding agencies, centres capable to host and manage the supercomputers, and the scientific and industrial user communities with leading edge applications. In contrast to Research Infrastructures that focus on a single scientific instrument an HPC Infrastructure has two unique characteristics: supercomputers serve all scientific disciplines and Tier-0 supercomputers have a three year investment cycle as Tier-0 implies leading edge services. This requires a periodic renewal of the Tier-0 systems and a continuous upgrade of the infrastructure. Furthermore, novel architectures and system designs will be created by the vendors for leadership systems. At any given time there will be between three and five different systems each of them serving a particular application spectrum best. This fact mandated a distributed Research Infrastructure, since no single site can host all the necessary systems because of floor space, power, and cooling demands. PRACE, the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe, had the overall objective to create the prerequisites for such a pan-European HPC service satisfying the objectives mentioned above and to move into the implementation phase as early as end of 2009, beginning of 2010.

The infrastructure was complemented with network and grid access, and the services required to enable applications. These included development of parallel application software expertise, packages, and data handling. It was build on the partners’ experience and used concepts and services from EC-funded projects such as GÉANT2 and DEISA. The partnership collaborated with the European IT-industry to influence the development of emerging technologies and components for architectures promising for Petaflop/s systems and procurable after 2010.

Activities

During the two year project period the following work was carried out to prepare the creation of the permanent PRACE Research Infrastructure:

Networking activities

  • PRACE selected an appropriate legal form for the permanent Research Infrastructure, defined its statutes, and its governance in relation with the partners, the European Commission and the scientific users. The targets were signature ready contracts.
  • The project established funding strategies and usage models.
  • PRACE defined a peer review process to support leading edge science and optimal use of the resources ensuring open, fair and unbiased access to the Research Infrastructure.
  • The project defined a consistent operational model across the distributed Tier-0 sites.
  • The PRACE project was managed using principles suitable for the permanent infrastructure.
  • It focused on dissemination of project achievements, establishing and maintaining links with selected industries both as users of capability systems, technology providers, and creators of new technologies with HPC, and training of potential users.

Joint Research activities

  • PRACE performed accompanying technical work to prepare for the production phase. It provided the tools for a consistent management of the tier-0 systems and for the integration of the tier-0 infrastructure into the European HPC ecosystem.
  • The project deployed prototypes of leadership class systems at selected sites that were likely to become production level systems in 2009/2010.
  • Selected applications were ported, optimized and petascaled to ready them for production on the tier-0 systems.
  • A Benchmark suite was created.
  • PRACE defined a consistent procurement strategy, associated technical specification, and selection criteria for the current and future generations of HPC services, and the requirements for the physical infrastructure to host tier-0 systems.
  • The project started a permanent process of technology evaluation to transform user requirements into specifications for future leadership class systems. This process lasting throughout the lifetime of the infrastructure was done in close relations with vendors of components, systems, and software.

Collaboration with other EC funded projects

Project Partners

  • FZJ – Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH (Germany, Coordinator)
  • USTUTT-HLRS – Universitaet Stuttgart (Germany)
  • BADW-LRZ – Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (Germany)
  • GENCI – Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif (France)
  • EPSRC – The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (United Kingdom)
  • BSC – Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputacion (Spain)
  • CSC-Tieteellinen Laskenta OY (Finland)
  • ETHZ – Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zuerich (Switzerland)
  • NCF – Stichting Nationale Computerfaciliteiten (The Netherlands)
  • JKU – Johannes Kepler Universitaet Linz (Austria)
  • SNIC – Vetenskapsradet (Sweden)
  • CINECA Consorzio Interuniversitario (Italy)
  • PSNC – Instytut Chemii Bioorganicznej Pan WPoznaniu (Poland)
  • SIGMA – UNINETT AS (Norway)
  • GRNET – Greek Research and Technology Network S.A. (Greece)
  • UC-LCA – Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal)