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High Performance Computing @ UL

Finanzierung: University of Luxembourg
Anfangsdatum: 1. Juli 2007
Enddatum: 31. Dezember 2020


With the advent of the technological revolution and the digital transformation that made all scientific disciplines becoming computational nowadays, High Performance Computing (HPC) is increasingly identified as a strategic asset and enabler to accelerate the research performed in all areas requiring intensive computing and large-scale Big Data analytic capabilities. 

Therefore since 2007, the University of Luxembourg (UL) has invested  tens of millions of euro into its own HPC facilities to responds to the growing needs for increased computing and storage. This enabled its researchers to go beyond the limits of traditional simulation. Furthermore, special focus was laid on the development of large computing power combined with huge data storage capacity to accelerate the research performed in intensive computing and large-scale data analytic (Big Data). This characteristic distinguishes the HPC center at the university from many other HPC facilities, which often concentrate on only one of these two pillars. This makes the UL HPC facility the reference implementation within the country, offering a cutting-edge research infrastructure to Luxembourg public research while serving as edge access to the upcoming Euro-HPC Luxembourg supercomputer. 

Nowadays, people from the three faculties and the three Interdisciplinary centres within the UL, are users of this facility. 2019 has seen also the first HPC service contracts signed with industrial partners (Arcelor-Mittal, Ceratizit etc.) and more generally, the University extends access to its HPC resources (i.e., facility and expert HPC consultants) to scientific staff of national public organizations and external partners.

The HPC facility is managed by an expert team under the responsibility of Prof. Pascal Bouvry (Head) and Dr. Sebastien Varrette (Deputy Head), PC for research. The UL HPC platform has kept growing over time thanks to the continuous efforts of the core HPC team (Dr. S. Varrette, V. Plugaru, S. Peter, H. Cartiaux, C. Parisot, Dr. F. Pinel, Dr. E. Kieffer and E. Krishnasamy - contact: Installed in the premises of the University’s Centre de Calcul (CDC), it provides in 2019 a total computing capacity of 1,26 PetaFlops (1 PetaFlops = 1015 floating point operations per second) across several clusters of compute nodes,  and around 10 PetaByte of shared data storage. A total of 756 servers are operated by the team to pilot the HPC platform and the other deployed services for research such as Gforge and GitLab used by hundreds of researchers. This places the HPC center of the University of Luxembourg as one of the major actors in HPC and Big Data for the Greater Region Saar-Lor-Lux. It also  consolidates the University’s ambition to offer a cutting-edge research infrastructure to Luxembourg public research while serving as edge access to the upcoming Luxembourg  MeluXina supercomputer in the EuroHPC context.

From its reputation and national expertise in the HPC and Big Data domains, the University of Luxembourg through its Delegate (Prof. Pascal Bouvry) and Advisor (Dr. Sebastien Varrette), has been chosen by the ministry to represent the country within PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe). The UL is also member of ETP4HPC - European Technology Platform (ETP) in the area of High-Performance Computing (HPC) and  involved to support the EuroHPC development in the country, in particular with regards the upcoming Luxembourg MeluXina supercomputer or the implementation of the HPC Competence Center, both scheduled for 2020.