Datalan

Slovak Academy of Sciences
Slovakia’s first supercomputer

Scientists at the Slovak Academy of Sciences and partner universities have had a supercomputer for complex calculations in basic and applied research ever since 2012.

Facts
The project was launched due to an existing need to create a supercomputer and grid based infrastructure able to provide very complex numerical calculations and modelling for science and research in Slovakia. The Aurel supercomputer introduced a processing power of 128 teraflops per second, 4000 times more powerful than a standard computer. It weighs 3,100 kilogrammes with an additional 2,000 for other necessary technology, its size can be compared to a standard closet and it contains up to 4096 processor cores (while a common PC has 2 to 8 cores), RAM memory of 32 terabytes and an external disk space of 600 TB, plus an internal disk space of 225.6 TB (a standard PC or laptop has 2-4 gigabytes of RAM).

Solution
A Slovak infrastructure project for high-performance computing was implemented by us for the SAS and partner universities that is among the largest in Central Europe with its range of technological options. The project included designing the solution’s architecture, preparing technological areas, supplying and installing technology, putting it into operation and servicing. The project also included Slovakia’s first supercomputer, ranked by power as the 335th most powerful device in the world. The project is unique in its architecture and systems, which focuses on Massive Parallel Processing (MPP) and a powerful SMP system.

Benefits
- Problem solving in several areas of basic and applied research
- Results provided by the system at less cost, so far available only through experimental methods, while being able to assist in modelling and predicting phenomena that would have been otherwise unavailable
- The supercomputer can be used by scientists, universities and public interest entities, with direct benefits for people, for example, in the development of new medicines, in the social area and in public safety


Ever since it was officially commissioned, the Aurel supercomputer has been used in 63 projects and areas of science and research. Its application is found in the sciences, behavioural economics, examining phenomena in sociology and also when modelling various group situations such as when designing emergency exits at stadiums and the like. Supercomputers are also starting to be considered in cooperation with research and development departments outside the SAS in universities, expertise workplaces and industry.

Ing. Tomáš LACKO
Director, SAS Computing Centre

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