The data management and computing development program strengthens Finnish research

About EUR 33 million will be invested in hardware and related services in the data management and computing development program. As part of the program, CSC is purchasing a new next-generation supercomputer for researchers and updating the shared storage space in the computing environment. The new computing and data management environment will be supplied by Atos.

The purchase will broaden CSC's clientele because in addition to universities and universities of applied sciences, the new hardware will also be available to research institutes for academic use. The purchase will secure the international competitiveness of Finland's research community in data and computing intensive research.

The purchase will also support national innovation activities as higher education institutions, research institutes and companies will be able to make joint use of the results of basic research.

Compared with the existing hardware, the new hardware will provide a particularly strong boost to artificial intelligence research and to the use of artificial intelligence as a research tool and enhance the basis for data-intensive computing. The storage solutions will allow the storing of a broad range of different data.

In the first stage, CSC purchased an air-cooled supercomputer, tightly integrated disk and storage capacity for the computing environment. This storage capacity, which is based on Ceph object storage technology, will serve both earlier-generation hardware until the end of their life-cycle and new computing hardware.

The computing capacity installed in the first stage was opened for researchers' use  in fall 2019.

In the second stage, the computing capacity will be expanded with a liquid-cooled BullSequana XH2000 supercomputer, and a integrated disk. Compared with an air-cooled supercomputer, it has a more capable interconnect network and processors based on more recent technology, providing the hardware with more capacity.

CSC is also preparing to purchase a smaller amount of GPU capacity, or special nodes containing graphics processor units. These special nodes are especially important in applications based on artificial intelligence. The second stage will become available to customers in summer 2020.

Between 2019 and 2021, the capacity will be updated in an agile manner in accordance with user needs emerging at a later stage.

By purchasing the hardware in stages, CSC can optimise the remaining life-cycle of the existing hardware, purchase the new technology at the right time and minimise any interruptions in supercomputer use.

More information:

Datanhallinnan ja laskennan kehittämisohjelma (in Finnish)

Technical information of the new environment

Atos was chosen to deliver Finland's next supercomputer

Finland takes a giant leap in research and development

Supercomputer Puhti is now available for researchers

Allas, a modern way to data management for researchers