Partner-Report – Meet SESAME Net

cesgaThe Greek Research and Technology Network (GRNET S.A., is a state–owned non-profit company, operating under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Education – General Secretariat for Research and Technology. Its mission is to provide high–quality electronic Infrastructure services to the academic, research and educational community of Greece; and link these with global e-Infrastructures.

Among other activities, GRNET is strongly involved in pan–European High-Performance Computing Initiatives, being a core member of PRACE project series with a mandate from the Greek Ministry of Education. In this framework the HPC Centre has coordinated the HP–SEE project (“High–Performance Computing Infrastructure for South East Europe’s Research Communities”), which established the HPC infrastructure in South East Europe.
Recently (June 2015), GRNET, as the national supercomputing facility of Greece, has deployed the Greek national HPC Tier–1 centre ARIS (Advanced Research Information System). ARIS is built on IBM NeXtScale platform and Intel® Xeon® E5 v2 processors (Ivy Bridge). System theoretical peak performance exceeds 190 TFlops (trillion floating point operations per second). The system houses 426 nodes, offering a total of over 8500 processing CPU cores, interconnected using Infiniband FDR fabric, a technology offering very low latency and high bandwidth. The infrastructure is complemented with a 1 Petabyte (quadrillion bytes) high performance storage system of, which is built on the IBM Elastic Cloud – the successor of IBM’s Parallel File System (General Parallel File System – GPFS). Finally, the system includes software for developing applications such as compilers, scientific libraries and popular suites of scientific applications. Regarding security, the system offers full redundancy with each server to have dual power supply, and there is an integrated UPS installation in a separate room which ensures the uninterrupted operation of the server for 15 minutes, which is enough time for closing the system safely in the event of power failure. A highly qualified, dedicated team of computer engineers/scientists supports the cutting-edge technology system.

For cloud computing (photo below), GRNET operates Infrastructure as a Service ~okeanos via large datacenters (22 racks, 400+ servers, more than 9000 Virtual Machines active, 4 Petabytes of storage), and is/was involved in a number of core pan-European cloud projects such as StratusLab, CELAR, etc. GRNET is also developing Synnefo, the cloud software for ~okeanos.

GRNET has been involved in a series of training activities within all the areas of its expertise described above, and runs national and international training events for networks, HPC and distributed computing related topics. GRNET has been a member of the PRACE FP7 programme, and has run South East Europe seasonal schools, and coordinated the seasonal schools activity in the PRACE-2IP project.

Author GRNET

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