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ICHEC Seminar 2008

Building the European High-Performance Computing Ecosystem

Dr. Kimmo Koski


During 2006-2008 there has been intense work in Europe in order to increase European competitiveness in HPC. Various new activities have been started in addition to the existing European grid projects EGEE-III and DEISA-2. The most visible of those new activities are Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) for petaflop level computing and European Grid Initiative Design Study (EGI_DS) for grid collaboration.

European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) published its first roadmap in 2008, which includes a set of new major European infrastructures. The ESFRI roadmap is being updated in 2008 with a selection of new proposed infrastructures. Since most of the ESFRI list projects require high end computing, data management and software development, the establishment of such new research environments is expected to explode the need in Europe for the ‘horizontal layer’ of ICT services spanning over multiple disciplines.

Basic tool for modeling the European HPC ecosystem is the performance pyramid. One of the key targets is to develop the different levels in the pyramid in a balanced way: enabling sufficient top-class resources, but at the same time invest considerably in pan-European collaboration, software development, data management, training and education to create a competitive and sustainable European HPC service.

The talk will review the current European collaboration and future plans in HPC. PRACE project will be presented more in detail, as also its impact for scientific computing. The roles that small European countries – such as Ireland and Finland for example – can take in this development will also be discussed.