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GÉANT2 helps maximise Europe's supercomputing resources

The speed of collaborative research based on Europe's network of supercomputers has become quicker than ever thanks to a new major upgrade. The EU-funded project, Distributed European Infrastructure for Supercomputing Applications (DEISA), has increased its connectivity speed...

The speed of collaborative research based on Europe's network of supercomputers has become quicker than ever thanks to a new major upgrade. The EU-funded project, Distributed European Infrastructure for Supercomputing Applications (DEISA), has increased its connectivity speeds ten-fold to 10 gigabits per second, through the GÉANT2 pan-European research and education network. 'The underlying aim of the DEISA project is to enable scientific discovery across a broad spectrum of science and technology. By exploiting the point-to-point connections that GÉANT2 provides, we're able to create a high-speed, integrated European supercomputing environment. This will enable us to share the massive computational resources that are needed for efficiency and performance,' said Victor Alessandrini, project director for DEISA. The upgrade will offer researchers the opportunity to make the most of the combined processing power and speed of calculation of DEISA's 200 teraflops of supercomputing infrastructure. This service for the advancement of science is crucial as requests for supercomputing resources amongst many scientific research domains continue to increase. With 23 projects scheduled for 2007, current applications in progress include SEISSOL (research into earthquake simulations), COMSIMM (looking at current and future climate trends), ICAROS (stratospheric ozone research, climate change), gyro3d (plasma instability) and HELIUM (radiation-matter interactions), to name a few. DEISA aims to provide scientific researchers with access to a European cluster of state-of-the-art high-performance computing (HPC) resources. The 'private network' of point-to-point links deployed by GÉANT2 should enable researchers to gain faster and more efficient access to DEISA's shared file system, which in turn supports ground-breaking applications in computational sciences. DEISA's goal is to create an integrated European HPC ecosystem before the end of the decade. As for GÉANT2, it is a joint effort to build the largest research and education network ever built in Europe. Co-funded by Europe's National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) and the European Commission, the infrastructure extends over 50,000 kilometres, connecting 34 countries on the continent and even linking to North America and Asia. It is managed by international research and education network provider, DANTE. GÉANT2 and its partner NRENs currently connect seven DEISA sites across Europe via dedicated 10 gigabits-per-second wavelengths, all managed by a central switch. 'The DEISA supercomputing environment will deliver a vital resource for the European research community,' said Hans Döbbeling, General Manager of DANTE. 'By using GÉANT2's point-to-point connections, DEISA can ensure its users are able to maximise usage of Europe's supercomputing resources.'

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