Skip to main content

PRACE 5th Implementation Phase Project

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PRACE-5IP (PRACE 5th Implementation Phase Project)

Reporting period: 2018-05-01 to 2019-04-30

PRACE, the Partnership for Advanced Computing, was established in May 2010 as a permanent pan-European High Performance Computing infrastructure providing world-class systems for world-class science. Through funding agreements, PRACE secured funding from initially four (France, Germany, Italy and Spain) and most recently five European countries (with the addition of Switzerland) that committed to host leading-edge supercomputers on the highest performance level in Europe. In addition, from March 2017 all general PRACE partners fund High Level Support Teams (HLST) at the Hosting Sites in order to support PRACE users. HPC experts from 26 member states - funded in part by the PRACE Implementation Phase projects, enabled users from academia and industry to ascertain research leadership and remain competitive in the Global Race.
The objectives of PRACE-5IP are to build on and seamlessly continue the achievements of PRACE and start new innovative and collaborative activities proposed by the consortium. These include:
- Provision of Tier-0 service based on excellence and innovation.
- Support a functional European HPC Ecosystem.
- A sustainable governance and business model.
- Strategy for a rich HPC environment.
- Work with European Technology Platform for HPC (ETP4HPC) and Centres of Excellence in HPC.
- Provide tailored training and skills development programmes.
- HPC system interoperation.
The activities are designed to increase Europe's research and innovation potential especially through: seamless and efficient Tier-0 services and a pan-European HPC ecosystem including national capabilities; promoting take-up by industry and special offers to SMEs; analysing new flexible business models for PRACE 2; proposing strategies for deployment of leadership systems; collaborating with the ETP4HPC, the new CoEs and other European and international organisations on future architectures, training, application support and policies.
PRACE-5IP is coordinated and managed by Forschungszentrum Juelich. It has a budget of nearly 16.4 Mio € including an EC contribution of 15 Mio €. The duration will be 28 months.
At the end of the PRACE-5IP project, 28 months after its start in January 2017, the project has achieved all milestones and completed its objectives:
- WP1: Management of the Contract: The management and governance structure of the project worked well. One Contract Amendment was prepared by PMO. The first and second Project Reviews were held in June 2018 and 2019.
- WP2: Sustainability and development of the RI: Provided support concerning the development of the new phase of PRACE, the management and processes of PRACE aisbl, the relations with stakeholders and other communities being further developed, and support to the DECI management process. An analysis of PRACE data protection and of PRACE compliance with the Trans-National Access was undertaken.
- WP3: Communication, Dissemination, Outreach and Events: The PRACE website has been improved, maintained and updated with PRACE-5IP information. PRACE social media accounts were kept up to date with PRACE news and information. PRACEdays17, PRACEdays18 were held and preparations of PRACEdays2019 were undertaken. PRACE was present at ISC17 and 18, SC17 and 18, DI4R and several Science Fairs around Europe.
- WP4: Training: WP4 focused on the organisational aspects of four main activities: the Seasonal Schools, the on-demand training events, the International HPC Summer Schools, the Summer of HPC 2017 and 2018, and preparations of Summer of HPC 2019. The PTC network was extended with four PTCs starting their activity by the end of 2017. The online training is broadened with the development of five MOOCs. WP4 also focused on the re-organisation of the training code to be provided in the CodeVault.
- WP5: HPC Commissioning and Prototyping: WP5 set up its working structure and started the work on its main tasks: Procurement Independent Vendor Relations and Market Watch , Best Practices for Energy-Efficient HPC Centre Infrastructures Design and Operations, and Best Practices for Prototype Planning and Evaluation. The 8th and 9th European Workshops on HPC Centre Infrastructures were organised by CSCS and CINECA respectively, and preparations for the 10th edition were finalised.
- WP6: Operational Services for the HPC Ecosystem: The integration of four Tier-0 systems and further seven Tier-1 systems was established. An analysis of the new operational services was performed. The coordination of activities of the PRACE Security Forum was continued. Further collaborations with other e-Infrastructures and CoEs on data management and training were undertaken.
- WP7: Application Enabling and Support: WP7 supported a total of 34 projects, developed two numerical libraries, and wrote six Best Practice Guides and 29 White Papers. D7.5 “Evaluation of Accelerated and Non-accelerated Benchmarks” reports on the performance and scaling of the Benchmarks on the PRACE Tier-0 systems, two PRACE-3IP PCP prototype systems, the Mont-Blanc 3 prototype system Dibona and the DEEP-ER prototype system SDV.
The planned socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of PRACE-5IP cover several aspects:
1. Excellence of Research: Sustainability and the visibility of a long term plan will permit the evolution of methodologies and practice through significantly expanded training opportunities (local PTC offerings in addition to current PATC offerings) and through validation of new paradigms.
2. New frontiers: Through its transparent decision making processes, PRACE aisbl is very open to new science directions, methods and communities.
3. Horizon 2020: Cooperation with existing communities and the CoEs will permit PRACE to contribute further to the objectives of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme. The project will streamline communications between PRACE and CoEs, leverage PRACE expertise for HPC utilisation by the CoEs, and expand its training offering.
4. Opening up new horizons: Consolidating Petascale computation and progressing towards the Exascale are expected to open up new horizons and make problems amenable to computation that never before were thought to be feasible.
5. Applying science and technology to society's grand challenges: Most projects in this area are multidisciplinary by nature, but benefit greatly from highly advanced simulation studies.
6. Reinforcing Europe’s global competitiveness. Work in the project and in connection with the CoEs will, for instance, permit the design of more efficient products in energy, transportation, materials and electronics. The project will facilitate transfer of knowledge obtained by simulation. This involves a variety of actors and processes whose cooperation is served by the project’s work in professional networking and HPC training. This involves a variety of actors and processes whose co-operation is served by the project’s work in human networking and training and HPC ecosystem improvement.
7. Assisting SMEs in the pursuit of innovation: SMEs often encounter difficulties in using HPC. The SHAPE programme has been set up to help European SMEs overcome barriers to using and benefiting from HPC. The project will intensify efforts based on previously gained experience.
8. Enhancing innovation in IT technology: The project depends on pushing HPC technologies to the limit and will therefore give good incentives for industrial progress.
PRACE-5IP All Hands Meeting Group Photo