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July 16, 2010
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, July 15 -- Orange Business Services has been awarded the supply and implementation order for the first GPGPU (general-purpose computation on graphics processing units) high performance computing cluster at the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) in South Africa.
The high performance cluster (HPC) will be implemented via Orange Business Services' HPC competency and integrated into the CHPC data centre environment.
The GPGPU cluster's physical footprint is small, however, it delivers a high performance output due to the GPU processors installed and specific architecture configured by Orange Business Services IT architects and partners.
Its partnership with global vendor Supermicro has proven to deliver enhanced solutions and technology at low costs to its client, explains Ashley Floris, executive director of Orange Business Services. "As an ICT services company, we strive to deliver turnkey solutions and remain platform agnostic as to create value to our clients and not be product focused."
The specific GPGPU HPC will initially be utilised for molecular dynamics codes designed for simulation of large molecular systems, weather and climate prediction codes and computational fluid dynamics simulations. The intention is to increase the possibility of porting applications from any field of science and engineering without any difficulty. For this to be attained, a comprehensive understanding of the architecture and applications is of utmost importance. Hence the GPU cluster will be a catalyst in breaking barriers of application performance.
Orange Business Services' mandate is to prepare the HPC cluster for these codes by providing the hardware and software implementation and configuration, benchmarking performance and providing support to the research scientists at CHPC on an ongoing basis. Orange Business Services Project Office, Infrastructure team and HPC will deliver these services within a framework to reduce risk and execute within set timeframes.
The Centre for High Performance Computing has been operational since 2007 and aspires to improve the competitiveness of South African industry, through shortening of concept to product period. "It thus crucial for such a centre with diverse requirements from applications areas, to provide appropriate technology while obtaining the maximum return on investment based on application performance," indicated Dr Sithole. The centre is one of the initiatives under the Department of Science and Technology, complemented by fast networks and large data storage devices.
The existence of these facilities is aimed at addressing socio-economic challenges of South Africa and the rest of the continent through the efficient utilisation of cyberinfrastructure. "We are grateful to be partners and provide service to such a key national asset as it allows us to be innovative and part of the process that paves way for the next generation of super computers," said Floris.
Source: Orange Business Services
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