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February 20, 2013
PARIS, Feb. 20 – Allinea DDT and Allinea MAP will play a key role in a critical computer upgrade for France’s national weather service.
Météo-France operates under the country’s Ministry of Sustainable Development, with a mission to observe and forecast the atmosphere, snow cover, and oceans’ surface to ensure the security of life and property in France and its territories. Météo-France also takes part in global climate-change research with various partners.
The agency has been doing this crucial work on a vector supercomputer with a limited capability of 40 teraflops.
In 2013, Bull will install two supercomputers in Toulouse, one at Météopole and the other at the new Espace Clément Ader research centre. Each supercomputer will be rated at more than 500 TeraFlops, for total processing power of more than 1 PetaFlop. By 2016, the systems will be further upgraded for a computing capability of more than 5 PetaFlops.
“For the first phase, we will significantly increase the computing power,” said Damien Déclat, the project’s director for Bull. “Computing power is a key element for meteorology and climate science. This upgrade will enable further progress in weather forecasting and climate research for Météo-France. As an example, the Meteo-France's local area model (called AROME) will be much more geographically precise thanks to the new configuration and thanks to the different tools allowing an efficient use of the computer."
One major challenge of this upgrade is porting applications to work smoothly on the new computers. To ease this problem, Bull selected Allinea DDT, the most advanced debugging tool available and Allinea MAP, a Message Passing Interface (MPI) profiler that is equally elegant and simple to use. Both Allinea DDT and Allinea MAP have been fully integrated in the bullx supercomputer software suite powering the bullx supercomputers, and developers will need only minimal training before they can start spotting bottlenecks and the lines of code that slow down their applications.
“Météo-France users will benefit from using these two products to debug, profile, and optimize applications, which is a big improvement that will lead to more efficient codes running on the supercomputers,” said Olivier David, Alliances Director at Bull. “The time you don’t spend on debugging, you can be running the application to get scientific results. At the end of the day, you just want to focus on science and that’s why we need Allinea Software.”
The project is the result of a long, collaborative RFP process. Today, developers at Météo-France are working on a small supercomputer with the Allinea tools to preview how their applications will work on the powerful new technology.
“Our easy-to-use GUI will be critical in easing this shift,” said David Lecomber, COO of Allinea Software. “Allinea Software is having a large impact on climate research centres and the meteorological world. Our adoption by Météo-France is another endorsement of our tools’ ability to handle the development challenges of large-scale data intensive software.”
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