Helix Nebula Cloud Targets European Scientific Research

By Robert Gelber

July 10, 2012

The scientific community is abuzz over the recent discovery of a Higgs-like particle based on experiments performed on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. What is less well known is that the LHC researchers and other European scientists will soon have access to a new a cloud platform specifically designed for their computational needs. The project, known as the Helix Nebula was introduced in March to provide researchers with cloud-based computing and analytics resources.*

A partnership between IT service providers and scientific facilities, Helix Nebula consists of research institutions CERN, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the European Space Agency (ESA). The program is currently undergoing a two-year pilot phase with €1.8 million in funding from the European Commission.  In addition to particle discovery research, the cloud has also assisted with studies in earth observation and molecular biology. During this pilot phase, scientists have deployed applications with tens of thousands of jobs across multiple datacenters.

Michael Symonds, principal architect for Atos, one of the cloud resource providers expressed positive feedback regarding the project’s status. “Setting up a public style cloud for very demanding research organizations is very different to providing private enterprise cloud services to companies,” he said. “It has taken a lot of effort but we are all pleased with these early results and are confident we can build on this in the future.”

In September, representatives from each of the Helix Nebula research facilities will deliver a keynote at the ISC Cloud’12 Conference in Mannheim, Germany. Wolfgang Gentszch, general chair of the event and contributor to HPCintheCloud, interviewed CERN’s Bob Jones, ESA’s Wolfgang Lengert, and EMBL’s Rupert Lueck to talk about the new science cloud. 

Jones explained the main difference between the science cloud and CERN’s previous LHC Computing Grid. “The [LHC Computing Grid] that has been essential to the LHC experiments’ work to observe a particle consistent with long-sought Higgs boson consists of publicly-managed data centers,” he explained. “Helix Nebula is a public-private partnership” In this case, research is being processed at commercial datacenters.

When asked what benefits the cloud would provide, Lengert mentioned that the infrastructure would simplify access to data, tools, models and a collaboration platform. The European space agency’s ERS/Envisat missions have resulted in datasets containing over two decades of information about the land, oceans, atmosphere and cryosphere. 

Looking to the future, Jones predicts additional collaborators and adopters to hop on board. “Assuming the pilot phase is successful,” he said, “we expect Helix Nebula to grow to include more commercial cloud services providers and public organizations as consumers.”

—–

*The original version of this article erroneously connected Helix Nebula to the Higgs boson discovery. Although the new cloud platform has demonstrated its ability to host applications that supported the LHC research work, the test runs were only used for the purpose of proof-of-concept. We regret the error — Editor

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Nvidia Debuts Turing Architecture, Focusing on Real-Time Ray Tracing

August 16, 2018

From the SIGGRAPH professional graphics conference in Vancouver this week, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang unveiled Turing, the company's next-gen GPU platform that introduces new RT Cores to accelerate ray tracing and new Tenso Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Coding: The Power of L(o)osing Control

August 16, 2018

Exascale roadmaps, exascale projects and exascale lobbyists ask, on-again-off-again, for a fundamental rewrite of major code building blocks. Otherwise, so they claim, codes will not scale up. Naturally, some exascale pr Read more…

By Tobias Weinzierl

STAQ(ing) the Quantum Computing Deck

August 16, 2018

Quantum computers – at least for now – remain noisy. That’s another way of saying unreliable and in diverse ways that often depend on the specific quantum technology used. One idea is to mitigate noisiness and perh Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Introducing the First Integrated System Management Software for HPC Clusters from HPE

How do you manage your complex, growing cluster environments? Answer that big challenge with the new HPC cluster management solution: HPE Performance Cluster Manager. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Super Problem Solving

You might think that tackling the world’s toughest problems is a job only for superheroes, but at special places such as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, supercomputers are the real heroes. Read more…

NREL ‘Eagle’ Supercomputer to Advance Energy Tech R&D

August 14, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has contracted with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for a new 8-petaflops (peak) supercomputer that will be used to advance early-stage R&a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

STAQ(ing) the Quantum Computing Deck

August 16, 2018

Quantum computers – at least for now – remain noisy. That’s another way of saying unreliable and in diverse ways that often depend on the specific quantum Read more…

By John Russell

NREL ‘Eagle’ Supercomputer to Advance Energy Tech R&D

August 14, 2018

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has contracted with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for a new 8-petaflops (peak Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CERN Project Sees Orders-of-Magnitude Speedup with AI Approach

August 14, 2018

An award-winning effort at CERN has demonstrated potential to significantly change how the physics based modeling and simulation communities view machine learni Read more…

By Rob Farber

Intel Announces Cooper Lake, Advances AI Strategy

August 9, 2018

Intel's chief datacenter exec Navin Shenoy kicked off the company's Data-Centric Innovation Summit Wednesday, the day-long program devoted to Intel's datacenter Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SLATE Update: Making Math Libraries Exascale-ready

August 9, 2018

Practically-speaking, achieving exascale computing requires enabling HPC software to effectively use accelerators – mostly GPUs at present – and that remain Read more…

By John Russell

Summertime in Washington: Some Unexpected Advanced Computing News

August 8, 2018

Summertime in Washington DC is known for its heat and humidity. That is why most people get away to either the mountains or the seashore and things slow down. H Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

NSF Invests $15 Million in Quantum STAQ

August 7, 2018

Quantum computing development is in full ascent as global backers aim to transcend the limitations of classical computing by leveraging the magical-seeming prop Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

By the Numbers: Cray Would Like Exascale to Be the Icing on the Cake

August 1, 2018

On its earnings call held for investors yesterday, Cray gave an accounting for its latest quarterly financials, offered future guidance and provided an update o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17

Altair

AMD @ SC17

AMD

ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack

CEJN @ SC17

CEJN

DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17

Huawei

IBM @ SC17

IBM

IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17

Intel

Lenovo @ SC17

Lenovo

Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17

Microsoft

Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17

Supericro

Tyan @ SC17

Tyan

Univa @ SC17

Univa

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This