Viglen Gives UK Science Facility JASMIN £4 Million Makeover

By Tiffany Trader

April 10, 2014

British systems integrator Viglen has won a £4 million contract to outfit JASMIN, a UK-based environmental scientific data analysis and simulation facility, with petascale-level data processing and storage capabilities.

The contract calls for the design, supply and installation of a turnkey integrated HPC computing, storage and network solution at the site, which is run by the Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC). The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) is providing funding for the expansion to keep pace with its expanding user base.

Installed in 2012, JASMIN is a super-data-cluster that serves the environmental science community. After the cluster reached full capacity in its first year, STFC reached out to Viglen for help expanding this key resource.

The upgrade will provide JASMIN with another 200 servers and 4,000 compute cores, enabling the system to better support its diverse user community, which includes Climate and Environmental Monitoring from Space (CEMS), the Centre for Environmental Data Archival (CEDA), and the national centers of Earth Observation and Atmospheric Science.

The renovation also calls for a 10GB Mellanox backbone and an additional seven petabytes of Panasas disk. The lower latency network is suitable for message passing interface (MPI) programs, and will enable scientists to run larger parallel jobs and more of them.

JASMIN is unique in that it provides the flexibility to run workloads in either a virtualized environment or a traditional HPC environment, whichever best meets user needs.

“Viglen also met the tough challenge of integrating JASMIN phase two with JASMIN phase one, doing a good job understanding our requirements and integrating that into our solution,” observes JASMIN Infrastructure manager Jonathan Churchill. 

While many of its projects fall within the domains of climate science and earth observation, JASMIN2 is now able to support a wider array of projects, including environmental genomics, hydrology, and earthquake science.

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