Energy giant Total, long a prominent user of high-performance computing, now has the largest supercomputer used by industry says the company. Total’s upgraded Pangea supercomputer from SGI delivers 6.7 peak petaflops, up from 2.3 peak petaflops with expanded storage of 26 petabytes. LINPACK results haven’t been released yet, but the the system would likely crack the top ten of the latest TOP500 list (November 2015).
Oil and gas exploration is notoriously risky with companies regarding their HPC resources and internally developed software tools as critical competitive advantages. The added compute capacity is intended to support use of next-generation algorithms developed by Total’s internal R&D to image increasingly complex regions and produce numerical simulations of fields, incorporating 4D, three-component (3C) seismic data.
“We tripled Pangea’s computing power in just two years. In the era of big data, state-of-the-art data-intensive computing is a competitive advantage. This power will help improve performance and reduce costs,” said Arnaud Breuillac, president of Total Exploration & Production.
The updated SGI ICE X configuration for Pangea includes:
- An additional 9.2 petabytes of storage
- An additional 4,608 nodes based on the Intel Xeon E5-2680 v3 processor that consist of 110,592 cores
- 589 terabytes of memory built across 8 M-Cells.
- A closed-loop airflow and warm-water cooling which creates an embedded hot-aisle containment, lowering overall cooling requirements and reducing overall energy consumption.
- A power management system that allows the upgraded system to run on 4.5 megawatts of power.
Total says it expects Pangea – primarily a decision-support tool used for exploration and field management – to improve the accuracy of subsurface imaging; optimize the development and production of Total’s fields; and save time, by shortening the duration of studies.
The deployment continues SGI’s long relationship with Total. Purchased last year, the new system, now in production, requires a power supply of 4.5 MW. Total’s buildings in Pau, France, are heated in part by reusing heat released by Pangea. The data management system includes SGI InfiniteStorage 17,000 disk arrays with Intel Enterprise Edition for Lustre File system, and SGI DMF tiered storage virtualization.