ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

By Tiffany Trader

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings. According to Dutch news site Drimble, three companies doing business as ClusterVision have been declared insolvent in the Netherlands, where ClusterVision is headquartered.

The notice reports that Clustervision BV, Clustervision Holding BV and Mpci Group were all declared bankrupt on February 12, 2019. We’ve reached out to ClusterVision for comment have not yet received a response at time of publishing. We expect to have updates as the story develops.

Founded in 2002 by Alex Ninaber (the company’s CEO), Matthijs van Leeuwen and Arijan Sauer, ClusterVision grew to become one of Europe’s leading HPC systems integrators. Ninaber’s LinkedIn page touts ClusterVision’s role in building some of the largest and most complex clusters in EMEA and notes the company has worked with more than 200 customers and delivered “well over” 400 systems. ClusterVision has served on the steering board of ETP4HPC (the European Technology Platform in the area of High-Performance Computing) since 2015.

In November, ClusterVision announced that the first phase of Tetralith, the new flagship supercomputer of the National Supercomputer Centre (NSC) at Linköping University, Sweden, had entered the Top500 at position 421 with one Linpack petaflops. A second phase, which would boost the system’s theoretical peak speed to 4.0 petaflops, was last reported as on-going; it is not clear if ClusterVision’s business situation will impact the deployment.

[Update 02/14: Peter Kjellström, NSC technical coordinator, reported via Twitter that the second phase of the NSC contract passed functional tests in November and the total compute node count is 2,896.]

Other current Top500 ClusterVision installations include Saudi Aramco’s MAKMAN-2 cluster in 88th place with a Linpack performance of 2.25 petaflops as well as another recently delivered installation at NSC, called Stratus, at number 481 with a Linpack performance of 0.9 petaflops.

In early 2018, ClusterVision provided the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON) with a a high performance GPU cluster system, called ARTS. Running at 2 “deep learning” petaflops provided by consumer-grade GPUs, ARTS assists the institute’s Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope with analyzing and deciphering large pulsar flashes.

Past highlights for the company include installations at HPC Midlands Plus, Technische Universität Wien, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft MPI / Albert-Einstein-Institut, and Universität Frankfurt, as well as another cluster at NSC Linköping (called BitFrost).

The company’s mission is “to provide [its] customers the best in HPC technology that matches their wishes and specifications, through innovative design, quality engineering, and professional cluster management.” Its TrinityX open-source cluster management ecosystem was designed to provide all the services required in a modern HPC system.

“For over a decade, ClusterVision has been one of the leading HPC integrators in Europe,” commented Addison Snell, CEO of Intersect360 Research. “This is evident not only in our annual end-user surveys, but also in the company’s high-visibility roles in the ETP4HPC project and several Top500 installations.”

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