Feb. 12 — The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is pleased to report that the new national high performance computing service, ARCHER, which has been in full operation for just two months, is already making an impact with users across the UK. A number of users from across the UK, particularly from HPC consortia groups were invited to test the machine in late 2013. They reported codes running up to three times faster than previously on HECToR.
EPSRC and NERC are funding the new £23 million Cray XC30 machine that will replace the HECToR service. It entered full operational service to users in December 2013 and will be officially launched in March 2014 to coincide with HECToR’s retirement.
In benchmark tests, the ARCHER service is three and a half times faster than its predecessor and is a powerful tool for scientific research which uses High Performance Computing. As well as the computer itself, the service offers an extensive file storage system and super-fast connectivity to the existing (JANET) academic network. The machine is located at the University of Edinburgh and operated in partnership with Cray.
The ARCHER service (the name is an acronym of Academic Research Computing High End Resource) will also offer the suite of support already appreciated by users of HECToR, including a helpdesk and support for code development and porting to the new machine.