Aug. 26, 2020 — CSC – IT Center for Science’s new supercomputer Mahti is now available for researchers and students at Finnish universities and research institutes. With the opening of Mahti, Finland’s national next-generation computing and data management environment is complete.
“Our efficient national environment supports Finnish research by offering researchers competitive resources to solve even the toughest challenges in their fields, among the first. It also contributes to facilitating researchers’ access to more ambitious international collaborative research projects. The COVID-19 pandemic is a good indication of the importance of our research infrastructure. We can react quickly and allocate resources to research when a critical need arises,” says Pekka Lehtovuori, Director of Computing Services at CSC.
Mahti is a robust liquid-cooled supercomputer capable of solving heavy computational tasks. Mahti can be used, for example, for computational drug design, extensive molecular dynamics simulations, or to model space weather and climate change.
“Modern drug design requires extensive computational resources. Supercomputers can be used to analyze how a drug candidate affects the function of proteins in the body, but also to the side effects caused by the same drug. Personalized medicine is also highly dependent on the CSC’s computing environment,” says Antti Poso, Professor of Drug Design at the University of Eastern Finland and the University of Tübingen in Germany. “Mahti is also contributing to the re-use of drugs, which enables a faster response even in situations such as COVID-19 pandemics”
CSC’s data management and computing services will also be open to educational use by higher education institutes.
“With the new data management and computing environment, more and more people will be able to take advantage of modern research equipment. The CSC environment is now also available for educational use in universities and academic use in research institutes. The expanded user base helps ensure that we get all the benefits from the investment and that expertise is accumulated not only in CSC but also in user organizations,” says Erja Heikkinen, Director at the Ministry of Education and Culture.
Mahti is the fastest supercomputer in the Nordic countries
The supercomputer Mahti is a BullSequana XH2000 system from Atos with two 64-core AMD EPYC (Rome) processors in the nodes. This processor is the latest version of the EPYC family (7H12). The total amount of cores is about 180 000. There are almost 9 Petabytes of storage capacity in Mahti.
The interconnect network represents the latest technology, and its speed up to the nodes is 200 Gbps (Gigabits per second). Mahti is one of the world’s first supercomputers with such a fast interconnect.
Mahti ranked 47th in the Supercomputer Top500 list in June 2020 with a maximum performance of 5.39 Petaflops. The theoretical peak performance is 7.5 Petaflops. Mahti is the fastest supercomputer in the Nordic countries and when compared to European ones, Mahti ranks as number 17.
On the recent Supercomputer Green500 list, Mahti ranked 44th. The Green500 lists the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputers. There are only 14 supercomputers that are faster and more energy-efficient than Mahti.
“I am really proud of this achievement because of the flawless cooperation with the CSC project team, a perfect example of European cooperation. We set a common goal, which is to provide cutting edge HPC technology to researchers in Finnish universities and research institutes and achieved it,” says Janne Ahonen, Atos Country Manager Finland & the Baltics.
CSC’s new computing environment
The availability of Mahti completes the CSC’s new data management and computing environment, which consists of Mahti, Puhti, and Allas.
Mahti is the robust supercomputer in CSC’s environment, geared towards medium to large scale simulations. Puhti, a BullSequana X400 system from Atos, is a general-purpose supercomputer for a wide range of use cases. Puhti was launched in autumn 2019.
Puhti Artificial Intelligence Partition Puhti-AI is a GPU-accelerated supercomputer and is specifically designed for artificial intelligence research and artificial intelligence applications.
The entire CSC computing environment is served by a common data management solution, Allas, that is based on CEPH object storage technology and has a storage capacity of 12 Petabytes.
CSC is a Finnish center of expertise in ICT that provides world-class services for research, education, culture, public administration and enterprises, to help them thrive and benefit society at large. www.csc.fi
Atos is a global leader in digital transformation with 110,000 employees in 73 countries and annual revenue of € 12 billion. European number one in Cloud, Cybersecurity and High-Performance Computing, the Group provides end-to-end Orchestrated Hybrid Cloud, Big Data, Business Applications and Digital Workplace solutions. The Group is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and operates under the brands Atos, Atos|Syntel, and Unify. Atos is a SE (Societas Europaea), listed on the CAC40 Paris stock index.