Phase 1 hardware installation now well underway

Just before Christmas 2020, we took ownership of Computer Room 4 (cr4) at EPCC's  Advanced Computing Facility. This will be the home of the Edinburgh International Data Facility.

The bricks-and-mortar phase of EIDF is now complete, which is a real milestone for us and for contractors Robertson Group, and a great achievement in the midst of a global pandemic.

Now comes the physical-kit phase. In early January, EPCC's HPC Systems group began the process of installing hardware for EIDF Phase 1 from partner HPE. This is well under way, but we still expect it to take up most of the first quarter of the year. Everything is new, from the network up. The quantity of cardboard and polystyrene was pretty amazing!

Phase 1 includes:

• 27 petabytes of mixed fast storage, from Lustre parallel filesystem to Ceph-managed block storage

• 20 petabytes of cold storage for archiving and disaster recovery

• 30 mixed HPE Apollo and Proliant servers, which form the core of the EIDF data science cloud

• Two 18 terabyte SuperDome Flex large-memory, high-performance compute systems

• An underpinning 200Gbps core network.

It’s been a long time in the planning but it’s great to see the new room open for business and racks being installed. We’ll keep you updated month by month as the new system takes shape.

Photo: Paul Clark, HPC Systems Director