Research capability across Northern England accelerated by supercomputer

Eight research intensive universities in the North of England, known as the N8 Research Partnership now have access to one of the largest shared memory computing platforms to co-ordinate, scale and accelerate their research.

Eight research intensive universities in the North of England, known as the N8 Research Partnership now have access to one of the largest shared memory computing platforms to co-ordinate, scale and accelerate their research. The SGI UV2, which has 4TB of memory within a single system, will open up new avenues of research, and address a class of problems on a magnitude greater than any of the existing infrastructure could manage.

The funds to purchase the SGI UV2 were awarded to The University of Manchester by the Medical Research Council (MRC) as part of an investment in The Farr Institute for Health Informatics Research of which the Health eResearch Centre (HeRC) is a founding partner. Housed alongside the regional N8 HPC supercomputing at University of Leeds University, the system is available to all of the N8 universities to link to and use for a wide spectrum of applications.

Deputy Director of the HeRC, John Ainsworth, said: “We are developing novel methods of analysing population health data to improve our understanding of common diseases. The N8 HPC SGI UV2 solution allows our researchers to analyse more complicated models of larger populations in less time.”

Alan Real, Head of High Performance Computing at University of Leeds and Technical Director of N8 HPC, said: “The SGI UV2 solution solves our challenge of delivering large scale computing capability into data sensitive scenarios securely.”

Specialist HPC solutions provider, Esteem, designed, installed and commissioned the computer within the N8 HPC’s tight timescales. Esteem CEO, Joe Connolly, said: “We have a trusted partnership with N8 HPC, having designed and built their previous HPC infrastructure. The extra capabilities of the SGI UV2 will transform what was isolated research projects into co-ordinated powerful research teams across Northern England.”

Rod Evans, VP for EMEA at SGI said: “We are proud to provide N8 HPC with another system to analyse public health records as part of HeRC. HeRC is the regional health informatics research centre that feeds e-health applications into the Northern Health Science Alliance. The SGI UV2 with 256 cores and 4TB will sit alongside another SGI X86 based cluster at University of Leeds.”

Article published: 09/07/2014

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