Hewlett Packard to build supercomputer for NSCC Singapore
Hewlett Packard Enterprise has announced it has been selected to build a supercomputer for the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) in Singapore.
The U.S. tech company has been awarded SGD$40mn to complete the project which claims to be eight times faster than NSCC’s existing HPC resources.
Originally funded by a SGD$200mn investment the supercomputer will be built and powered using the HPE Cray EX Supercomputer, an HPC system which supports next-generation supercomputing.
Talking about the project, Bill Mannel, Vice President and General Manager of HPE, said: “We are honored to continue empowering their mission by building them a powerful system using the HPE Cray EX supercomputer that delivers comprehensive, purposely-engineered technologies for demanding research.
“The new system will deliver a significant boost to R&D, allowing Singapore’s community of scientists and engineers to make greater contributions that will unlock innovation, economic value, and overall, strengthen the nation’s position in becoming more digitally-driven,” he said.
The supercomputer also aims to progress research efforts through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep machine learning, maximising modelling and software simulation for quantum computing.
Housed in a data centre designed for increased sustainability and reduced energy consumption, the NSCC’s supercomputer has liquid-cooling capabilities used to increase power density and energy efficiency by transferring heat.
This aims to allow NSCC to further their Research and Development, making progress in several areas. These include:
- Understanding the spread of airborne cough droplets, critical to addressing immediate risks related to COVID-19.
- Accelerating insights into weather forecasting and climate patterns for Singapore and Southeast Asia with high resolution weather modelling capabilities.
- Advancing safety in autonomous driving with optimised AI training.
Unlocking a new level of scientific discovery
Purpose-built for petaflop to exaflop performance, the HPE Cray EX Supercomputer includes a software stack gifting users with the high-performance of a supercomputer with the operational ease of a cloud.
HPE also plans to integrate these next-generation technologies into its supercomputer platform:
- Expanded storage to support and share complex workloads: This models simulation and AI using the Cray ClusterStor E1000 storage system from HPE and HPE Data Management Framework. NSCC’s new supercomputer will deliver 10 petabytes of storage with over 300GB/s of read/write performance speeds.
- Purpose-built HPC networking using HPE Slingshot: This addresses demands for higher speed and congestion control for data-intensive workloads
- Fully integrated software suite to optimize HPC and AI applications using the HPE Cray Programming Environment
- Powerful compute to improve modeling and simulation using 3rd Gen AMD EPYC™ processors
- Targeted accelerated computing capabilities with 352 NVIDIA® A100 Tensor Core GPUs for both HPC and AI workloads
- Expanded network infrastructure with multiple 100Gbps links for upgraded connectivity between users and the supercomputing resources using the SingAREN-Lightwave Internet Exchange (SLIX) from the Singapore Advanced Research and Education Network (SingAREN)
HPE and the NSCC plan for the new supercomputer to be fully operational by early next year.
Equinix: Digital leaders expect changes to working patterns
A global report released by Equinix has revealed that digital leaders expect long-term changes to the way people work.
As part of the report, the data infrastructure company surveyed 2,600 IT decision-makers from several different businesses spanning 26 countries in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions. The study also highlighted the biggest technology trends affecting global businesses and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted digital infrastructure plans.
Talking about companies’ expansion strategies, Claire Macland, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Equinix, said: “Many companies are now investing more in their digital infrastructure to enable them to embrace a hybrid working model and thrive in the new world of work we all find ourselves in.
“Despite headwinds in many sectors, many organizations are continuing to expand physically and virtually into new markets and regions around the world”, she said.
The report drew the following conclusions:
- 64% of the 2,600 digital leaders surveyed believed there will be “long-term changes to both how and where people will work in the future.
- 57% of global companies intend to expand into new regions despite the effects of the pandemic
- 51% of businesses worldwide say they have rearchitected their IT infrastructure so that it can meet the demands of remote and hybrid working. Digital transformation has also been accelerated due to an increase in businesses’ technology budgets.
How might digital transformation be affected post-pandemic?
COVID-19 has demanded that companies make several changes to the way that they operate, including digital transformation. According to the study, 47% of those surveyed reported that they have accelerated their digital transformation plans because of the Coronavirus pandemic. A further 42% of organisations said their budgets have increased to keep up with the growth of digital transformation.
Another change in adapting to the pandemic was to businesses’ IT strategies with six in 10 companies saying that it has been revised in response to the situation. 58% said they are looking to invest in technology to “improve agility’ post-COVID.
When asked about their priorities for their digital strategy, 80% of respondents said that digitising their infrastructure was of utmost importance, while 57% viewed interconnection as a ‘key facilitator’ of digital transformation.
"This increasing focus on digitization and expansion is one of the reasons why Equinix has continued to invest in its own growth. We completed 16 new expansions in 2020—our most active build year ever—and expect to continue to evolve Platform Equinix to support our customers as they continue on their digital transformation journey”, said Claire Macland.
Potential concerns disperse over expansion plans being halted by COVID-19
The study has also revealed that organisations’ previous concerns that the pandemic will negatively affect their business expansion plans have been lessened.
57% of businesses have said that they “still have plans” to expand into new regions and of that percentage, nearly two-thirds (63%) plan to do so virtually instead of investing in physical IT infrastructure.
The full Equinix report can be found here.