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Russia's most powerful IBM supercomputer has been put into operation in the Ufa State Aviation Technical University

20.12.2007

Russia's most powerful IBM supercomputer has been put into operation in the Ufa State Aviation Technical University
Ufa, December 19, 2007 – Ufa State Aviation Technical University (USATU), I.T. Co., IBM and Intel have announced the launch of Russia's most powerful IBM blade server-based supercomputer.

USATU is Russia's main university specializing on training in aircraft engine construction. It actively cooperates with the leading aviation enterprises, such as the Ufa Motor Building Enterprise, Perm Motors, Russian Aircraft Corporation "MiG", Sukhoi Company and others. High quality of education, possibility of new scientific research development and availability of highly qualified professionals will enable Russia to become a leader of the world aircraft construction market, which is in line with the country's development priorities established by the Government.

The supercomputer will be used in the innovative educational program, Supercomputer technology-aided computer modeling, and in other classes that have to do with information technologies, parallel programming and computer modeling.

"The use of the supercomputer will improve the quality of teaching of a number of disciplines related to mathematical modeling and parallel programming, and enable us to model processes that physically can not be simulated at laboratories even at the best-equipped universities. The use of high-performance computing technologies allows to "compress" or "extend" the duration of any virtual experiment. This is important when it comes to studying very fast or very slow processes. We can model system parameters typical of borderline conditions, such as extremely high temperatures or pressure in flow dynamics or ultimate stress in materials under deformation," said Murat Guzairov, Chancellor, USATU.

USATU received funding, about 130 million rubles, for creation of the supercomputer and the necessary infrastructure and for room adaptation from the federal budget as a winner of the Russian National Innovative Educational Programs Contest, part of the national project, Education, in 2007. The company in charge of the project was I.T. Co. that won the competition in August 2007; its offer was based on IBM technologies. A team of specialists representing USATU, IBM, Cisco and Rittal also took part in the supercomputer creation.

Due to the national Education project, one more extremely powerful supercomputer will be created in the Russian system of higher education. It will enable USATU to prepare more specialists meeting today's requirements, which is particularly important because the lack of appropriately qualified staff is the main problem preventing the development of information technologies and innovations in our country," said Tagir Yapparov, General Manager, I.T. Co.

The USATU supercomputer is based on 266 IBM blade server with 532 quad-core Intel® Xeon® 5245 processors. The supercomputer's design peak performance amounts to 20 teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second). The supercomputer is currently the highest-performance IBM computing cluster in Russia and the CIS. Four of the seven Russian supercomputers included in the last world Top 500 high-performance systems list are based on IBM technologies (www.top500.org/country/170). IBM dominates in the Top500 list with 232 systems.

"We are proud that IBM's international experience of supercomputers creation along with our technologies' key advantages in the field of energy saving, cooling, and complex system management were fully used in the USATU supercomputer creation. We expect the new system to provide a fundament for the university's research projects in a wide range of disciplines taught there," commented Sergey Bugrin, Hardware Sales Director, IBM EE/A.

"In the November edition of the world Top 500 high-performance systems, there were 354 Intel-based SMP systems and clusters. Thus, Intel established a new record of its processors employment in the planet's most powerful supercomputers. The previous record was established two years ago and amounted to 333 systems," says Dmitriy Konash, Regional Director, Intel CIS. "Russia, with seven Top 500 systems, shares the ninth place in the list of countries owning the highest-performance computers with Switzerland and Sweden. Six out of those seven Russian systems are based on quad-core and dual-core Intel® Xeon® processors. Since multi-core Intel solutions and especially solutions based on the innovative 45-nm technology became available in the market, we have been witnessing an enormous increase in the interest in our high-performance platforms, expressed by Russian consumers among others. This time, we are grateful to the USATU supercomputer complex developers for their choice.”

Unique particularities of the USATU supercomputer include its compact size (just six wiring closets that house chassis with the blade servers, cluster subcontrols and a data storage network), lighter weight of the entire system as compared with similar systems, low energy consumption (the cluster equipment power consumption amounts to about 85 kW) and, most importantly, performance that is impressive for Russia today. The small size of the supercomputer made it possible to install it next to display classrooms from where students can access the system's computing resources.

The USATU supercomputer features massively parallel architecture traditional for such systems; however, when technical solutions were being discussed, a decision was made to use cutting-edge technologies. The use of IBM blade servers helped reduce power consumption and the need for floor space and simplify server management. The blade servers were clustered with the help of the high-speed technology, Infiniband, on the basis of a 288-port Cisco non-blocking matrix switch, which minimizes delays in processor interaction. Heat is removed from the closed space of the server racks by a modular system of air-water heat exchangers, Rittal LCP.

When creating the cluster, special attention was paid both to hardware reliability, which was why IBM servers were chosen, and fault-tolerance of the entire system. This required the use of IT solutions that are more commonly used in business than in education. For example, cluster control nodes, data storage network, all cooling modules and the power supply system feature a full set of backup hardware. The modular architecture of the computer system enables the use of internal backup and hot swapping.

In order to ensure smooth operation of the cluster, the system monitors the environment (air temperature and humidity inside the wiring closets and on the heat exchangers), liquid leaks from the cooling system, wiring closets opening and closing, and smoke formation inside the closets. The Rittal CMC-TC monitoring system immediately notifies system administrators by e-mail and SMS of all critical parameter changes.

Versatility, flexibility and the development potential of massively parallel systems depend to a significant extent on the operating system for cluster nodes, cluster components management software, task scheduling and management, and quick and reliable data access. The USATU supercomputer is equipped with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 AS/WS, IBM Cluster Systems Management, IBM Tivoli Workload Scheduler and General Parallel File System (GPFS), along with the information security software Tivoli Access Manager for Enterprise Single Sign-On (TAM SSO) with several add-ons: Provisioning Adapter, Desktop Password Reset Adapter and Authentication Adapter. IBM server hardware and cluster software features perfect compatibility, which made it possible to arrange centralized control of all the supercomputer elements with the help of IBM Director. USATU received IBM software free of charge as a participant of the educational institutions support program, IBM Academic Initiative.

"The computing system we have created is a fusion of cutting-edge technologies. Their study can provide a fundament for a very topical series of lectures for our students on the disciplines they major in. Not every university can offer such a possibility," explained Ruslan Hisamutdinov, Vice-Chancellor of IT, USATU.


About the Ufa State Aviation Technical University
The history of USATU began in 1932 when the Rybinsk Aviation Institute was established. In December 1941 it was evacuated to Ufa and in 1942, renamed the Ufa Sergo Ordjonikidze Aviation Institute. In 1982, the institute was decorated with the Lenin order for achievements in training of qualified specialists and development of scientific research. In 1992, the institute received the status of a technical university. Today, more than 20 thousand students study at the Ufa State Aviation Technical University. It is a major educational, scientific and innovative production complex with strong, authoritative scientific departments enabling preparation of qualified specialists of all levels: Bachelors, experts, masters, PhD and doctors of science. The following numbers illustrate the high qualification of the faculty: The university's 65 departments employ 980 professors including 180 Doctors of Science, about 600 Doctors of Philosophy, more than 80 corresponding members, academicians of the Russian Academy of Science, Academy of Science of the Republic of Bashkortostan, and various Russian and foreign branch, state and public academies. The facility prepares experts in 61 specialties in 25 areas of aviation, missile and space technologies; automation and control; mechanical engineering and metal processing; instrument engineering; electronic, radio and communication equipment; electromechanics; electrical power engineering; applied mathematics; information and computing equipment; economics and management; and safety of living.

About IBM
For more information about IBM visit our website at www.ibm.com.

About Intel
Intel, the world's leading producer of innovative semiconductor components, develops technologies, products and initiatives aimed at constant improvement of human life and work methods. For more information about Intel visit our website at www.intel.com/pressroom.

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