T-Platforms has announced the completion of the first Russian-built HPC system, delivered to the State University of New York at Stony Brook (SBU).
Founded in 1957, SBU is a member of the Association of American Universities and one of four university centers in the state of New York. Today, the university appears on the U.S. News & World Report list of Top 100 public universities, and is in the Top 25 of Kiplinger's list of 100 best public universities and colleges. SBU is one of 10 universities in the U.S. to have received an award from the U.S. National Science Foundation for outstanding achievements in the integration of research and education. The university faculty includes Nobel Prize winners.
The main user of the computing center's resources is Professor Oganov's laboratory (The Oganov Lab), which specializes in theoretical mineralogy and materials science research. Today, the lab is actively working on the development of new superhard materials, materials with special electronic and optical properties, and materials for supercapacitors and batteries to store energy. The T-Platforms HPC system will run in-house software, developed by Prof. Oganov, to simulate the structure of new materials using specific properties. The lab has already created a carbon-based structure, similar in hardness to diamond, and has also discovered new forms of boron, sodium, and a number of minerals in the Earth's mantle.
"We have developed a unique method to determine the optimal and stable structures of materials that have never existed before. The algorithm that we have tried to recreate is carefully designed, mimicking the one of that existing in the nature," comments Professor Artem Oganov of SBU. "Two approaches might be used when creating new materials. The first is to search for all possible combinations of atoms within a crystal structure. The problem is that the number of variations within the structure is astronomical. For example, a structure consisting of just 10 atoms would produce an order of 100 billion structural variations of a new material, and it would take hundreds of simulation years to analyze them all. This approach is impractical, and therefore we have developed an evolutionary method, which requires much less computational effort and shows remarkable reliability. Still, large computing facilities are needed to perform such simulations and find optimal candidates for a new material. The T-Platforms computing system has demonstrated the highest levels of performance in carrying out tasks using this method, and we are planning to expand the system in the near future."
T-Platforms scale-out 'V-Class' system faced serious competition from leading global server manufacturers. It was chosen by SBU, based on an attractive combination of compute density, power efficiency, sustained performance and integrated chassis-level management. T-Platforms was also the only participant to include in its tender bid a complete range of customer services to integrate the supercomputer into the university infrastructure, and test it under different loads in order to fine-tune the system software to specific research needs.
T-Platforms took a comprehensive approach to the design and commissioning of computing system. It is based on T-Platforms' V5000 enclosure, populated with 10 V205 compute nodes, equipped with AMD Opteron 6238 processors, a management node, and running CentOS operating system. The system's capacity is 2.5 TFlops, and the actual performance exceeded 80 percent of the peak Linpack results. To meet contract obligations, T-Platforms has fine-tuned the VASP quantum mechanics and molecular dynamics software package, designed to enable modeling of atomic-molecular and electron-nuclear systems. As a result, software performance increased by 27 percent.
"Western markets are of strategic importance to T-Platforms. Our German office is engaged in system and software research activities, with leading supercomputer centers including Leibnitz Rechenzentrum, Juelich Supercomputer Center, and CSC. Now, with the SBU deal in place, we have taken our first step in bringing Russian supercomputer technologies to the U.S. market," says Vsevolod Opanasenko, CEO of T-Platforms. "Our expertise helped us gain an edge to win the tender and to implement this landmark project. We are looking forward to a broader cooperation between T-Platforms and SBU, and we hope it will pave the way towards broader engagement with US academic and scientific organizations."