Northern Universities Gain SGI Cluster With Esteem’s Help

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Eight northern universities will share the benefits of an HPC system designed by Esteem

Eight northern universities have improved supercomputing facilities following the installation of a shared SGI UV2 cluster designed by Esteem.

SGI dubbed its cluster “The Big Brain Computer” because of its claim to provide the world’s largest in-memory system for data-intensive applications.

Universal research

The universities of Manchester, Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield and York operate under the name of the N8 Research Partnership to maximise their procurement of  high power computing (HPC) systems for research.

Design planFunds to purchase the SGI UV2 were awarded to the Health eResearch Centre (HeRC) at the University of Manchester by the Medical Research Council (MRC). Under the N8 agreement, the cluster has been installed at Leeds University but all of the N8 universities are linked in to allow access.

With its 4TB of memory and 256 Intel Xeon cores, the SGI UV2 will open new avenues of research and address a class of problems on a magnitude greater than any of the existing infrastructure could manage, Esteem said.

Deputy director of 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.”

Specialist HPC systems provider Esteem designed, installed and commissioned the computer within tight timescales. Joe Connolly, CEO of Esteem, 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.”

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Author: Eric Doyle
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