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University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne joins forces with Bull and Microsoft to make computer simulation more accessible to SMEs

Paris, November  16, 2010 -

The University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Bull and Microsoft today announce that they have signed a partnership agreement to provide open access to the University's new bullx® supercomputer to the widest possible range of users, both from higher education and industry.

The new partnership will enable a new hybrid operating environment to be implemented across the entire bullx supercomputer recently acquired by the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne. The supercomputer, which has been installed at the University's Champagne-Ardenne Computing Center, delivers some 6 Teraflops of power. Known as "Clovis", it has significantly increased the capacity of the Computing Center, and is destined to meet the intensive computing needs of researchers and businesses in the Champagne-Ardenne region.

Linux or Microsoft: no need to choose

Those who wish to use Clovis can access its powerful processing capacity via either a Linux® environment - traditionally favoured by scientists and experts in High-Performance Computing (HPC) - or Microsoft® Windows® HPC Server 2008 R2, which is better suited to meeting the needs of local businesses as it offers a more familiar Windows® environment which is accessible to non-specialists.

Over and above its computing resources, the Computing Center is also offering businesses and researchers support in using its intensive computing tools, as well as expertise in a range of advanced scientific and technical areas, enabling them to benefit from the very latest technologies. This represents a significant advantage in today's highly competitive economic environment, where computer modeling and simulations can help to cut costs and shorten product development timescales for new projects.

According to Professor Michaël Krajecki, Director of the ROMEO Regional Computing Center in Champagne-Ardenne: "Supporting academic research in the Champagne-Ardenne region, the medium-sized Champagne-Ardenne Computing Center is positioning itself in between the large-scale national computing centers and the internal computing resources available to local research labs and SMEs. Adopting a hybrid environment, in partnership with Bull and Microsoft, ensures that our Clovis supercomputer is more accessible to everyone."

"We are proud that the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne is the first medium-sized computing facility to offer a hybrid Linux-Windows environment," said Muriel Barthelemy, HPC Sales Engineer at Microsoft France. "This openness will give SMEs in this region access to a familiar, easy-to-operate environment, which will undoubtedly encourage users to become customers of this Data Center. The close working relationship between the teams from the University, Bull and Microsoft should provide us with some useful lessons, which other organizations are awaiting with interest."

"In 2006, we installed the romeo2 computer at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne," said Pascal Barbolosi, Vice-President and Director of Bull's Extreme Computing business in France. "Now, in 2010, it has been followed by the Clovis supercomputer, based on bullx blades and a bullx supernode, which will significantly boost the available processing power at the Reims Computing Center. This partnership - which brings together the University, Microsoft and Bull - is another important step towards greater democratization of computing power, designed to meet both the requirements of professional researchers and the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises who are already familiar with Windows environments."

An ambitious research program

The new supercomputer consists of 36 bullx blade servers as well as a bullx supernode SMP server and a bullx R425 E2 server equipped with GPU technology and a visualization node. With a total of 516 Intel® Xeon® processor cores, it is destined to support numerous different areas of scientific research, most notably in:

  • Mathematics and information technology: to help develop new approaches that will enable current parallel architectures to be used more effectively. This work takes priority over research in the following two areas

  • Physics and engineering sciences: running scientific computing applications in fluid mechanics, processes at the level of atmospheric particles, the fundamental processes involved in shaping materials, etc.

  • Modeling complex molecular systems: for a very wide range of objects such as electrode surfaces, proteins, atmospheric ice particles, organic molecules, complex minerals- The fact that the computing platform is situated in close proximity to the theoretical Chemists based in Reims has encouraged significant growth in this area.

About the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (URCA)

With a clear focus on excellence, the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne educates over 22,000 students a year.

Its research programs - involving its 750 nationally and internationally recognized researchers and research students - are mainly concentrated in five areas: Natural Sciences and Healthcare; Mathematics, Information and Communications Technology and Nanotechnologies; Agrosciences, Earth and Environmental Sciences; Chemistry and Engineering Sciences; and the Humanities and Social Sciences.

By orienting its education programs (from technical diplomas to PhDs) more and more towards the real issues faced by society, through lessons drawing on this innovative research, the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne has successfully highlighted its strengths as a multi-disciplinary, multi-site establishment to emphasize its role in the economic development of the region.

Press contacts (URCA)

Marie Odette Victor - Tél : +33 (0)3 26 91 39 41 - marie-odette.victor@univ-reims.fr
(Centre de calcul ROMEO) Arnaud Renard - Tél : +33 (0) 3 26 91 85 91 - arnaud.renard@univ-reims.fr

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

The company develops and markets a wide range of software, accessories and services for business and personal use. Microsoft's mission is to use its expertise, its capacity for innovation and the passion that drives the business to support its customers' and partners' projects, ambitions and creativity, in order to ensure that its technology is the best ally when it comes to realizing their potential. Established in 1983, Microsoft France employs almost 1,400 people. Eric Boustouller has been General Manager of Microsoft France since 1 February 2005.

Press contacts (Microsoft)

i&e Consultants
Séverine Godet : +33(0)1 56 03 12 13
Ghislain Garesse : + 33 (0)1 56 03 12 22
Marina Hathorn : + 33 (0)1 56 03 12 19
Dedicated e-mail : microsoft@i-e.fr

Microsoft France
Guillaume Tourres : +33 06 64 40 48 39
e-mail : gtourres@microsoft.com

About Bull, an Atos company


Bull is the trusted partner for enterprise data. The Group, which is firmly established in the Cloud and in Big Data, integrates and manages high-performance systems and end-to-end security solutions. Bull's offerings enable its customers to process all the data at their disposal, creating new types of demand. Bull converts data into value for organisations in a completely secure manner.

Bull currently employs around 9,200 people across more than 50 countries, with over 700 staff totally focused on R&D. In 2013, Bull recorded revenues of €1.3 billion.

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About Atos

Atos SE (Societas Europaea) is a leader in digital services with 2013 pro forma annual revenue of €10 billion and 86,000 employees in 66 countries. Serving a global client base, the Group provides Consulting & Systems Integration services, Managed Services & BPO, Cloud operations, Big Data & Security solutions, as well as transactional services through Worldline, the European leader in the payments and transactional services industry. With its deep technology expertise and industry knowledge, the Group works with clients across different business sectors: Defence, Health, Manufacturing, Media & Utilities, Public Sector, Retail, Telecommunications and Transportation.

Atos is focused on business technology that powers progress and helps organizations to create their firm of the future. The Group is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic & Paralympic Games and is listed on the Euronext Paris market. Atos operates under the brands Atos, Atos Consulting, Atos Worldgrid, Bull, Canopy, and Worldline.

For more information, visit: atos.net

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Phone: +33 1 58 04 05 02
E-mail: aurelie.negro@bull.net

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Aurélie Negro
+33 1 58 04 05 02