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German Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (BAW) optimizes navigable waterways using a Bull supercomputer

Performance and operating reliability are central to the mission of the Bundesanstalt für Wasserbau (BAW), responsible for one of the most complex tasks in the German High-Performance Computing (HPC) sphere.

Salt Lake City, November  14, 2012 -

The German Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (BAW) operates on behalf of the federal administration for navigable waterways and navigation (WSV) in the areas of research and computing. The BAW Institute carries out 2 and 3D modeling of the flows in rivers and canals, models structures that generate currents and analyses the reliability of morphodynamic (formant relief) models.

Enhanced supercomputer availability and flexibility: an absolute priority

"Given the complexity of three-dimensional flow phenomena, it is not always east to predict how our projects are going to evolve," explains Thomas Damrau, IT Manager at the BAW Institue. "Our employees regularly need to make significant modifications to models and the various parameters, and even may have to change the source code. That involves testing and validating the computing code that has been change, so they need direct, rapid access to the Data Center. This means that the BAW Institute's supercomputer has to constantly adapt to evolving needs."

Reliable performance for complex calculations

The BAW Institute's supercomputer consists of a cluster of seven bullx blade chassis with 126 processing nodes, representing a total of 2,016 cores. The processing nodes are connected via a high-speed InfiniBand QDR interconnect network, with an Ethernet network serving users and the network administrator. The blades were specifically designed by Bull intensive computing applications and are based on the latest generation of Intel® Xeon® processors (Sandy Bridge-EP), Quick Path Interconnect, DDR3 memory and QDR Infiniband technologies. The Panasas PAS12 storage systems connected via InfiniBand® deliver total capacity of 100 TB. Thanks to an innovative water-based cooling system, the supercomputer consumes very little energy. In addition, the heat it produces is collected in the system so it can easily be reused by the BAW Institute, for example for space heating.

A key feature of the configuration is the potential it offers to managers at the BAW Institute to monitor the system using the scVENUS management tools from science + computing AG, a Bull subsidiary. Another advantage is that the existing servers at the BAW Institute can also be administered using the same tool. "scVENUS - which is automatically installed by the operating system - allows to be configured the cluster environment, the necessary applications to be installed and optimizes task planning," explains Thomas Weselowski, Director of Extreme Computing, Bull Germany. scVENUS offers a wide choice of standard, proven HPC software, and are well suited to requirements, library administration tools and compilers. "This means we can provide the optimum response to users' demands, while at the same time improving the price/performance ratio by 10-15%," Thomas Weselowski adds.

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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.

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Aurélie Negro
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E-mail: aurelie.negro@bull.net

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