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High Performance Computing and Visualization with the SGI Grid for Virtual Laboratory Applications

The SGIgrid project aims to design and implement:

  • state-of-the-art, broadband services for remote access to expensive laboratory equipment
  • backup computational center
  • remote data-visualization service

These services will be based on the national HPC infrastructure and advanced visualization.

During the R&D stage we will build a testbed installation which will be used to prepare the aforementioned services and applications to be put into practice. For the hardware platform we proposed a cluster of SGI computers equipped with MIPS and Intel CPUs designed for intense computations and advanced visualization. The testbed installation will be partially provided by project participants while the remaining part will be provided by SGI. The R&D phase will result in middleware design as well as the aforementioned applications.

The middleware will provide users with transparent access to available resources - including the existing and future data storage systems. The tasks proposed in our project concern essential Grid technologies. Basing on the middleware structure we will develop the virtual laboratory, parallel visualization system and backup computing center for IMGW.

During the deployment phase we will focus on extending the hardware and software infrastructure for a system of virtual laboratories (located in Gdansk, Lodz, Wroclaw, Krakow and Poznan). Furthermore, we will put into practice the backup computing center for IMGW located in Warsaw. Also, during this stage the number of centers providing parallel visualization for HPC will be increased.

As an additional valuable result we also consider the experience in organizing and administering a nationwide, unified computing environment. The SGIgrid project will provide users of Polish HPC centers with high, aggregated computational power, bring savings due to better utilization of software licenses and also bring other immeasurable savings since the infrastructure will be used to build a backup computational center for IMiGW which is covered by the System of Country Monitoring and Protection.

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