Barcelona Centro Nacional de Supercomputacion Visit 2016
The Centro Nacional de Supercomputacion (BSC/CNS) is the peak national HPC facility in Spain and is home to MareNostrum (1.1 Pflops, 48,896 Intel Sandy Bridge processors in 3,056 nodes, including 84 Xeon Phi 5110P in 42 nodes, and 2 PB of storage; 29th system in the top500 in June 2013). They also have Mino Tauro, a heterogeneous GPGPU cluster. MareNostrum is not the most powerful system in the world, but it is the most beautiful. It is housed in the Chapel Torre Girona, a 19th century (deconsecrated) church.
The BSC/CNS has an extensive PhD and Masters programs (with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia), internship, and diverse training programme with PRACE, including programming, performance analysis, data analytics, and HPC systems administration. The Centre has a very active outreach programme, encouraging regular visits to their data centre, as well as an extensive training and lecture series.
The visit to the Centre was carried out with Research Platforms and NeCTAR and was advertised as part of the Severo Ochoa Research Seminar Lectures. After the lectures, we had an extensive discussion on the state and distribution of IaaS cloud deployments, and the internship programme that the BSC offers with other similar institutions, followed by a tour of the Torre Girona data center. We were also treated to a very memorable lunch at a local Catalan restaurant, Restaurante Pati Blau. It was a fine way to conclude the 2016 tour of European HPC facilities.
Special thanks are given to the members of the various European facilities who took their time to accommodate my visit and provide tours of their facilities. This includes (my deepest apologies for names I’ve overlooked!) Vassil Alexandrov, Maria-Ribera Sancho, Fabrizio Gagliardi, Javier A. Espinosa Oviedo at the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre