The Cy-Tera supercomputer at The Cyprus Institute is the first national supercomputer facility open to all scientists in Cyprus, being in operation since May 2012. It operates following the model of other established European supercomputing centers and was funded through the infrastructure call of the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation and its operations are supported through the EU project LinkSCEEM-2 coordinated by The Cyprus Institute. It is important to note that the facility is of regional relevance being currently the largest available computational resource for academic research in the Eastern Mediterranean. It demonstrates the leadership role that Cyprus can play in the region and its potential of becoming an educational and research bridge between Eastern Mediterranean and the EU.
The successful operation of the machine is being carried out by an operational team which not only takes care of the day-to-day operation of Cy-Tera but also provides user support and training to help scientists to fully utilise the system. The up time of the machine is comparable to that of established supercomputing centers showing the successful management of the facility.
Cy-Tera is celebrating its first year of successful operation. Within the first 12 month of operation some 80 research projects were started on Cy-Tera. This gave 117 scientists access to this large scale computational facility. So far, the projects consumed 8 million core hours (7 million CPU and 1 million GPU hours) of computational time. A similar amount of computation could be achieved by a standard double core laptop over the period of 456 years of continuous operation. The scientific simulations that were performed on Cy-Tera produced in the order of 70TB (terra bytes) of data. For comparison, the same amount of storage could hold the entire human genome 100,000 times or the content of the bible 17 million times (size of human genome is approx. 700 MB, the bible contains 4,349,617 characters including whitespace).
Scientists and technical staff provided extensive user support on all levels of experience, ranging from new users to advanced users. The user helpdesk already resolved 843 support requests since its start. New users were guided on the machine through preparatory access where the operational team offered expertise in code parallelisation and general guidance for the use of such large system. Advanced user support was provided to more experienced users in form of code performance analysis. In parallel, a wealth of training programs were offered nationally and regionally to introduce scientists to this novel research infrastructure. Jointly with the LinkSCEEM-2 project (www.linksceem.eu) and PRACE (http://www.prace-project.eu) training was provided in more than 25 workshops and user meetings in Cyprus and across the region. The training programs were also supplemented with online self-learning facilities provided by LinkSCEEM and hosted at The Cyprus Institute. The achievements above could only be reached relying on the collaboration and expertise of world leading computational centres such as NCSA in the USA (http://www.ncsa.illinois.edu) and the Juelich Supercomputing Centre in Germany (http://www.fz-juelich.de/ias/jsc).
Scientists from the first access period are now analysing the valuable data produced on Cy-Tera to further advance science and help to give Cyprus the competitive edge it needs to secure a prosperous future. Work on Cy-Tera continues with a second access period that started 6 month ago and a third access period having started recently in May 2013.
The first year of Cy-Tera in numbers:
- Projects running: 80 (preparatory and production access)
- Users on Cy-Tera: 117
- Utilization of the machine: 8 million core hours
- User support: 857 support requests received, 843 support requests resolved
- Training: more than 25 training events in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean
For more information please visit www.cyi.ac.cy/rd/cytera.html
Cy-Tera (ΝΕΑ ΥΠΟΔΟΜΗ/ΣΤΡΑΤΗ/0308/31) is co- financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research Promotion Foundation and the EU infrastructure project LinkSCEEM-2 (under Grant agreement no: 261600), that is led by CyI. Access to the machine is free to all scientists in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean region based on merit, facilitated through a peer review process and an international panel of evaluators.