Fujitsu, KAU delivers new HPC system

tech-sciKing Abdulaziz University (KAU) and Fujitsu recently announced the delivery of a new supercomputing system. KAU switched on the system, and in so doing, inaugurated a Centre of Excellence that will support the many researchers and scientists affiliated with KAU.

The new system is expected to boost research capabilities in meteorology and climate modelling, engineering, nano technology, aeronautics, genomic research, real-time vision, bioinformatics, water desalination, and industry-specific numerical simulations in the Kingdom. Through the Centre of Excellence, KAU will study possible impacts on the society in the Kingdom such as climate change and also work in collaboration with world wide scientific communities, regional universities, government departments and commercial organisations on research projects that can benefit from the computer’s capacity.

Building on over 30 years of experience in high performance computing (HPC) development, the integrated and certified cluster-type supercomputer consists of Fujitsu PRIMERGY servers and storage systems that include models from the FUJITSU Storage ETERNUS series. The result is a system that has the necessary reliability to deliver excellent performance of scientific and engineering applications.

Prof. Abdulfattah Mashat, VP of Development, King Abdulaziz University, “As the largest university in Saudi Arabia, we deliver a global standard in research resources that supports the public and private sector in the Kingdom. We also focus on developing our ICT solutions that allows over 160,000 students to flourish at KAU. As a consequence, our investment in Fujitsu’s HPC technology helped KAU deliver upon its responsibilties by providing a reliable solution for students, academics and researches, who can leverage our new Centre of Excellence and the technical support it will provide.”

Fujitsu will also provide on-site maintainence and training to help implement and operate the project in close collaboration with KAU.

Whilst the Department of Meteorology, Environment and Arid Land Agriculture commissioned the project, the faculty of Computer and Information Technology and Genomic Research Centre provided individual specifications to help Fujitsu deliver a bespoke system that is a one-stop solution for a wide variety of research endevours.

The new system is fully operated and maintained by Fujitsu on-site professionals. The on-site team has HPC engineers and code optimisers, in addition to PhD holders in the field of HPC, and has an ambitious plan to build capacities and dissiminate HPC knowledge to KAU researchers.

Akira Kabemoto, Head of Service Platform Business, Fujitsu Limited, “The demand for HPC technology is increasing and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and KAU understand the value it will add for industries such as aerospace, meteorology, healthcare, energy, environment and education and for the development of smart cities. As a consequence, we worked in close collaboration with KAU to develop a solution that can deliver the necessary capacity to perform the most sophisticated, computer-intensive simulations/modeling for the country.”

Fujitsu assigns dedicated personnel specialised in climate change research and code optimisation to support the Centre of Excellence for Climate Change Research of KAU so that it will utilise the full potential of this state-of-the-art system as it performs weather and climate research.

The system has been called Aziz and was officially switched on by His Royal Highness Prince Mishaal bin Majed bin Abdul Aziz, alongside Akira Kabemoto, Head of Service Platform Business, Fujitsu Limited, at a ceremony attended by over 250 researchers, academics, and students.

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