PRACE: Europe’s supercomputing infrastructure relies on GÉANT


PRACE: Europe’s supercomputing infrastructure relies on GÉANT

How does a researcher test out treatments on the human heart—without putting patients at risk?
How does a scientist predict if certain cloud formations will become severe weather—so she can warn disaster teams?
How does a car designer test out new materials in a collision—without building a new car every time?
The only way to do these things is via computer simulation and modelling.
However, 3D modelling and accurate simulations require massive processing power. 

The kind you can only attain through High Performance Computing (HPC).
But where would you find such a computer? And how would you gain access to it?
Enter: PRACE.
PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe), is a supercomputing infrastructure, with partners across 26 member countries.
Its mission is to advance scientific discovery across all disciplines. And it does this by giving researchers access to world-class computing and data management via a peer review process.

Big Data. Faster analysis.

HPC greatly speeds up calculations and the analysis of research data, which once may have taken years to complete, or would have been impossible altogether.
Result: faster development of new medicines, treatments, tools, products and services with potential for real societal benefit.

We’ve only just scratched the surface.

HPC is heavily used in research domains such as climate, weather & earth sciences, energy, life sciences, and future materials. And in industry, too, for instance, Rolls-Royce, is on its way to building a virtual “whole-engine-design”.
But as more people discover its innovation potential, we’re seeing it across social media, geology, archaeology, urban planning, graphics, genomics, economics, game design and even music.
HPC has huge potential for the advancement of mankind, and we’ve just only begun.

A big data challenge

To make all this possible, PRACE needs a dedicated network capable of handling the massive volumes of data generated by computational scientists.
The original infrastructure—built on private, dedicated, links all collapsing into a single central hub was costly, represented a single point of failure, and was reaching its end-of-life.
This was a serious challenge, for which PRACE urgently needed a partner to collaborate on solving it — and so they turned to GÉANT.

Supercharging the data flow

After a successful Proof of Concept, GÉANT built a new network infrastructure for PRACE, providing high-speed connectivity through its Multidomain Virtual Private Network (MD-VPN) service.
This is provided by GÉANT and its National Research and Education (NREN) partners. Together they deliver the reliability, flexibility, resilience and cost-effectiveness PRACE needs.

The European Data Infrastructure (EDI).
GÉANT and PRACE are also part of an EC initiative called the European Data Infrastructure (EDI). Its aim is to get HPC in Europe achieving extremely high speeds. We’re talking Exaflops (1018 or 1 Quintillion of operations per second).



The use of GÉANT’s scalable IP networking services allows a vast range of projects to access and use PRACE’s services to conduct world-class science.
The Human Brain Project for example, takes its computing capacity from HPC centres across Europe, with 25 systems on 18 sites, in 14 countries.
Thanks to GÉANT and PRACE, high impact scientific discovery and engineering research and development are enhancing European competitiveness.

All of it, ultimately, for the benefit of society.

Stay updated on PRACE’s latest scientific applications by reading their success stories here.

What does GÉANT offer?

2 Exabytes* a year is already carried at high speed and low latency

* (That’s 2 BILLION Gigabytes!)

Federating services and architecture plus eduroam, the worldwide wi-fi roaming service

Europe-wide procurement frameworks for tailored, market leading cloud offerings

40+ NRENs, extensive partnerships, programmes, workshops, task forces and events

The research GÉANT enables touches almost every aspect of our lives. Not only that, but its networking technology is shaping the internet of tomorrow.

Find out more on the

GÉANT website

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