09 April 2018
The UK’s leading environmental science supercomputer is being upgraded to offer double the storage capacity.
JASMIN gives the European climate and Earth-system science communities the ability to access very large sets of environmental data, which are typically too big for them to download to their own computers.
Its 1,700 registered users can then process these data sets very quickly which reduces the time it takes to test new ideas and get results from months or weeks to days or hours.
Dr. Victoria Bennett, head of RAL Space’s Centre for Environmental Data Analysis which jointly manages JASMIN, says: “For example, the current Sentinel Earth observation satellites alone are producing 10TB of data every day and this will grow as more are launched as part of the EC’s Copernicus programme.
This upgrade will allow us to build on the successes we’ve already seen in enabling our users in the science community to efficiently process and analyse these massive datasets.”
When JASMIN was brought online six years ago it only had 4.5PB of storage. Since then, it has been expanded and this latest upgrade will double the available storage to more than 44PB. It will also add around 40 per cent to the processing capability, with 11,500 cores on 600 nodes, similar to adding the power of several thousand high-end laptops.
The upgrade involves the integration of computing equipment from many suppliers, a specialised new network, the development and deployment of new software, and the migration of petabytes of archived data from old hardware that is now in need of retirement.
The entire process will take many months, from the integration of the first new equipment in March until the last of the old storage is retired. Completion is expected by the end of 2018.
Jonathan Churchill, JASMIN systems architect and manager for the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Scientific Computing Department, said: “the compute upgrade will provide not only much needed extra batch computing cores but also provide the deep, on-demand cloud computing capacity and flexibility that releases new analysis environments to our science communities.”