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New beowulf cluster at EDF (200 Tflops) based on Debian 6.0 Squeeze

The Debian Project                                     http://www.debian.org/
New beowulf cluster at EDF based on Debian 6.0 Squeeze       press@debian.org
July 29th, 2011                      http://www.debian.org/News/2011/20110729

New beowulf cluster at EDF (200 Tflops) based on Debian 6.0 Squeeze

Électricité de France S.A. is pleased to announce that its new
supercomputer, which is 200 Tflops and 43rd in the latest TOP500 (June
2011) [1], is based on Debian Squeeze.

  1: http://www.top500.org/system/10804

This supercomputer, called Ivanoe, is made of compute nodes, graphical
nodes, connexion servers and infrastructure servers.  This represents 1454
IDataPlex IBM Servers and 200 Tflops.

Compute nodes, graphical nodes and connexion servers are fully diskless and
bootstrap thanks to the "Debian Live Project" [2], but we still have
servers that are installed on disk thanks to "Fully Automatic Installation"
[3] which are configured by "Puppet" [4].

  2: http://www.debian.org/CD/live/
  3: http://fai-project.org/
  4: http://projects.puppetlabs.com/projects/puppet

To achieve this installation EDF teams of engineers had to integrate
several proprietary software components in the Debian environment, more
precisely the General Parallel File System (GPFS) which is an IBM product
and the Infiniband QLogic driver which is used for the Infiniband network.

The system image has been generated based on the offical Debian repository
and is made up of 900 packages. The packages installed match the
requirements for the EDF calculus software that is used by the company.

The teams of engineers that have worked on this project would like to thank
Stefano Zacchiroli for his help and his availability, thank all Debian
Developers for the quality of their contributions to the community, and
finally, thank IBM, the manufacturer, for helping us support Debian on
their hardware.

EDF has chosen an homogenisation strategy for its scientific computing
based on a common stack of software, namely Debian. An internal team of
engineers is in charge of developing and adapting the distribution to match
the specific needs of scientific computing. Debian at EDF represents 1050
workstations dedicated to scientific usage and 9 beowulf clusters which
represent 2132 compute nodes.

About EDF Group

EDF Group, one of the leaders in the energy market in Europe, is a
comprehensive energy service provider with operations in every sector,
including energy generation, transport, distribution, trading and sales.
The Group is the leading electricity producer in Europe. EDF's transport
and distribution subsidiaries operate 1,285,000 km of low and medium
voltage overhead and underground electricity lines and around 100,000 km of
high and very high voltage networks. The Group is involved in supplying
energy and services to more than 28 million customers in France.

About Debian

The Debian Project was founded in 1993 by Ian Murdock to be a truly free
community project. Since then the project has grown to be one of the
largest and most influential open source projects.  Thousands of volunteers
from all over the world work together to create and maintain Debian
software. Available in 70 languages, and supporting a huge range of
computer types, Debian calls itself the "universal operating system".

Contact Information

For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at
http://www.debian.org/ or send mail to <press@debian.org>.

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