Free Compute for Research in Egypt


The Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), the new Library of Alexandria in Egypt, has always been keen on providing researchers with the resources they need - be it books, periodicals, online databases, or the organization of conferences and events that are related to any of the various domains of scientific research. Today, much of the scientific research being conducted requires the use of advanced computational resources for carrying out simulations and analyzing data. For that reason and in holding up to its commitment towards supporting scientific research in Egypt, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina has been operating its own supercomputing facility within the BA's International School of Information Science since 2009.
The BA Supercomputing Facility offers researchers in Egypt merit-based access to a High-Performance Computing (HPC) cluster - the BA-HPC - where they may conduct simulated experiments and process data.


History


The first High-Performance Computing (HPC) cluster - BA-HPC C1 - was installed in 2009 as a joint project with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Egypt. C1 continued to serve researchers in Egypt for years onward and well into 2016. C1 also hosted numerous projects allocated through the LinkSCEEM-2 European project, where the BA was partner. And beyond the LinkSCEEM-2 project closure in 2014, C1 went on to hosting projects allocated through the Cy-Tera and Eastern Mediterranean HPC Production Access Call. Resources from C1 were also utilized in carrying out large-scale image processing for the book digitization workflow at the BA. As of August 2016, C1 has been host to 46 projects and has logged a total of 8,526,115 core hours of parallel processing time.


Meet the Machine


The current BA High-Performance Computing (HPC) machine is BA-HPC C2, where "C2" is short for "Compute Cluster, Version 2." The C2 parallel compute cluster is capable of a theoretical peak performance that exceeds 100 TFLOPS. The cluster includes scratch storage provided via the Lustre parallel file system, InfiniBand networking for high-speed interconnect, as well as General-Purpose Graphics Processing Units (GPGPUs) that serve as accelerators.
The new BA-HPC C2 cluster that has recently been installed at the BA facility August 2016 shall continue the mission of the BA Supercomputing Facility to serve as High-Performance Computing platform for research projects at Egypt's universities and research institutes. The C2 cluster shall also provide allocations for researchers within the EC-funded VI-SEEM project, where the BA is to provide HPC as well as storage resources.


BA-HPC C2 BA-HPC C1
Overall theoretical peak performance 118.47 TFLOPS 11.77 TFLOPS
CPU theoretical peak performance 88.55 TFLOPS 11.77 TFLOPS
GPU theoretical peak performance 29.92 TFLOPS
CPU model (CPU nodes) 2x Intel Xeon E5-2680 v3 2x Intel Xeon E5440
CPU model (GPU nodes) 2x Intel Xeon E5-2630 v3
GPU model NVIDIA Tesla K80
Fabric interconnect 40-Gbps QDR InfiniBand 10-Gbps DDR InfiniBand
Total power consumption 53.32 kW 90 kW
# of CPU nodes 82 130
# of CPUs in CPU nodes 164 260
# of CPU cores in CPU nodes 1968 1040
# of GPU nodes 16
Total # of GPUs 16
Total # of GPU cores 79872
# of CPUs in GPU nodes 32
# of CPU cores in GPU nodes 256
Total RAM (CPU nodes) 10.5 TB 1 TB
Total RAM (GPU nodes) 1 TB
RAM per CPU node 128 TB 8 TB
RAM per CPU core (CPU nodes) 5.33 GB 1 GB
RAM per GPU node 64 GB
RAM per CPU core (GPU nodes) 4.00 GB
Raw shared storage 288 TB 36 TB

Meet the Users


The BA-HPC has the pleasure to have been host to diverse research projects affiliated with renown academic and research institutions in Egypt, as well as to have also been host to research projects allocated through regional partnerships.
Our users include: