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

July 29th, 2011

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

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, but we still have servers that are installed on disk thanks to Fully Automatic Installation which are configured by 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 official 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.

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