Weather service gets double supercomputing boost

​Cray upgrades two big beasts at the German weather service
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

The Cray XC-40: The Met office is among the users of the state-of-the-art supercomputer.

Photo: Cray

Germany's National Meteorological Service - the Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) - is buying an upgrade for its two Cray supercomputers. The centre currently has two Cray XC-30 computers which it bought in 2013.


DWD's Dibbern: "It's imperative that we equip our users with highly advanced supercomputing technologies."


According to the DWD's Dr. Jochen Dibbern, the upgraded Crays are critical tools for the center's researchers and scientists "and it's imperative that we equip our users with highly advanced supercomputing technologies."

Cray will upgrade and expand the supercomputers at DWD to Cray XC40 systems, which will include the new Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v4 product family.

As part of this upgrade, DWD will also receive additional Cray Sonexion 2000 scale-out Lustre storage capacity, and a future 12-node Cray CS400 system with the next-generation of the Intel Xeon Phi processor.

Cray said the contract to upgrade and expand the systems at DWD is valued at about $11m. Product deliveries are expected next year, the company said.

The new systems will enable significant improvement in the DWD's weather prediction models said Hugo Saleh of the High Performance Computing Platform Group at Intel. "Cray supercomputers and Intel's Xeon processor E5-2695 v4 and Intel Xeon Phi processor, which are both part of Intel's Scalable System Framework, will help DWD researchers and scientists to improve the resolution of regional and worldwide weather forecasts," he said.

According to Cray, the XC series along with the Cray CS line of cluster supercomputers and the Cray CS-Storm enable peak performance boosts of, "up to 30 percent for new and existing Cray XC and Cray CS systems over previous generations".

The UK's Met Office along with the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting and Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, are amongst the big users of Cray supercomputers.

Further Reading:

IBM's 'brain-inspired' supercomputer to help watch over US nuclear arsenal

CSIRO receives new Dell-powered Pearcey supercomputer

Monash University receives MASSIVE supercomputer upgrade

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