The research line on “Advanced Computing and e-Science” at IFCA started around 2002 to support the requirements for simulation and data processing of large international collaborations, like CMS at LHC or ESA Planck mission. In time we broaden our interest towards new application domains: simulation of the evolution of water resources, integration of remote instrumentation, or support to biodiversity and ecological models in the context of the ESFRI Lifewatch.
Since early 2002 IFCA contributes to the computing tasks at the CMS experiment at LHC, which were ultimately consolidated in 2005 when the Spanish Tier-2 was established. As of now the Tier-2 at IFCA is contributing to WLCG with a computing capacity of around 2.8K cores and 1 PB of data storage, accessed through a 10-Gigabit Ethernet WAN connectivity.
In the last years we have evolved towards Cloud computing. IFCA supports the FedCloud infrastructure of EGI. It participates in the EOSC-Hub H2020 project and coordinates the DEEP Hybrid-Datacloud H2020 project.
Regarding Software development our expertise includes support to IaaS based on OpenStack, and on PaaS tools. IFCA-CSIC is a founder and signatory of the INDIGO-Datacloud Software Collaboration Agreement. More information on the IFCA Advanced computing group can be found here
Cloud computing resources are offered following a Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model based on OpenStack Cloud management framework. Following the first deployment back in 2011, based of OpenStack Cactus release, the Cloud infrastructure was gradually consolidated as the underlying technology for managing the compute, storage and networking resources of production services.
Currently IFCA Cloud is offering resources to different academia and industry research organizations, as well as being used to effectively provision and manage services for internal operation, and pledged services to support scientific communities in different infrastructures, such as the EGI FedCloud or WLCG. Cloud offerings range from computing resources, up to 80 vCPUs and 1 Tb of RAM in the same virtual machine, to block and object storage systems. Specialized hardware such as GPUs and low-latency Infiniband interconnects are also accessible through IFCA Cloud infrastructure.
IFCA entered the supercomputing field with the installation in 2007 of the ALTAMIRA node of the University of Cantabria within the Spanish Supercomputing Network (RES). The ALTAMIRA node was upgraded in June 2012 with the installation of a new system at IFCA datacenter room. The current systems in the ALTAMIRA node include an HPC cluster of 158 IBM-idataplex dx360m4 servers, each one with 2xE5-2670 Intel Sandybridge Xeon processors, 64GB RAM and all of them interconnected with Infiniband FDR40 cards and switches from Mellanox in FAT tree toplogy, completing a system with more than 2500 cores and a peak capacity of 50 Tflops.
The supercomputing services at IFCA also include support for large and high-performance data storage, advanced network support, and adaptation and optimization of parallel applications.
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