Europe's fastest IBM supercomputer powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise servers

What is claimed to be Europe’s most powerful supercomputer has officially been inaugurated by IBM.

SuperMUC, which was recognised at the ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Leibniz-Rechenzentrum (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Garching, Germany, is used to solve difficult scientific questions in physics and fluid dynamics.

Powered by a SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, it ranks number four in the June 2012 TOP 500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

The SuperMUC is a System X iDataPlex from IBM and has with more than 155,000 processor cores, which are claimed to deliver an aggregate peak performance of more than 3 Petaflops of computing power.

One feature that is said to make the computer stand out is what IBM describes as an “innovative, warm-water cooling technology”, which is said to be inspired by the human blood circulation. As a result this means it has a 40 percent less energy consumption than traditional air-cooled machines.

Additionally, the system allows energy to be captured and reused to heat the buildings of the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre Campus.

Dr. Herbert Huber, head of high-performance systems at the LRZ said that the SuperMUC was many times more efficient than its predecessor. He said where it made sense the team used frequency scaling, a Linux kernel function delivered with SUSE Linux Enterprise, which allowed them to run applications at their optimal operating point. This meant that wherever possible the campus used newly developed energy efficiency mechanisms in Linux.