Poland on the European map of e-Infrastructure

Poland is one of the countries considered to be leaders in the global context in the development of IT infrastructure for science, especially with regard to its components – advanced research and education networks: metropolitan MANs and national PIONIER, which guarantee data transmission parameters at a level corresponding to ambitious plans for the construction of pan-European infrastructure connecting HPC centers.

Since 2015, the Polish HPC centers have been connected with a unique, dedicated 100Net optical network of 400 Gb/s and n*100 Gb/s (100 Gb/s between each pair of HPC centers) (Fig. 1).


Fig. 1 HPC Cloud infrastructure in PIONIER – Polish Optical Internet

All the scientific institutions in MAN networks are connected with a dedicated 100 Gb/s channels to the nearest HPC center. In addition, the 100Net network is also connected to the CERN in Geneva and to major European traffic exchange points (including Amsterdam, Frankfurt and London) providing direct connectivity to global e–Infrastructure components, including the following PRACE, LOFAR, GLIF, EGI (Fig. 2) and organizing access to this infrastructure for both the Polish and European scientific community. It should be emphasized that the PIONIER network has established cross-border fiber optic connections with all the scientific networks of the countries neighboring Poland, and a large part of the scientific cooperation is carried out thanks to these connections.

Poznan is also a node of the pan-European GÉANT research network and connected to the PIONIER 100Gb/s network.


Fig. 2 Connections of 100Net to the main nodes in Europe


Research and development work carried out at PSNC in the field of technology for HPC

Polish HPC centers have been cooperating for many years in national and European R&D projects and providing advanced services for enterprises and other entities, making a significant contribution to the development of infrastructure and the state of knowledge and technologies related to HPC. PSNC's work on European projects such as GÉANT, EGI, INDIGO, EUDAT2020, EVER-EST, DataBio or EOSC-hub involves the construction of European e–Infrastructures and the development and deployment of new services and tools in European research infrastructures.

Poland participates in 57 European projects of Horizon 2020 in the Research Infrastructure area, of which 25 of these projects are implemented by the leading HPC centers. These data indicate the significant potential of the infrastructure, services and digital technologies that Polish HPC centers bring to the European infrastructure. Of the 34 research projects carried out by PSNC in Horizon 2020, 19 are related to the Excellent Science pillar (including 14 projects related to the development of European e-Infrastructure). It is worth noting that out of the 23 projects implemented in Europe in the field of FET-HPC (Future and Emerging Technologies - HPC), two of them involve PSNC and this is the only Polish participation in the development of HPC technology within the FET-HPC initiative. They are:
•    COMPAT (Computing Patterns for High Performance Multiscale Computing)[1] and  
•    ESCAPE (Energy-efficient Scalable Algorithms for Weather Prediction at Exascale)[2].  

PSNC also participates in Centers of Excellence projects dedicated to the use of HPC technology in new applications using Exascale technologies of the future - two projects out of 8 referred to:
•    Coegss (Centre of Excellence for Global System Science)[3] and
•    EOCOE (Energy Oriented Centre of Excellence for Computing Applications)[4].
In recent years, PSNC has also been involved in European initiatives to build the EOSC (European Open Science Cloud) through its participation in the EOSC Pilot project or in the newly established EOSC-hub project.

Thanks to the active participation of PSNC in HPC projects, Poland is also represented in the relatively new European Technology Platform (ETP) in the area of High-Performance Computing (HPC) in the relatively new European ETP4HPC initiative.

PSNC is the coordinator of the European M2DC (Microserver Data Centre)[5] project, which aims to create a new class of low-power and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) server systems, as well as embedded components to improve energy efficiency, performance and reliability. The project will result in prototypes of server systems optimized for specific classes of applications including: image processing and postproduction, data processing from the Internet of things, cloud environments and high-performance computing.[6] Fourteen partners are involved in the M2DC project, including leading companies such as ARM, Huawei, Vodafone, CEWE. The M2DC project is largely based on the results of research and development of another European CoolEmAll project (Platform for optimizing the design and operation of modular configurable IT infrastructures and facilities with resource-efficient cooling) coordinated by PSNC under the 7th Framework Programme.

The M2DC project has developed PSNC hardware and software tools for simulation, visualization and analysis of modular data centers along with prototypes of energy-efficient computing modules used to build data centers.

PSNC also carries out research and development related to the challenges of Exascale systems and tools and services supporting the creation and execution of scientific multiscale simulations on high-performance and next-generation computing systems, in collaboration with leading large scale computer simulation teams e.g. in the field of nuclear fusion, bio-medicine and nanotechnology within previously mentioned EOCOE or COEGSS projects.  
PSNC brings important components and tools to the dedicated Exascale software stack. This work is carried out within the framework of European and national projects (e.g. NCN Maestro grant - Energy-efficient models and algorithms for future generations of computer systems and networks).

An important area of activity of the Polish HPC Centers is the development of HPC technologies conducted in cooperation with the leading manufacturers in the world.  PSNC operates centers of excellence and prototyping centers established by companies such as NVIDIA and Huawei. In addition, PSNC executes a contract with Brocade in the use of artificial intelligence techniques to analyze network events. The work of the PSNC-Huawei Innovation Centre in this area concerns the optimization of parallel computing software for new supercomputing architectures and optimization of the computing system, in particular for DLC-cooled systems (Direct Liquid Cooling)[7].



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