Backgrounds and aims
In their recommendations for “strategical development of high performance computing”, the “Wissenschaftsrat” mentions HPC as a critical location factor for international scientific and industrial competition. In many academic fields computer-assisted simulations and data analysis have been established as an indispensable bridge between theory and experiment. Developments in high performance computing that can be summarized under the keywords Simulation Science and Data Intensive Science, are of crucial importance for many academic fields.
The state of North Rhine-Westphalia has a differentiated ecosystem of high performance computing facilities of level 0 and 1 (Forschungszentrum Jülich) within the “HPC supply pyramid”, of level 2 (Aachen, Cologne, Paderborn) up to high performance computers of level 3 at almost every university.
The work group HPC within the „Digitale Hochschule NRW“ (DH-NRW) developed a HPC federal state concept with the goal to advance the HPC ecosystem in North Rhine-Westphalia within the national HPC context.
With hpc.nrw, two measures of the HPC federal state concept are connected and implemented:
- Advice network HPC
- Establishment of personnel and organizational prerequisites to provide hardware-infrastructure as well as scientific services
- Structured provision of HPC resources on Levels 2 and 3
- User support for choosing a suitable level, cluster and computing-time application
- Establishment of uniform and science-driven application and approval procedures on Level 2
- Creating a network of suppliers of computing facilities with the goal to improve the quality of the operation (software-equipment, supervision, utilization, efficiency control)