Planetary nebulae are dying stars renowned for the beautiful shells of diffuse gas that form as they shed their outer layers. Discovered in 1824, 695 light years from Earth in Aquarius constellation, the Helix Nebula has become an iconic image in the world of astronomy. Nearly two hundred years later, it is the namesake for the pioneering partnership between Big Science and Big Business.
Charting the course towards a cleaner, smarter future, the Helix Nebula (HNSciCloud) project aims to establish a hybrid cloud platform that can support the high-performance, data-intensive needs of the European research and science community – The Science Cloud.
Forming part of the consortium that has been selected for the pilot phase, Advania Data Centers (ADC) is a leading European technology company, specializing in the fields of high performance computing (HPC), blockchain and high-density compute hosting, headquartered in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Six companies partnered together to form the consortium; working alongside ADC are REHA Group (consortium leader), T-Systems, Exoscale, Cyfronet and SixSq. This collaboration accommodates the HPC needs of the European research and science community, leveraging Advania Data Centers’ HPCFLOW to provide support to multi-cloud environments, hosted HPC workloads and other cloud resources, to establish Helix Nebula as a Hybrid Cloud project.
The consortium has been awarded one of only two contracts, under the final phase of a €5.3 million pre-commercial procurement tender. The tender is sponsored by ten of Europe’s leading research organizations (CERN, CNRS, DESY, EMBL-EBI, ESRF, IFAE, INFN, KIT, STFC, SURFSara) and is co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program. CERN (the world’s largest particle physics laboratory), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) are among the HNSciCloud early adopters that are participating in the pilot phase of the project.
In this final stage, the consortium will provide 10,000 CPU cores and 1 petabyte of data storage. This enables the participating research and scientific institutions to deploy applications at scale on the platform. ADC has been a global frontrunner in developing and providing HPC cloud resources that can scale, HPCFLOW provides increased efficiency and flexibility to HPC operators. HPCFLOW Flex, a Hybrid HPC cloud platform that has been developed in strategic partnership with HPE and Intel, is used to provide resources to the Helix Nebula project.
As a result of this pilot phase, the Helix Nebula project will become a Hybrid platform offering European research and science organizations a broad marketplace of infrastructure and solution providers, that provide solutions at scale.
“It is a great honor for us at ADC to be selected to partner with the consortium and provide valuable resources to the Helix Nebula project. A new approach to HPC that is going to disrupt the way we use and think about HPC.” comments Eyjolfur Magnus Kristinsson, CEO of Advania Data Centers, “When multiple organizations use an HPC cloud platform together on-demand HPC becomes a more achievable goal. We believe that the increased efficiency offered by the Helix Nebula project, combined with our HPCFLOW Flex, the most efficient and greenest HPC service available today, is a truly innovative step to a cleaner, smarter future.”
“We don’t only offer a green and environmentally friendly HPC service, we go a step further offering HPC resources in a true cloud model, where you can scale up, as you need it, when you need it, paying only for what you use.” says Staffan Hansson, HPC Sales Specialist at Advania Data Centers. “We have showcased repeatedly over the past months that we can provide hosted HPC clusters that are more cost-efficient than operating your own, in a Cloud environment. Leveraging the added benefit of the elasticity of this Hybrid HPC model”.
With an expert HPC team overseeing the operation of HPC environments and workloads, and working globally with leading organizations within the manufacturing, technology and science industries, among others, Advania Data Centers bring the expertise and support needed to the Helix Nebula project. This guarantees the participants maximum performance and efficiency of the platform within this pre-commercial phase.