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University of Birmingham Receives Honours in 2018 HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards

Dallas, Texas  — November 12, 2018 — The University of Birmingham has been recognised in the annual HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards, presented at the 2018 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC18), in Dallas, Texas.  The list of winners was revealed at the HPCwire booth at the event, and on the HPCwire website, located at www.HPCwire.com.   the University of Birmingham was recognized with the following honour:

  • Readers’/Editor’ Choice: Best use of HPC in Manufacturing

The coveted annual HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards are determined through a nomination and voting process with the global HPCwire community, as well as selections from the HPCwire editors. The awards are an annual feature of the publication and constitute prestigious recognition from the HPC community. These awards are revealed each year to kick off the annual supercomputing conference, which showcases high performance computing, networking, storage, and data analysis.

The PRISM2 group, a research centre at the University of Birmingham, undertakes modelling of materials and manufacturing using the University’s central HPC and storage systems provided by Advanced Research Computing. The award was received for work with industrial partner Rolls Royce with whom the PRISM2 group are currently engaged in a long-term collaborative project. This project with Rolls-Royce and the innovative research conducted by PRISM2 plays a key part in ensuring that the technology employed by Rolls-Royce helps the UK stay at the forefront of advanced manufacturing, particularly in the aerospace sector.

Professor Jeffery Brooks, Director of PRISM2 and Hanson Professor of Industrial Metallurgy at the University of Birmingham said, “The models we develop for manufacturing simulation are computationally very demanding and require huge amounts of resource and the BlueBEAR HPC facility is essential in supporting my team”.

The BlueBEAR facility uses Lenovo HPC direct-to-node water cooled systems with Mellanox SwitchIB-2 based EDR InfiniBand. Storage is provided using IBM Spectrum Scale and IBM Spectrum Protect and jobs are scheduled using the SLURM scheduling system. The system is designed and integrated by the University’s Advanced Research Computing team and supplied by OCF, the University’s framework supplier for research computing systems.

OCF is a UK based high-performance compute, storage and data analytics integrator. Business Development Manager, Georgina Ellis, commented, “We’ve (OCF) worked with University of Birmingham over a number of years. The framework agreement enables the Advanced Research Computing team access to a wide variety of vendors, and the team know what they want to deliver and engage with a wide variety of partners to deliver value for the researchers at Birmingham”.

“This year marks the 15th anniversary of The HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards. These awards serve as a pillar in our community, acknowledging major achievements, outstanding leadership and innovative breakthroughs.” Said Tom Tabor CEO of Tabor Communications, publisher of HPCwire.  “Receiving an HPCwire award signifies an undeniable community support and recognition. We are proud to acknowledge our winners this year and as always to allow our readers voices to be heard. I would like to personally congratulate each and every one of our winners, as their awards come well deserved.”

More information on these awards can be found at the HPCwire website (http://www.HPCwire.com) or on Twitter through the following hashtag: #HPCwireAwards.

About HPCwire
HPCwire is the #1 news and information resource covering the fastest computers in the world and the people who run them. With a legacy dating back to 1986, HPCwire has enjoyed a legacy of world-class editorial and journalism, making it the news source of choice selected by science, technology and business professionals interested in high performance and data-intensive computing. Visit HPCwire at www.hpcwire.com.

About University of Birmingham

PRISM2 is a research centre at the University of Birmingham, with expertise in the modelling of materials, manufacturing and design for high technology applications in the aerospace and power generation sectors. It is located in the Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) on the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus. There are strong links with the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and High Temperature Research Centre (HTRC) based at Ansty Park, Coventry. See www.prism2.org for more information.

Advanced Research Computing is part of the central IT Services department at the University of Birmingham and the team includes systems, outreach and research software engineering teams to help Birmingham’s researchers deliver world leading research. Founded in 1900, the University of Birmingham is a research-intensive University and a member of the prestigious Russell group of Universities.

See www.birmingham.ac.uk/bear for more information, tweet @uob_rescomp.

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OCF deploys UK academia’s first IBM POWER9 systems

New systems supporting research into superfluid flows and Deep Learning at Queen Mary University of London and Newcastle University.

Two Universities, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) and Newcastle University, are the first UK academic organisations to deploy IBM’s POWER9 system, delivering unprecedented performance for modern High-Performance Computing (HPC), Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) workloads. Working with OCF, the high-performance compute, storage and data analytics integrator, both Universities have taken delivery of the systems and will be integrated by OCF into existing HPC infrastructures.

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OCF Deploys Petascale Lenovo Supercomputer at University of Southampton

Researchers from across the University of Southampton are benefitting from a new high performance computing (HPC) machine named Iridis, which has entered the Top500, debuting at 251 on the list. The new 1,300 teraflops system was designed, integrated and configured by high performance compute, storage and data analytics integrator, OCF, and will support research demanding traditional HPC as well as projects requiring large scale deep storage, big data analytics, web platforms for bioinformatics, and AI services.

Over the past decade, the University has seen a 425 per cent increase in the number of research projects using HPC services, from across multiple disciplines such as engineering, chemistry, physics, medicine and computer science. In addition, the new HPC system is also supporting the University’s Wolfson Unit. Best known for ship model testing, sailing yacht performance and ship design software, the Unit was founded in 1967 to enable industry to benefit from the facilities, academic excellence and research activities at the University of Southampton.

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OCF DATA working with Jisc

We’re pleased to announce that OCF DATA has been successful in our application to be listed on Jisc’s Learning Analytics Purchasing Service. Jisc, the UK’s higher, further education and skills sectors’ not-for-profit organisation for digital services and solutions, created the service to enable academic institutions to access a ready-formed marketplace for innovative learning analytics solutions, services and infrastructure that could be used alongside the core Jisc Learning Analytics Service.  The Learning Analytics Purchasing Service reduces the timescale, and cost, of procurement, when compared to traditional static frameworks. The framework capability will see OCF DATA via Jisc provide solutions on ‘Learning Analytics’.

Lee Hannis, Director at OCF DATA comments, “We’re really excited to start working with Universities through the framework to raise student engagement and outcomes with powerful visual analytics. The way OCF DATA brings together business process understanding, data and technology means we can tailor high impact data insights to each University based on their current ability and strategic focus.”

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OCF DATA signs agreement with Panintelligence to integrate Business Intelligence and Analytics

We’re pleased to announce that OCF DATA has recently signed a partnership agreement with Panintelligence.

Panintelligence PI allows users to gain a multi-dimensional view of their business, anywhere, any time, and on any device. It offers intuitive dashboards comprised from in-enterprise and third party data from various business process areas. Users drill-down into different data sets for instant analysis and insights that allow management to drive improvements in business or process performance.

Cliff Brereton, Director at OCF DATA comments, “Quite often our customers have all the answers to optimal performance contained within their data, but due to the sheer size of the data held it is impossible to extract these insights and put them to use in optimising performance without appropriate tools such as PI. This is an exciting opportunity for us to help those clients who are wanting to get started with their data journey and deliver better operational performance. Our partnership with Panintelligence will provide the technology and the know-how to make these performance improvements a reality.

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CLIMB victorious at HPC Wire Readers’ Choice Awards

A solution designed and integrated by OCF has been announced as a winner in two categories at the 2017 HPC Wire Readers’ Choice Awards.

Announced at SuperComputing 2017 in Denver, USA, the Cloud Infrastructure for Microbial Bioinformatics, (CLIMB) has won the award for ‘Best Use of HPC in Life Sciences’ and ‘Best HPC Collaboration in Academia, Government or Industry’.

CLIMB is a UK based cloud project funded by the UK’s Medical Research Council to support research by academic microbiologists.  The current live system is located across the Universities of Birmingham, Cardiff and Warwick.

The Best Use of HPC in Life Sciences Award was awarded for real-time analysis of Zika genomes using CLIMB cloud computing, supported by Lenovo, OpenStack, IBM, Red Hat and Dell EMC.  The Best HPC Collaboration in Academia, Government or Industry was awarded to CLIMB for the provision of resources for projects that globally impact public health, using the expertise of Lenovo, OpenStack, IBM Spectrum Scale, Red Hat, and Dell EMC.

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OCF helps to develop AI infrastructure at the University of Oxford

The University of Oxford has become the first academic institution in the UK to take delivery of an NVIDIA DGX-1 supercomputer powered by the latest GPU technology – NVIDIA Volta.

Picking up a Petaflop: (L-R) Dr. David Jenkins, Head of Research Computing and Support Services University of Oxford, Dr. Steven Young, ARC Technical Services Manager and Dr. Robert Esnouf, Director of Research Computing BDI & Head of Research Computing Core WHG

The new system has been supplied by OCF and funded via a collaboration between the University’s IT Services department, Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics (WHG), Big Data Institute (BDI) and the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM).

The system will be housed and managed by the University’s Advanced Research Computing (ARC) facility and is a response to the explosion in demand from researchers for exploring all avenues for applying deep learning to research. For the life sciences, current research includes more accurate sequencing, predicting gene expression levels, simulating brain activity, predicting outbreaks of diseases such as malaria and analysing population-scale data such as those from the UK Biobank study. In other disciplines it includes research into autonomous vehicles, natural language processing and computer vision.

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OCF supercomputer speeds up research at the University of Exeter

Researchers from across the University of Exeter are benefitting from a new High Performance Computing (HPC) machine, called Isca. Existing departmental HPC resources within Life Sciences and Physics were coming to the end of life, so using funding from the University and a large grant from the Medical Research Council, the University acquired a new, central core HPC resource to support researchers University-wide across numerous disciplines.

The new system has already been contributing to research into the modelling and formation of stars and galaxies, using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) within Engineering to understand how flooding affects bridges, as well as being used in the Medical School looking at genetic traits in diabetes using data from the UK Biobank. The HPC resource is now in use by more than 200 researchers across 30+ active research projects in Life Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, Astrophysics, and Computing departments.

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OCF DATA signs agreement with Atos to sell Bullion high-end servers

OCF DATA Limited has signed a partner channel agreement with Atos, a leader in digital transformation,  to resell the Atos Bullion server range to NHS Trusts and higher education institutions as well as to companies in the manufacturing and utilities sectors in the UK.

OCF DATA will now place the powerful SAP and Oracle certified 8 to 16 sockets x86 Bullion servers at the centre of its data analytics offering. Atos solutions are a highly differentiated value offer. Their modularity, high performance and flexible functionality make them the ideal product for high performance in-memory computing analytics solutions.

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New Sales Leader at OCF DATA

Lee Hannis joins OCF DATA’s growing expertise in Data Analytics

OCF DATA, the analytics and insight division of OCF plc, has appointed Lee Hannis to the role of Sales Leader. Lee will engage with UK organisations in the healthcare, higher education, utilities and manufacturing industries to help design and integrate data analytics solutions using a network of world leading vendor partner technology.

Drawing on previous knowledge and experience as head of business development at the Hartree Centre, Lee will consult with customers on the challenges they face in getting valuable business insights from their data. Lee’s experience of delivering operational data analysis and cognitive solutions will help clients fast track their data strategy and implementation.

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