IISc unveils Param Pravega, its latest supercomputer with a capacity of 3.3 petaflops: specifications

The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has installed a new supercomputer which is considered one of the most powerful of its kind in the country. It is commissioned by Param Pravega and was installed as part of the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM), it is claimed to be the largest supercomputer at an academic institution. IISc’s Param Pravega is claimed to have a total supercomputing capacity of 3.3 petaflops (1 petaflop equals one quadrillion operations per second). Many components of Param Pravega were manufactured and assembled in India. It is “supposed to fuel various research and educational activities,” according to IISc.

According to a announcement by Indian Institute of Science (IISc), the eminent educational institution has successfully installed and commissioned a new supercomputer – Param Pravega. As mentioned, the new supercomputer has a total computing capacity of 3.3 petaflops. Param Pravega was designed by the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).

Specifications Param Pravega

Param Pravega offers a mix of heterogeneous nodes – with Intel Xeon Cascade Lake processors and Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs. The maximum supercomputing capacity of 3.3 petaflops is achieved using the ATOS BullSequana XH2000 series system. Param Pravega consists of 11 compute node DCLC racks, two master/service node service racks, and four DDN storage storage racks.

Param Pravega’s node configuration includes two master nodes, 11 connection nodes, two firewall nodes, four management nodes, one NIS slave, and 624 compute nodes — CPU + GPU —. These nodes have been subdivided into three categories: regular CPU nodes, high-memory CPU nodes, and GPU nodes.

The standard processor nodes receive 2.9 GHz Intel Xeon Cascade Lake 8628 processors in a two-socket configuration with 48 cores, 192 GB of RAM and 480 GB of SSD per node. Param Pravega consists of 428 regular CPU nodes. High-memory CPU nodes have 768 GB of RAM per node, and there are 156 such nodes in IISc’s supercomputer.

There are 40 GPU nodes in Param Pravega with 2.5GHz Intel Xeon G-6248 processors with similar RAM and storage configuration as regular CPU nodes. Each node’s GPU consists of two 16 GB Nvidia V100 Tesla (HBM2 device memory) GPUs.

Param Pravega obtains 4 petabytes of space through the Luster high-speed parallel file system with a throughput speed of 100 GB per second. The supercomputer runs the Linux operating system, based on the CentOS 7.x distribution. The system also gets CUDA and OpenAAC SDKs for use on GPU nodes. Param Pravega also has math, science and application libraries like Intel-MKL, GNU Science Library, HDF5, NetCDF and a range of Python-based math and data manipulation libraries.

This isn’t IISc’s first supercomputer. It acquired SahasraT in 2015 and was India’s fastest supercomputer at the time. IISc has used SahasraT for research on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Many research conducted using SahasraT includes simulation of turbulent flows for green energy technologies, climate change and its associated impacts, among others. IISc aims to amplify this research with Param Pravega.

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