IIT Kanpur signs an MoU with CDAC for establishing


1.3 peta FLOP Supercomputing Facility at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur


IIT Kanpur and CDAC signed an MoU in the presence of Shri Sanjay Dhotre, Honourable Union Minister of State of Education, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India on 12 October 2020 to establish a 1.3 peta FLOP supercomputing facility at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).

NSM, approved by the Government of India, aims to achieve the goals of attaining self-reliance in supercomputing and problem-solving in various domains of scientific and technological endeavours.

The mission is steered jointly by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST). Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, have been identified as the implementing agencies of this mission. C-DAC has been entrusted with the responsibility to design, deploy, and commission the Supercomputing systems under the build approach of the mission.

Under this mission, it is proposed to create a family of supercomputers of varying compute capacities to solve problems of national and global relevance. Supercomputing infrastructure, applications development, research & development, and the human resource development are the four pillars of the mission.

In today’s event, MoUs were signed between Director General CDAC and the Directors of several IITs, IISc and an NIT for establishing supercomputers at these institutes. Dr. Rajendra Kumar, Additional Secretary, MeitY, Government of India and Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST, Government of India, witnessed the MoU signing ceremony and also shared their thoughts on the usefulness of supercomputers to advance the research and development activities in the country.

One of the supercomputers, called “PARAM Sanganak”, is established at IIT Kanpur under the build approach of the National Supercomputing Mission with a peak computing power of 1.3 peta FLOPS. PARAM Sanganak is designed and commissioned by C-DAC to cater to the computational needs of IIT Kanpur, and various Research and Engineering institutes of the region. The system is built with the latest cutting-edge hardware and software technologies. Substantial components utilized to build this system are manufactured and assembled within India, which is a step towards the Make in India initiative of the Government.

The cluster is configured with dense compute nodes having the latest Intel® Xeon® Processor Scalable Family CPUs to achieve maximum computing performance per rack. The system is useful for the research needs of varied scientific domains such as Weather & Climate, Oil & Gas, Seismic, Life, and Material sciences, etc. These nodes are connected over high-speed and low latency 100 Gbps InfiniBand network for faster inter-node communication. A dedicated 1 Gbps network for cluster provisioning, management, and administration is also provided. The system has storage of 2 peta byte with a high-performance parallel file system and archival subsystem.

PARAM Sanganak is a highly reliable supercomputer that is scalable, and secured with enhanced security features and with no single point of failure. The facility shall be connected over National Knowledge Network and is made available to the scientific and academic community to strengthen the research and development in the country.

C-DAC has indigenously designed and developed a system software stack that resides on the underlying supercomputing hardware to make the usage of the system efficient and easy for the users as well as administrators. The stack is based on the open-source tools customized and complimented with in-house software to suit the requirements. This software stack is optimized for a High-Performance Computing environment to achieve optimal performance from the computing resources. It provides a complete HPC environment comprising Linux OS, cluster provisioning tools, Parallel programming modules, Scientific libraries, Compilers, Profilers, and Debuggers.

C-DAC CHAKSHU is an integral tool of the software stack that provides advanced level monitoring and management of the complex resources in the cluster. Resources like CPU, Memory, Storage, interconnects can be monitored on a real-time basis. Historical data of the cluster utilization and the performance can be generated for analysis. A ticketing system integrated into CHAKSHU facilitates the notifications to C-DAC technical support desk for quick problem reporting and resolution. A three-dimensional visualization provides rack wise resources information on a live basis.

Critical components such as motherboards for servers are manufactured in India, and the servers are assembled, validated, and tested in India. Apart from the servers, the rack power controllers and rack hydraulic controllers are also manufactured in India. Param Sanganak is a state-of-the-art, 100% direct liquid-cooled (DLC) supercomputer. The adiabatic dry coolers provided with the supercomputer for warm water cooling of the system are also manufactured in India.

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