The new HPC cluster Euler now ready

The first phase of Euler, ETH’s new High Performance Computing cluster, has been finished according to plan. For the last five weeks, Euler has been open to selected beta users, and since start of May it is in public beta test, open to all ETH researchers. The official inauguration will take place on May 12th.


The name “Euler” is a reference to Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707–1783) as well as an acronym for “Erweiterbarer Umweltfreundlicher Leistungsfähiger ETH Rechner”. The cluster is located in CSCS’s new data center in Lugano and operated by ETH ITS Scientific IT Services in Zurich (ITS SIS). Euler consists of 416 compute nodes from Hewlett-Packard connected via a high-speed InfiniBand FDR network. Each node contains two 12-core Intel Xeon CPUs (E5-2697v2, 2.7 GHz) and 64 GB of RAM, hence a total of 9984 processor cores and 26 TB of RAM. Euler is equipped with two storage systems, a 200 TB NFS server and a 240 TB parallel Panasas system. More storage capacity will be added as needed by our users.

Euler – Brutus

The new cluster achieved a sustained performance of 194 teraflops (194 * 1012 floating point operations per second) with the Linpack benchmark, which is slightly higher than the performance of the existing Brutus cluster located in Zurich. The two clusters are complementary and will be operated in parallel for the foreseeable future. On the surface Euler is very similar to Brutus, to allow users to easily move from one cluster to the other. Below the surface, however, Euler introduces radically new concepts in terms of cluster design and management. For instance, all login and most management nodes are virtualized, which allows us to use just one kind of node throughout the cluster, thus greatly simplifying its architecture and maintenance. This virtualization technology will also allow us to provide innovative cloud-based services to ETH researchers. We will tell you more about that in a few weeks.

This is just the beginning. In June we will add “fat nodes” to serve users with memory-hungry programs. Later in the year, a major extension is planned that will more than double Euler’s computing capacity. Professors, institutes or departments who are interested in becoming Euler “shareholders” are invited to get in contact with Dr. Bernd Rinn or Dr. Olivier Byrde soon.

Keep an eye on this blog for regular updates about Euler.


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