What’s next

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  2. What’s next

Evolution of the computing infrastructure and next trends 

In the forthcoming years, Cineca will continue to adopt its three-pillar strategy to extend the capabilities and performance of its computing and storage infrastructure. In doing so, Cineca can now leverage the availability of two new data centres: the new Big Data Technopole data centre currently hosting Leonardo and a new data centre in Naples in the renovated area of San Giovanni a Teduccio. The geo-distribution of the infrastructure allows for improving the resiliency of the compute and storage services, providing the capability to host critical workloads. The evolution of the infrastructure will benefit from multiple projects and actions involving the likes of the recently founded national centre ICSC, established Italian research institutions such as CNR, INAF, OGS, INGV, and national agencies such as ACN (National Cybersecurity Authority) and AIM (Agenzia Italia Meteo). All of them are HPC stakeholders, relevant at national and international levels, bringing significant expertise in the field and providing new requirements for establishing a modern and competitive national computing and storage infrastructure. The infrastructure evolution investments amount to more than 125 million euros.    

Tier-0 HPC pillar.

Cineca will upgrade Leonardo system with the Lisa (from Monna Lisa) project. Lisa aims to complement the HPC services of Leonardo by adding new computing partitions featuring state-of-the-art processing unit solutions. With Lisa, it is envisioned to support workloads extremely benefitting from high memory bandwidth (> 1TB/s) and from the new generation of GPUs that tightly couple host and accelerator devices (such as the AMD Mi300-a or the NVIDIA Grace-Hopper CPU-GPU solution). In close succession, the new Quantum Computing infrastructure provided by the EuroQCS-Italy project will be installed in the Big Data Tecnopole and interfaced with Leonardo to provide a single system able to execute simulations based on conventional and quantum algorithms or their combination. This will make Leonardo one of the world’s first hybrid HPC/QC (Quantum Computing) systems. The quantum infrastructure is a digital/analogue system with qubits technology based on neutral atoms, aiming to reach 100/200/500 qubits in a 2-year span.  

Tier-1 HPC pillar. 

Cineca will procure and provide multiple Tier-1 class systems for specific workloads and scientific communities. Belong to this class, the new system dedicated to the EUROfusion community, named PITAGORA, will replace MARCONI-FUSION, which is approaching its end-of-life. It is noted that while being a Tier-1 system if compared to LEONARDO’s performance, PITAGORA, with its 70 PFlops peak, would currently rank 12th in the last top500.org list, and it is expected to make it well into the top 30 once installed. Moreover, in a new data hall beside LEONARDO, it will be deployed a Tier-1 system focused on material design, astrophysics, and weather forecast. Design requirements for the specific use cases are progressing, and the procurement is expected to be launched by the end of 2023. A similar trajectory is followed by the Tier-1 system that will be hosted in the Naples data centre. A technical working group analyses the provided use cases and oversees the drafting of the system requirements in order to address very diverse workloads: from pharmaceutical exploration to machine learning, from fundamental research to cybersecurity analysis.  

Tier-1 Cloud and data services pillar. 

Cineca plans to procure a new infrastructure to upgrade the existing cloud and data services. This project will significantly advance the diversification of computational resources made available to researchers. The goal is to provide users with a capable and multi-protocol data repository, over 200,000 virtual processors, and modular computing and data services to help the user communities create dedicated computing platforms. Data management services will be wholly re-designed, including backup, archiving, data replication, etc. Therefore, the virtualization and data services will be significantly enhanced through a research cloud infrastructure competing at the European level and able to complement the computational services provided by the main supercomputing systems (Tier-0 and Tier-1 HPC systems). The infrastructure procurement is underway, targeting the end of the year for its conclusion. The new services will be made available in the second half of 2024.