Founded in 1991, CSCS, the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, develops and provides the key supercomputing capabilities required to solve important problems to science and/or society. The centre enables world-class research with a scientific user lab that is available to domestic and international researchers through a transparent, peer-reviewed allocation process. CSCS' resources are open to academia, and are available as well to users from industry and the business sector. The centre is operated by ETH Zurich and is located in Lugano with additional offices in Zurich.

Role in the project

ETH Zurich / CSCS is involved in WP2, WP3 and WP6, providing expertise and knowledge transfer in container technology. ETH Zurich / CSCS will assist other ESiWACE2 partners to 'containerise' their models, in order to allow seamless porting to a wide variety of platforms. To this end, ETH Zurich / CSCS will co-organize education events such as the WP6 Training on Docker containerisation in order to first get developers up to speed on containers. Also, the WP2 container hackathon, where teams will containerise their models using the ETH Zurich / CSCS computing infrastructure. In addition, ETH Zurich / CSCS will organize a course on advanced software-engineering skills using C++, specifically targeted for HPC.

Names of the colleagues involved

Dr. William Sawyer (coordinator), Dr. Lucas Benedicic, Katarzyna Pawlikowska, Dr. Theofilos-Ioannis Manitaras, Christopher Bignamini, Dr. Andreas Jocksch, Dr. Alberto Madonna

Relevant infrastructure and services available for climate & weather

The centre operates the very latest supercomputers and works with the world’s leading computing centers and hardware manufacturers. This enables the centre to be the driving force behind innovation in computational research in Switzerland: the very latest computer architecture helps to ensure that users’ codes run quickly so they can focus more on their scientific results.

Among these computing resources, Piz Daint -- named after a prominent peak in Grisons that overlooks the Fuorn pass -- is the flagship system for national HPC Service. It is a hybrid Cray XC40/XC50 system and contains 5320 nodes, each with an Intel Xeon E5-2690 processor and an NVIDIA P100 GPU, as well as 1813 nodes with two Intel Xeon E5-2695 sockets each. Piz Daint is a general-purpose scientific platform, but serves the climate and numerical weather prediction communities for research purposes.

The two Cray CS-Storm cabinets for MeteoSwiss numerical weather predictions are named “Kesch” and “Es-cha” which are the names in German (Piz Kesch) and in Rumanch (Piz d’Es-cha) of a peak in the Albula Alps of the Rhaetian Alps in Switzerland. The two new cabinets at ETH Zurich / CSCS are tightly packed. Each of them consists of 12 hybrid computing nodes for a total of 96 graphic cards or 192 graphic processors (GPUs) and 24 conventional CPUs. Kesch/Es-cha is reserved entirely for MeteoSwiss production forecast, as well as its internal model development.

In addition, ETH Zurich / CSCS provides computational test platforms for emerging technologies (ARM, Intel Xeon Phi) for advanced development. Also the climate and weather communities make use of these platforms.