winter elements

Season's Greetings from Sigma2

This has been quite a strange year for all of us, but we still managed to achieve some great things to look back at. There are also exiting things planned for the coming year.

Highlights from Sigma2 and the national e-infrastructure in 2020

By Mangaging Director Gunnar Bøe

Betzy was inaugurated on December 7. This was a big event and by making it an online event, it enabled a much wider reach. It was also an excellent opportunity to raise the awareness of the importance of HPC to the Ministry of Research and Education.

During the autumn, we have also been negotiating a new collaboration agreement with the BOTT universities and the Research Council of Norway (RCN). This agreement is now ready for signing and will double the base funding from 75 MNOK to 150 MNOK. More information regarding the agreement will follow early next year.

Another highlight was the latest application for the INFRASTRUCTURE call at the RCN. This will be funding for investment in mainly future HPC system and storage. The amount is record high and reached 408 MNOK. This is also a clear expression of the growing needs for e-infra resources.

The national EuroHPC Competence Centre (EuroCC) also had its kick-off in September. This work is done in close collaboration with NORCE and SINTEF, and the goal is to reach out to the industry in Norway. A lot of planning have been done this autumn and you will hear a lot more about this next year. We're hosting a seminar in the HPC Reference Network already 21 January 2021, and we invite everyone to join for an introduction to the competence centre.

The national e-infrastructure has also been instrumental in the national work related to Covid-19. Professor Arnolodo Frigessi has stated this very clearly: "Without SIGMA2s's resources and without their unbelievably efficient  support, Norway would not have had in time the evidence available to build its containment and prevention strategies, which, as we know, turned out to be the most drastic ones in recent history, but also the most effective ones."


What's next?

For the coming year of 2021 a lot of work will go into the procurement of our new storage solution. We will also do a procurement for a new housing/data centre site.

The implementation of the new collaboration agreement with BOTT can bring new opportunities for even better services for the researchers by making local and nations resources work better together.

By the summer 2021 the LUMI machine will come online with its CPU-partition and a lot of work will go into preparation for this as well as the GPU-partition, that comes into operation in late autumn.

We will also work to enhance the Metacenter collaboration to provide even better services for researchers in Norway.

Finally, Sigma2 would like to wish you a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year!