Obsidian Strategics and A*STAR CRC Launch InfiniCortex Initiative

Industry-First Architecture Capable of Leveraging the Global InfiniBand Network to Efficiently Harness the Power of Remote Supercomputers

EDMONTON, Alberta and SINGAPORE – Nov. 10, 2014 – IDC recently reported that high performance computing (also called supercomputing) has made enormous contribution to scientific, engineering and industrial competitiveness, as well as to homeland security and other government missions. Today the supercomputer industry is faced with the challenge of ramping supercomputer performance nearly 100x to ExaScale by 2020. Obsidian Strategics and A*STAR CRC (Computational Resource Centre) today announced a worldwide collaboration that will result in a galaxy of supercomputers to open the door for global innovations in science, engineering and business.

This initiative is to demonstrate the feasibility of the 100G infrastructure that will lead to the future of global supercomputer developments in architecture and scheduling algorithms.

  • InfiniCortex, galaxy of supercomputers – A new architectural approach to meet the challenge of building the next generation of supercomputers by enabling the aggregation of many globally distributed supercomputers into a hive-mind of enormous scale. This pilot program is an example of how research centers, such as A*STAR CRC, can meet the challenge of ExaScale computation, in the same spirit of international cooperation and burden sharing as seen with LHC, ITER and SKA.
  • Enabling long-distance connection – Initially developed to meet the needs of military and intelligence community networks, Obsidian’s Longbow technology provides transparent range extension of local area InfiniBand traffic over standard WANs such that remote supercomputer fabrics can merge across global distances. High-grade encryption and authentication functions enable secure international sharing of highly valuable and critical supercomputer resources. For additional information, visit www.obsidianresearch.com/products/longbow.
  • Demonstrating feasibility and lasting value – To demonstrate the feasibility and lasting value of the pilot platform, various workloads will exercise the InfiniCortex at SC14, including real-time analysis and control of a plasma physics experiment at the Tokyo Institute of Technology involving distributed data processing concurrently occurring in Singapore, Georgia Tech and equipment at SC14 exhibition floor.

Dr. David Southwell, co-founder and chief visionary officer, Obsidian Strategics, said:
“Supercomputers have played crucial roles in military, higher-education, R&D labs and industry for decades. Today, at the rate data usage is increasing, the uses for high performance computing have also increased. Most supercomputers today are built around a very capable open-standard LAN technology called InfiniBand, but this is limited to very short reach connections. Our work on mission critical global communication requirements from the U.S. government has allowed us to pioneer the technology capable of transparently extending InfiniBand over arbitrary distances. The result is a highly deployable communications fabric suitable for demanding applications in not only scientific computing, but also storage, data center, cloud and enterprise environments. We couldn’t be more pleased to be a part of this groundbreaking collaboration.”

Dr. Marek Michalewicz, senior director, A*STAR CRC, said:
“As our teams began the extensive process of developing the InfiniCortex initiative, we realized that we would require input from a variety of global resources. We are proud to be able to provide the necessary mathematical tools and related software to develop a geographically distributed supercomputer of supercomputers based on this global collaboration between HPC clusters. This demonstration is the culmination of the extensive efforts of all those involved and we are looking forward to unveiling the results at SC14.”

Satoshi Matsuoka, leader of the TSUBAME supercomputers at Tokyo Institute of Technology said:
“We are delighted to participate in this international project to demonstrate the viability of long-range high-bandwidth data transfer using InfiniBand as the underlying transport. We are committed to being the frontrunner in not only the computational science but also in the emerging data science. Today’s results, achieved with our project partners with heavy assistance from the National Institute of Informatics, Japan, who administers our national research network SINET, will pave the way for future international scientific ‘big data’ infrastructures, which will converge with the computational ones to provide the global scientific community with capabilities far beyond what we have today.”

Allan Williams, associate director services and technologies, National Computational Infrastructure, Australia, said:
“Working on this demonstration has provided a valuable insight into the capabilities of the Longbow technology for long distance IB connectivity between research communities. It has also enabled a global collaborative relationship to develop between A*STAR and NCI in a way that was previously not possible.”

See the InfiniCortex in action and meet the teams at SC14, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans. Obsidian Strategics, booth #548 and A*STAR booth #2520 from November 17–20, 2014. (For more information on SC14, visit sc14.supercomputing.org/)

IDC Real-World Examples of Supercomputers Used for Economic and Societal Benefits: A Prelude to What the Exacale Era Can Provide by Earl C. Joseph, Ph.D., Chirag Dekate, Ph.D. Steven Conway, May 2014.

About Obsidian Strategics
Obsidian Strategics™ is the developer of Longbow™ and Crossbow™, a series of InfiniBand products featuring range extension, routing and encryption. Longbow technology allows an InfiniBand fabric - normally a short-range network used in supercomputers and data centers - to be securely extended via optical fiber over global distances. Crossbow technology provides very high performance routing of InfiniBand traffic between many separate subnets, enabling unprecedented scalability and manageability. www.obsidianstrategics.com.

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore’s leading public sector agency that fosters world-class scientific research and talent to drive economic growth and transform Singapore into a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy. In line with its mission-oriented mandate, A*STAR spearheads research and development in fields that are essential to growing Singapore’s manufacturing sector and catalyzing new growth industries. A*STAR supports these economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. www.a‑star.edu.sg.