Visit GRNET!

GRNET in HPC-Europa3

Greek Research and Technology Network (GRNET) is an integrated electronic Infrastructure provider whose mission is to support high–quality e-Infrastructure services to the academic, research and educational community of Greece; and link these with global e-Infrastructures.

European-based researchers are given the opportunity to spend a period of time (on average of 7 weeks) at one of the 9 HPC centres, including the Greek HPC system, ARIS, collaborating with one of the associated research teams (host labs), and to benefit from using some of the most relevant HPC research infrastructures in Europe complemented by strong scientific and technical on-site support from staff with deep and varied expertise.

Over its four-year lifespan (2017-2021), the HPC-Europa3 consortium expects to support 1.220 researchers, with 40 of those planned to be hosted by Greek research groups. The calls for applications will be issued 4 times per year and published online on the HPC-Europa3 website. Visits are organised in the same way at all centres, and the application and selection processes for Transnational Access as well as post-visit reporting are organised at the consortium level. All of these centralised procedures and common visit rules are fully described HERE.

South-East Europe in HPC-Europa3

In the past 12 years, GRNET has facilitated the development and use of e-Infrastructures in the wider region of South-East Europe (including Western Balkans and Eastern Partnership – altogether 15 countries in the region). GRNET has, in collaboration with the relevant consortia, set up the South-East Europe (SEE) regional production-level e-Infrastructure (network, grid, HPC), and enabled its use by a spectrum of regional research communities.

Within the framework of the current HPC-Europa3 project, scientists from a large geographical area including EC members (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Hungary, and Romania), associated countries (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, FYR of Macedonia, Israel, Montenegro, Moldova, and Serbia), as well as Georgia and Armenia can gain access to the GRNET ARIS system, while working with Greek universities or research centers. In its turn, the Greek researchers can apply for a visitor program (Transnational Access, TA) to any of the other 8 HPC-Europa3 partners’ centres in Europe.

Scientists from South East European countries with "no" or "little" experience in using HPC systems should apply for the Greek HPC system through the Regional Access sub-programme. The application will be automatically directed to the Regional Access sub-programme, immediately after the first step where an estimation of the visitors’ experience in HPC is given.

Who we are

GRNET is currently operating the Greek national HPC Tier–1 centre offering a 190,85 TFlops computing system, 2 PB of parallel file storage and respective application support and training services. GRNET is the leading data infrastructure provider for the R&E community in Greece with over 11 Petabytes of raw disk storage and 7 Petabytes of tape archive. GRNET supports a number of communities in Greece and beyond. GRNET is strongly involved in pan–European High-Performance Computing (HPC) Initiatives: it is a core member of PRACE project series and has coordinated HP–SEE project (High–Performance Computing Infrastructure for South East Europe’s Research Communities), which established the HPC infrastructure in South East Europe.

In parallel, GRNET currently operates a backbone network providing coverage of the whole national territory: the network spreads over more than 9000 km of dark fibers, operated by GRNET-owned equipment, with several 10Gbps connections to 50 Institutions. GRNET is interconnected with pan–European High Speed Network GÉANT with 4x10Gbps uplinks. Regarding cloud computing, GRNET operates Infrastructure as a Service ~okeanos via large datacenters (84 racks, 1200+ servers, 10000 Virtual Machines active, 5 Petabytes of storage), and is/was involved in a number of core pan-European cloud projects.

GRNET has been a leader in ICT Research Infrastructure deployments in South-East Europe for the past decade, though a serious of HPC, Grid computing, and networking projects. In this context, the GRNET HPC infrastructure has an important role in supporting inclusive pan-European research activities, a crucial point which is discussed in the following paragraphs.

GRNET offers to visitors

If you are a European-based academic or industrial researcher of any level, from postgraduate students to the most senior researchers, who are working on non-proprietary research in any field of computational science, which requires world-class computing facilities, we can offer you:

  • to stay in Greece at about 7 weeks;
  • to join and to collaborate with one of the Greek host-labs, which are mostly universities’ research or research institutes groups specialized in various scientific disciplines;
  • to fully refund your travel, accommodation and living expenses during your visit (up to a certain limit);
  • to get full remote access to the most powerful HPC and data facilities at GRNET and to grant the relevant amount of computing time required by your project;
  • to get personal support within normal operation of GRNET’s experts qualified both in IT skills and scientific expertise (this means that HPC-Europa3 is suitable even for researchers with little or no experience in HPC);to get personal day-to-day support of GRNET’s HPC-Europa3 local team, which deals with all your logistical, administrative and financial matters before, during and after your visit.

A typical visitor will spend some time of the visit at a Greek research group, and will be able to make visits to GRNET. The Greek host assists the visitors scientifically in their research, and GRNET provides them with technical support on using the HPC resources and administrative support during the visit.

Resources for visitors

Through HPC-Europa3 access is given to GRNET’s National (Tier-1) HPC system, ARIS. ARIS (Advanced Research Information System), is an HPC cluster consisting of 4 different compute islands. The “thin node island” is based on IBM’s NeXtScale platform. It has 426 compute nodes (more than 8500 cores), incorporating the Intel® Xeon® E5 v2 processors, and has a theoretical peak performance (Rpeak) of 190,85 TFlops. The “GPU node island” comprises of 44 dual NVidia K40 GPU. The “Phi node island” include dual Intel Xeon Phi 7120P accelerators. The “fat node island” offers 40 cores and 0.5 TB of memory per server. The total theoretical peak performance of the whole system is 434 Tflops. In addition, the system offers about 2 Petabyte of storage, based on the IBM General Parallel File System (GPFS) and a tape based storage system with a capacity of 2 Petabytes.

The system that was ranked #468 in the Top500 list of most powerful systems in the world when it was installed (June 2015 iteration), and it is integrated into the European supercomputing ecosystem, the pan European infrastructure PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe).

ARIS empowers the Greek Scientific Community by meeting the needs of Greek users in multiple scientific fields. Computational Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Biomedicine, Meteorology, Seismology, Computational Engineering, Materials Science and Earth Observation are some indicative scientific fields that heavily rely on the use of modern HPC infrastructures. ARIS also provides access to European and international researchers via programmes such as the PRACE DECI Tier-1 resource exchange, and the VI-SEEM project-based access to some specific scientific communities of the South Easter Europe and Eastern Mediterranean (SEEM) region.

Visitors’ support

If your application for an HPC-Europa3 visit to a Greek host-lab is approved by the Selection Panel, you will receive an e-mail notification. GRNET will contact you and your host and send you all practical information and instructions on how to organize your visit. We will be always able to help you during your visit preparations. A few weeks before your visit we also will send you instructions on how to get a user account on GRNET’s computing servers.

Visitors from Greece

Greece-based researchers may also apply for HPC-Europa3 visits to research institutes associated with any of the other 8 HPC centres offering TA visits. These are: Cineca (Bologna, Italy),  EPCC (Edinburgh, UK), BSC (Barcelona, Spain), HLRS (Stuttgart, Germany), SURFsara (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), CSC (Espoo, Finland), PDC (Stockholm, Sweden) and ICHEC (Dublin and Galway, Ireland). Greek visitors have access to the HPC facilities at the associated HPC-Europa3 partner site and receive consultancy and support from staff there. The project reimburses visitor’s travel and living expenses and takes care of all the visit administration, leaving the hosts to focus on what is important to them: the scientific collaboration.

Why host an HPC-Europa3 visit?

HPC-Europa3 provides an excellent opportunity for hosts to establish links with European research groups outside Greece with related research interests. To make this process easier, all the financial and logistical aspects of the visits are dealt by GRNET, allowing visitors and their hosts to focus entirely on their research activities. Visits may result in joint publications started during the visit and longer-term collaborations.

If you are a Professor of or working with a department in Greece not included in the list and interested in collaborating with us as an HPC-Europa3 project host, please send an email to staff (at) hpc-europa.org and the project will process your request as soon as possible.

Useful links

For information how to reach GRNET headquarters: https://grnet.gr/en/contact-us/

For accommodation, travel, before travel preparation, weather and other information: http://www.visitgreece.gr/

Contact us

In general questions please contact the European coordinators of HPC-Europa3 Transnational Access Programme at staff (at) hpc-europa.org.

For questions and other topics related to visiting Greece under HPC-Europa3 please contact following persons at GRNET:

HPC-Europa3 Local Project Manager, GRNET

Evangelia Athanasaki

eathan (at) grnet.gr

Greek HPC system team leader, GRNET

Dimitris Dellis

ntell (at) admin.grnet.gr