KAUST has selected a trifecta of Cray’s storage, analytics and supercomputing systems from global supercomputer leader Cray Inc in a $80 million contract. Cray’s Adaptive Supercomputing vision is focused on delivering innovative next-generation products that integrate diverse processing technologies into a unified architecture, allowing customers to meet the market’s continued demand for realized performance. This contract marks Cray’s return to the Middle East for the first time in nearly 20 years.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is an international, graduate-level research university located on the shores of the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia. KAUST is dedicated to advancing science and technology through interdisciplinary research, education and innovation and is emerging as a front runner in performing research. It provides some of the world’s best equipped laboratories and an unmatched range of instrumentation under one roof.

The Cray high performance storage solution at KAUST will include more than 18 petabytes of next-generation datawarp and Sonexion 2000 storage capacity, running at more than one terabyte per-second to datawarp and 500 gigabytes per-second to Lustre, with TAS to manage the data through an integrated data archive. Management and operations are simplified through an appliance design with all storage components including software, storage and infrastructure. The Cray XC40 system at KAUST, named “Shaheen II,” will be 25 times more powerful than its current system.

The Urika-GD system is a purpose-built, big data appliance for real-time data discovery using graph analytics. The appliance helps automate the surfacing of unknown relationships and non-obvious patterns in diverse data sets without the need for pre-modeling, partitioning or knowing all the queries in advance. The Urika-GD appliance at KAUST will include graph-optimized hardware that provides two terabytes of global shared memory, 64 massively-multithreaded graph processors supporting 128 threads/processor, and an RDF/SPARQL database optimized for the underlying hardware.

“Our goal is to empower faculty and students with the freedom to think big, aim high and explore some of the world’s most difficult challenges,” said KAUST President, Jean-Lou Chameau. “Shaheen II will accelerate our supercomputing capabilities in both the laboratory and in learning environments, so that our people can collaborate on discoveries that will benefit Saudi Arabia and the world.”

“We are honored that KAUST has selected a trifecta of Cray’s storage, analytics and supercomputing systems to advance the University’s renowned efforts toward scientific discovery,” said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO at Cray. “Our new partnership with KAUST signifies Cray’s return to the Middle East region, a growing geographic center for high performance computing and computational research, and another step in our Company’s continuing growth and expansion plans.”

Cray and Sonexion are registered trademarks of Cray Inc. in the United States and other countries, and XC40, DataWarp and Urika-GD are trademarks of Cray Inc. Other product and service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

The Safe harbour statement outlines the details of the contract including the timing of delivery of the systems purchased by KAUST and Cray’s ability to deliver systems that meet KAUST’s requirements. These statements involve current expectations, forecasts of future events and other statements that are not historical facts.  Inaccurate assumptions and known and unknown risks and uncertainties can affect the accuracy of forward-looking statements and cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements.

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(Image Credit: edward musiak)

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