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Fujitsu Receives Contract for x86 Cluster System from the University of Tokyo's Institute for Cosmic Ray Research

Experiment-analysis system will support neutrino research at the Super-Kamiokande

Fujitsu Limited

Tokyo, October 25, 2011

Fujitsu today announced that it has received a contract from the Kamioka Observatory, which is part of the University of Tokyo's Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, to build an experiment-analysis system for the Kamioka Observatory, which uses neutrino(1) observations to understand the origin of the universe.

The experiment-analysis system will be used to accumulate and analyze the prodigious amount of data collected by the tens of thousands of photomultipliers that make up the Super-Kamiokande detector. The new system, along with the detector itself, will form the pillar supporting the research facility.

The new system will primarily be comprised of a x86 cluster system consisting of 142 PRIMERGY BX922 S2 blade servers, ETERNUS DX80 S2 disk storage systems, and a high-speed distributed file system that employs the FEFS scalable file system software. The overall system's calculation performance will achieve a score of 33,000 on SPECint_rate 2006 benchmarking(2), roughly double the performance(3) of the system it will replace, with 4.4 times the disk capacity, 7 times the data-transfer speed, and 22% lower power consumption(4).

Fujitsu is proud to have the opportunity to help enhance the efficiency of the Kamioka Observatory's neutrino observations, and to contribute to a greater understanding of the nature of neutrinos and the origins of the universe itself.

The new experiment-analysis system is scheduled to go online in March 2012.

Background on the Deployment of the New Experiment-Analysis System

To unravel the mysteries behind the origins of the universe and the creation of matter, the Kamioka Observatory uses Super-Kamiokande, built in the town of Kamioka in Gifu Prefecture, to conduct observations of the elementary particles called neutrinos. The experiment-analysis system will accumulate and analyze the prodigious volumes of data collected by Super-Kamiokande. In order to observe neutrino events from supernovas or other rare cases that may only appear once for less than twenty seconds every few decades, in addition to solar neutrinos and atmospheric neutrinos, the observatory must run reliably 24x7, process data quickly, and reliably record some 500 GB of observational and analytic data per day. In order to reanalyze several months' worth or even years' worth of data, the system needs high-speed access to the vast body of past data.

To fulfill these requirements, the new system needs to deliver high reliability with improved data-transport and analytic performance, along with greatly increased storage capacity that is able to store five years' worth of observations. In addition, the new system needs to increase the efficiency of allocating analytic resources in load-intensive situations, and consume less electrical power.

Overview of the New Experiment-Analysis System

The new system consists of a computation server, high-speed distributed file system, file system management server, and instrument-data processing system. As the system uses the latest CPU and disk technologies, calculating performance is roughly doubled, disk capacity is roughly 4.4 times greater, and data-transfer speeds are roughly 7 times faster. The use of FEFS scalable-file system software, Parallelnavi high-performance computing middleware, and other Fujitsu hardware and software products, result in a highly-reliable system to increase analytic efficiency and observational precision.

The new system will be used to record observational data and analyze the energy and direction of each particle. These analyses will shed light on the nature of neutrinos, question about the evolution of our universe, and aim to test grand unified theories(5) through detection of the proton-decay phenomenon.

1. Computation server

A x86 cluster system consisting of 142 PRIMERGY BX922 S2 blade servers (284 processors, 1,704 computing cores), this server achieves a SPECint_rate 2006 benchmarking score of 33,000, roughly double the calculating performance of its predecessor.

2. High-speed distributed file system & file system management server

With a storage system made up of ETERNUS DX80 S2 disk storage systems and two ETERNUS LT270 tape libraries, the new file system has 3.1 petabytes of storage capacity, roughly 4.4 times that of its predecessor. Tape or disk storage can be selected depending on the purpose, helping to make operations more efficient.

In addition, the FEFS scalable-file system software can handle high-volume simultaneous accesses from the computation server's parallelized 284 processors and 1,704 computing cores at roughly 7 times the transfer speed of its predecessor, avoiding the problem of individual users monopolizing IO processing bandwidth and ensuring adequate IO processing bandwidth per node for increased usability.

Finally, while overall system performance has been enhanced, power consumption has been reduced by roughly 22% compared to its predecessor.

3. Instrument-data processing system

This system consists of ETERNUS DX80 S2 disk storage systems and 40 PRIMERGY x86 servers installed in the Moizumi Mine in the Mount Kamioka area in Gifu Prefecture, where the Super-Kamiokande detector resides. Observational data captured by the photomultipliers in the detector is sent to this system. Ensuring that the data passes through this system to the file system demands a highly reliable system that keeps running 24×7.

Comment from Yoshinari Hayato, Associate Professor, ICRR, University of Tokyo

"The increased CPU and memory performance of the new system will reduce the time needed to analyze neutrinos arriving from supernova explosions and increase detection sensitivity, allowing us to make more precise measurements than ever before. The greater computing power also promises to increase the efficiency and degree of detail in research on differences in oscillations between neutrinos and anti-neutrinos, which are based on atmospheric neutrino data. The increase in disk capacity will improve the capture and analysis of low-energy solar neutrino data. The results of these researches will deepen our understanding of the nature of neutrinos, and will help shed light on the mystery of the universe's origins. This also promises to advance the search for the as-yet undetected proton decay phenomenon, which could experimentally prove grand unified theories, something nobody has been able to accomplish to date."

  • [1] Neutrino:

    A type of fundamental particle. The name combines "neutral," indicating that it is neutral—carrying no electric charge—and "ino," Italian for "small." Although it is one of the most elemental of fundamental particles, its nature is very poorly understood.

  • [2] 33,000 SPECint_rate 2006 benchmarking:

    Estimate value. SPECint_rate 2006 is one type of benchmark for CPU performance.

  • [3] Roughly double the performance:

    Comparison based on SPECint_rate 2006.

  • [4] 22% lower power consumption:

    Power reduced from 240 kW to 185 kW.

  • [5] Grand unified theories:

    The theory that the three forces (electromagnetic force, strong force, and weak force) that act on fundamental particles were in fact the same in the superheated state at the beginning of the universe. Proving this theory would make possible a unified understanding of the universe's physical phenomena.

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This press release has been revised as of December 17, 2018.

Date: 25 October, 2011
City: Tokyo
Company: Fujitsu Limited, , , , , , , , , ,