Skip to main content



Fujitsu Commences Full-Scale Operation of HOKUSAI - SailingShip, RIKEN's New Data Science Infrastructure

Fujitsu Limited

News Facts:

  • This new infrastructure facilitates the processing and storage of large amounts of high-quality data in various experiments and simulations across a wide range of research areas
  • Through the use of PC servers with OpenStack-based virtualization capabilities and a high-capacity storage system, diverse applications and data assets can be used in conjunction with public clouds
  • This infrastructure will not only provide an IT environment required by RIKEN users, but will also contribute to the promotion of open science, which encourages the use of research data and analysis methods
Tokyo, October 19, 2020

Fujitsu today announced that, together with RIKEN, it has completed deployment of a new data science infrastructure, HOKUSAI - SailingShip. RIKEN procured and implemented this system with the goal of facilitating the processing and utilization of enormous and high-quality research data generated through research activities. After a trial operation from June 2020, the system commenced operation on October 19.

HOKUSAI - SailingShip utilizes 440 Fujitsu Server PRIMERGY CX2550 M5 units equipped with Mirantis Cloud Platform(1), an OpenStack(2) -based virtualization infrastructure, and a 30-petabyte storage system that is compatible with various protocols for data access. This implementation is expected to advance the promotion of open science and disseminate research results using various applications and data assets in conjunction with public clouds.

Through its Data Science Infrastructure HOKUSAI - SailingShip, Fujitsu will offer robust support for the operation of the infrastructure ensuring a safe, secure, and convenient research environment.


In the course of R&D activities in a wide range of fields, including physics, chemistry, life science, and computational science, RIKEN needed an environment that could perform small-scale simulations with flexible allocation of computing resources and management capabilities using public clouds, as well as a system that could be flexibly applied to data processing and storage. Fujitsu received an order by bidding from RIKEN to deploy Data Science Infrastructure HOKUSAI - SailingShip, which aims to shift the paradigm from compute-oriented systems such as conventional supercomputers to scale-out cloud-based systems. This system commenced operation by RIKEN on October 19.

Features of HOKUSAI - SailingShip

1. Flexible execution environment consisting of 440 state-of-the-art x86 servers for various applications

  • A high-bandwidth Ethernet network connects 440 Fujitsu Server PRIMERGY CX2550 M5 units with Intel's latest CPUs, the 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors, for flexible execution of various applications.

2. Scale-out, large-scale storage for easy integration with public clouds

  • A large 30-petabyte storage system configuration that provides a scalable, flexible data access environment.
  • By adopting storage systems that support a variety of protocols, data can be easily linked to any external system, including public clouds.

3. Flexible virtual machine environment for a variety of applications

  • With x86 servers using Mirantis Cloud Platform, an OpenStack-based private cloud infrastructure, at the core, a virtual machine environment can flexibly supply computing resources according to varied requirements from office work to research use.
  • Open source prevents the system from becoming a black box.

Data Science Infrastructure HOKUSAI - SailingShipData Science Infrastructure HOKUSAI - SailingShip

Main configuration of HOKUSAI - SailingShip system

CPU farm Number of nodes 440
Number of cores 21,120
Total main memory capacity 165.0 terabytes
Data farm Capacity 30.0 petabytes
Bandwidth 350 gigabytes / sec

Comment from Motoyoshi Kurokawa, Director for Information Systems Division, ISC, RIKEN

RIKEN is the only comprehensive research institute for natural science in Japan, and conducts research in a wide range of fields, including physics, engineering, chemistry, mathematical and information science, computational science, biology, and medical science. In particular, a large amount of high-quality data is produced in diverse experiments and simulations, which require a system that can flexibly distribute and manage IT resources such as CPU, storage, OS and middleware on-demand for smooth data processing and storage. By adopting a private cloud infrastructure with OpenStack at its core as well as a scale-out hardware configuration, the HOKUSAI - SailingShip, is expected to serve not only as a much-needed IT environment for RIKEN users, but also as an infrastructure that will contribute to the promotion of open science, which encourages the use of research data and analysis methods.

Related Links



  • [1] Mirantis Cloud Platform

    Cloud based software from Mirantis Inc.

  • [2] OpenStack

    Free, open-source software for the provision of virtual machines.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 130,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 3.9 trillion yen (US$35 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. For more information, please see

Press Contacts

Public and Investor Relations Division

Company:Fujitsu Limited

All company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

Date: 19 October, 2020
City: Tokyo
Company: Fujitsu Limited