Half-time in cluster set up for National High-Performance Computing (NHR)

With the inclusion of the NHR South-West in the National High-Performance Computing, the preparations for the installation of the new cluster at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) also started. The working group for High-Performance Computing (HPC) at the Data Center (ZDV) has been working intensively on the conception and planning for the past few months, ordered the required hardware and had parts of the central server room converted for the cluster.

Preparation is everything

The future cooling of the cluster was initially the focus of the construction measures. The existing piping in the raised floor had to be extended so that the planned Direct Liquid Cooling system could dissipate the waste heat from the computing nodes in the future. Side coolers, which are located between the server racks, dissipate the heat from the remaining hardware using air circulation. The server racks and side coolers were delivered at the beginning of August and installed on site by our colleagues.


Also mounted and ready for use are the power distribution units that provide power to the hardware in the server racks. Furthermore, the various networks must be prepared for the upcoming deployment of the cluster. The HPC staff was able to lay the first foundations with the help of the ZDV network group by installing the switches of the management network and the first parts of the HDR-Infiniband network. The use of HDR-Infiniband, a special network interface standard, offers above all a very high transmission rate.


Further hardware deliveries are scheduled by the end of the year: Components for the Direct Liquid Cooling system and the computing nodes themselves. As soon as the cluster is ready for operation, it will be available to researchers throughout Germany via the NHR South-West. Main topics in Mainz are: High Energy Physics, Condensed Matter Physics and Life Science.

About the NHR South-West

The NHR South-West is a cross-national consortium that includes JGU, the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Goethe University Frankfurt and Saarland University. The goal is to benefit mutually from methodological expertise and computing capacity that is being developed.

Researchers from the four universities of NHR South-West can network more closely with other high-performance computing centers within the alliance and develop their technical and methodological competencies in High-performance computing in a targeted and coordinated manner. In this way, the advantages of High-performance computing can be made available to research and science in the long term.

In October 2021, the joint science conference of the federal and state governments decided to include JGU in the National Supercomputing Alliance.