Hewlett Packard Enterprise has bagged a contract to build a supercomputer for the United Weather Centres – West, the remit being to help improve the accuracy of forecasts in Northern Europe.
UWC-West is a tie-up between the Danish Meteorological Institute, Icelandic Met Office, Ireland Met Éireann national weather service, and the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.
The super is to be based on HPE Cray tech and will include Slingshot, an Ethernet fabric, HPE’s ClusterStor E1000 storage unit, and Performance Customer Management, system management software. It will also use Cray’s Programming Environment to optimise HPC and machine learning applications.
One part of the system will only cover operational weather forecasting and another will be used for “broader weather and climate research,” said HPE.
It is set to be housed in the Icelandic Met Office’s existing data centre, a facility powered by local renewable energy.
Bill Manner, veep and GM of HPC at the US tech maker, said European nations need HPE amid “challenges with new, dynamic weather patterns caused by climate change.” He said the system will help “evolve weather models and simulate vast amounts of complex data to unlock accurate, real forecasts.”
Or so HPE and UWC-West hope. The super will be used to generate “more detailed forecast updates and make predictions every hour,” the company added. It will also allow for research into extreme weather patterns including heatwaves, heavy rain, flooding, and snowstorms. That data will be used to alert local governments and communities to get ready for what’s coming.
“The UWC-West supercomputer is the first step in a powerful collaboration between weather services in Europe, and it is vital that we continue working closer together to improve our weather forecasts and understanding of how climate change will impact our countries,” said Marianne Thyyring, chairman at UWC-West.
The machine is due to be installed in Q2 next year and be up and running by early 2023. The finances involved were not revealed.
Last month, HPE won a deal to build a new super for the United Arab Emirates’ National Center of Meteorology to make weather predictions, and in January took on a $35m agreement to produce an chunky computer for the US federally funded National Centre for Atmospheric Research. In between those deals, it won a $2bn HPC-as-a-service gig with the NSA.
HPE has invested big sums of cash in HPC, buying Cray and SGI. ®