The new BullSequana XH2000 supercomputer, Mahti, has been inaugurated at Finland's IT Center for Science (CSC) data center in Kajaani.

The HPC launch took place during a live-streamed ceremony that hosted the Director of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, Erja Heikkinen. The launch also featured presentations from several researchers who ran large-scale simulations on Mahti during a pilot program since it was installed in August.

Mahti is in a data center at the Renforsin Ranta Business Park in the city of Kajaani and gets power from two hydroelectric stations.

CSC's Kajaani data center
The CSC's facility at the Renforsin Ranta Business Park, Kajaani – CSC

Finnish climate research

Mahti features AMD Rome system CPUs and a total of 1404 nodes. Each node has 128 cores running at 2.6 GHz, with 256 GB of memory. Originally Mahti was to be installed late last year and ready for customers at the beginning of 2020, according to a 2019 webinar (pg 14). The new HPC will operate alongside its older brother, Pahti, and feed information into Allas, the CSC’s storage system, before all findings are transferred to the cloud.

During its pilot, Mahti was used by researchers to model the effect of climate change on Antarctic ice sheets, to simulate carbon nanotube growth, and to reconstruct the Carrington geomagnetic space storm effect. Mahti is now available to all researchers across Finnish universities and research institutes.

Janne Ahonen, country manager Finland and Baltics at Atos said: “The Mahti supercomputer of CSC, the fastest computer in the Nordics, will benefit the Finnish universities and research institutes, the ecosystem of different local companies, and the Kainuu region. It’s an example of what can be achieved with European cooperation, and a system delivery that Atos is very proud of. We wish there will be great scientific discoveries made possible by the high computing power of Mahti.”

Pekka Lehtovuori, director of computing services at CSC, said: “Supercomputer Mahti Inauguration completes our national next-generation computing and data management environment. It offers resources for the most demanding parallel computing applications and thus helps Finnish researchers to solve their research challenges among the first in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic is a good indication of the importance of bleeding-edge national research infrastructure. We can react quickly and allocate resources to research when a critical need arises.”

In 2018, CSC chose Atos as the single vendor to deliver its range of BullSequana HPC servers. A year later Atos inaugurated Puhti at CSC’s Kajaani data center. Mahti's older brother is designed for AI research and intensive GPU computing; at the time the HPC doubled the computing capacity available to CSC when it was installed.

The CSC is following up its supercomputing efforts after Mahti with its 150 petaflop LUMI, an upcoming 'pre-exascale' HPC due for installation in 2021.

LUMI is a joint effort of the EU's EuroHPC program. It will be joined by MareNostrum 5, the Barcelona-based supercomputer which will top out at 200 petaflops peak performance, and the CINECA site in Italy which will be home to the 270 peak petaflops Leonardo supercomputer.