SUSE Linux Enterprise Server Powers Europe’s Fastest Supercomputer

July 20, 2012

Critical to Leibniz-Rechenzentrum’s success is support from SUSE


Today, Europe’s most powerful supercomputer was officially inaugurated by IBM during a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Leibniz-Rechenzentrum (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in Garching, Germany. Used to solve difficult scientific questions in physics and fluid dynamics, SuperMUC, powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, ranks number four in the June 2012 TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. SuperMUC is a System X iDataPlex from IBM and is equipped with more than 155,000 processor cores, which deliver an aggregate peak performance of more than 3 Petaflops of computing power.

A special feature of SuperMUC is an innovative, warm-water cooling technology, inspired by the human blood circulation and developed by IBM, that results in 40 percent less energy consumption than traditional air-cooled machines. Additionally, the system allows energy to be captured and reused to heat the buildings of the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre Campus.

“SuperMUC is many times more efficient than its predecessor. Where it makes sense we use frequency scaling, a Linux kernel function delivered with SUSE Linux Enterprise, which allows us to run applications at their optimal operating point. This means we use, wherever possible, newly developed energy efficiency mechanisms in Linux,” said Dr. Herbert Huber, head of high-performance systems at the LRZ.

“Since 1998, we have relied  on SUSE for our high-performance computer sector at the Leibniz-Rechenzentrum. At that time, it was important to us that SUSE provided technical features that were not included in other Linux distributions,” explains Professor Dr. Arndt Bode, head of the LRZ. “But also important was the geographic vicinity, the direct connection to the development and product management teams at SUSE and their fast support response times.  This is still a huge benefit for us and is why all of our high-performance computers and most other systems run on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.”

“In the past, there have been several opportunities to think about an operating system change, but SUSE Linux Enterprise Server always made the decision easy for us because of its reliability and performance,” commented Dr. Huber. “The collaboration between SUSE and our hardware suppliers always ran smoothly. For example, common features have been developed which have then been incorporated into the Linux kernel. This kind of cooperation is a prerequisite for the success of projects like SuperMUC.”

“We are very proud of our long-standing collaboration with the LRZ. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has become, thanks to its scalability and performance, one of the most popular operating systems for high-performance computers. For SUSE, today's inauguration of SuperMUC is a great achievement toward our development work in high- performance computing,” said Meike Chabowski, HPC product marketing manager, SUSE.

For more information about the robust features enabled by Linux 3.0 kernel support in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2, please visit:

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About the LRZ LRZ

The Leibniz-Rechenzentrum (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences on the research campus in Garching is the service provider in the field of information processing for the Munich universities. Together with the Munich Scientific Network (MWN), it provides a powerful communication infrastructure for the sciences and operates extensive backup systems (archiving and backup). In addition, the LRZ is a national supercomputing center and part of the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing, formed by the three national supercomputing centers (Garching, Jülich, Stuttgart).

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