U.K.'s AWE selects Cray Shasta to support defence research



  • AWE chooses the Shasta supercomputer for its ability to run mixed workloads and applications and workloads at the best TCO
  • “Vulcan” will include the Slingshot interconnect, AMD processors, and ClusterStor storage

Cray Shasta supercomputer to boost next-generation scientific modeling for U.K. defence organization

Global supercomputer leader Cray, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, today announced that the United Kingdom’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) has selected the Cray Shasta supercomputer to support security and defence of the U.K. The Shasta system, purpose-built for the Exascale Era, was chosen due to its ability to run mixed workloads and applications at the best total cost of ownership (TCO) for a system across five years.

AWE’s supercomputer, named Vulcan, will feature a single Shasta supercomputer with expected performance of more than 7 petaflops. Shasta will play an integral role in maintaining the U.K.’s nuclear deterrent. “High-performance computing is a critical aspect of AWE,” said Andy Herdman, head of HPC at AWE. “It underpins the vast majority of our science-based programs, and we’re continually looking for ways to enhance and support this important work. This is why we chose Shasta, for its unique and powerful features, as well as its ability to provide optimal TCO.”

The U.K. Ministry of Defence is responsible for the program and stewardship of AWE, which is operated under contract by AWE Management Limited. The Establishment has been at the forefront of U.K. nuclear deterrence for more than 60 years. Predicated on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty which prohibits emission of nuclear yield, AWE must continually verify the safety and reliability of nuclear warheads through science-based and computational programming. Shasta will further extend AWE’s sophisticated scientific and technological capabilities.

“We are incredibly proud to be chosen by AWE to support their important mission,” said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO at Cray. “Shasta will bring Exascale Era technologies to bear on AWE’s challenging modeling and simulation data-intensive workload and enable the convergence of AI and analytics into this same workload, on a single system.”

Vulcan’s Shasta architecture will include the Cray Slingshot interconnect, AMD EPYC™ 7542 processors and Cray ClusterStor Lustre storage. The high performance storage system will offer nearly 100 gigabytes per second of I/O performance.

“We are pleased to once again partner with Cray to deliver a powerful new supercomputer that will support critical research efforts in the U.K.,” said Forrest Norrod, senior vice president and general manager, AMD Datacenter and Embedded Systems Group. “Our 2nd Generation AMD EPYC™ processors provide unprecedented performance while helping to reduce TCO, key elements for driving success for AWE in the coming years.”

About Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the global edge-to-cloud platform-as-a-service company that helps organizations accelerate outcomes by unlocking value from all of their data, everywhere. Built on decades of reimagining the future and innovating to advance the way we live and work, HPE delivers unique, open and intelligent technology solutions, with a consistent experience across all clouds and edges, to help customers develop new business models, engage in new ways, and increase operational performance. For more information, visit: www.hpe.com.

About AWE

AWE plays a crucial role in national defence by providing and maintaining warheads for Trident, the UK’s nuclear deterrent. AWE is contracted to the Ministry of Defence (MOD) through a Government-owned Contractor Operated (GOCO) arrangement. Whilst our sites and facilities remain in government ownership, their management, day to day operations, and the maintenance of the nuclear stockpile is contracted to a private company AWE Management Limited (AWE ML). AWE ML is a consortium comprising three equal partners: Serco Group plc, the Lockheed Martin Corporation and Jacobs Engineering Group. For further information, visit: http://www.awe.co.uk

This press release originally published on cray.com and has been updated and published here in HPE’s Newsroom.


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