CERN and IMCCE: Sending Performance to the Stars with Intel® Xeon® Processor 7500 Series

itc_cs_imcee_xeon_library_preview.jpgWhen it comes to scientific research, processing power is everything. And two European research organizations have found the processing power their demanding applications need in the Intel® Xeon® processor 7500 series.

Switzerland’s CERN openlab is a framework for evaluating and integrating cutting-edge IT technologies and services in partnership with industry, focusing on future versions of the World-Wide Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid* (WLCG*). Through close collaboration with leading industrial partners, CERN acquires early access to technology before it’s available to the general computing market segment. Recently, CERN openlab tested servers based on  both the Intel® Xeon® processor 7500 series for use with its Large Hadron Collider* (LHC*) and infrastructure services.

The tests showed that Intel Xeon processor 7500 series offered a stunning 3x performance improvement over the Intel® Xeon® processor 7400 series.

“We make our decisions based on price, power, and performance against our benchmarks and per server,” explained Olof Barring, head of facility planning and procurement for the CERN IT Department. “The Intel Xeon processor 5600 series met the criteria we look for across these areas.”

In France, the Institut de Mécanique Céleste et de Calcul des Ephémérides (IMCCE) researches and charts celestial mechanics and the dynamics and astrometry of solar system objects. It uses an application called TRIP*, an interactive computer algebra system specially adapted to celestial mechanics. To increase the performance of TRIP, IMCCE implemented HP ProLiant* DL980 G7 servers powered by the Intel Xeon processors 7500 series. IMCCE benchmarked the Intel Xeon processor 7500 series against its existing servers and used Intel® C++ Compiler and Intel® vTune™ Performance Analyzer to optimize the TRIP code and trace any potential performance bottlenecks.

“The Intel Xeon processor 7500 series clearly made a significant difference to the speed and number of calculations we could carry out,” said Mickaël Gastineau, research engineer at IMCCE. “Furthermore, we gained more computing variables and also moved from batch processing to interactive processing.”

To learn more, read our new CERN and IMCCE business success stories. As always, you can find these, and many others, in the Reference Room and IT Center.

*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.