The Alan Turing Institute is to collaborate with Cray Inc. and the EPSRC to exploit a Next Generation Analytics Capability on the UK’s Largest Supercomputer for Scientific Research, ARCHER

The Alan Turing Institute, Cray Inc., and the EPSRC today announce a collaboration that will provide a next generation big data analytics capability to the UK’s data sciences community.  As part of this collaboration, EPSRC’s ARCHER supercomputer, based at the University of Edinburgh and currently the largest supercomputer for scientific research in the UK, will be enabled with advanced data analytics capabilities that will provide a scalable platform to enable the science community, commerce and industry to realise the value of big data for the UK economy. Cray will support research at The Alan Turing Institute that uses this new capability.

“Data analytics has the opportunity to transform the UK’s and world’s economies but in order for that to happen we must provide the leading data scientists with access to the best possible computing resources in the field, and this includes bringing supercomputing to bear on the largest data challenges” said Howard Covington, Chairman of The Alan Turing Institute.  “Being able to utilise the ARCHER supercomputer for data analytics projects will enable industry and the government to lead the way in showing how leveraging big data can have a hugely positive impact on the UK’s economy and international competitiveness.”

“Cray is honoured to be working with The Alan Turing Institute and EPSRC to bring this new capability to the UK,” said Peter Ungaro, President and CEO of Cray Inc.  “We have a common vision around the convergence of big data analytics and supercomputing to provide new capabilities that will allow companies and governments all around the world to leverage the unique capabilities of supercomputers to cost-effectively analyse the immense amount of data that is being generated today.  This national project will have ties into Cray’s European R&D and analytics organisations using our unique supercomputing technologies as the basis of big data infrastructures now and in the future.”

“EPSRC is a stakeholder in both The Alan Turing Institute and the ARCHER system, which provides the largest supercomputer in the UK for scientific research,” said Philip Nelson, Chief Executive of EPSRC.  “Both of these programmes aim to bring breakthrough research to the UK and with this close relationship we will transform our ARCHER supercomputer into the largest data analytics platform in the world, enabling huge breakthroughs in leveraging big data into the UK economy and catapulting the UK into a world leader in the data sciences.”

Cray has led the development of high performance analytics systems, first with the Cray Urika-GD, Cray’s unique graph discovery appliance, and more recently with the Cray Urika-XA system for advanced analytics.  As part of the R&D work associated with this collaboration, similar high performance big data capabilities will be made available on the ARCHER supercomputer, a Cray XC30. With its 330 Terabytes of memory and Cray’s high speed interconnect the ARCHER system will enable scientists to study problems whose data volume and complexity is beyond the capabilities of that possible today.

As part of the relationship, The Alan Turing Institute and Cray will work together with EPSRC on future technology requirements and on methodologies, algorithms, middleware and applications around data science to help co-design future generations of big data systems as well as providing a capability to increase the adoption of these technologies across industry partners and the various UK governmental agencies.  Cray will extend the capabilities of its Centres of Excellence beyond supercomputing into Data Analytics as an extension of their current European R&D program headquartered in Bristol, UK