The speed of collaborative research using Europe's network of supercomputers is to be advanced by a major upgrade.
The Distributed European Infrastructure for Supercomputing Applications (Deisa), has increased connectivity speeds ten-fold to 10Gbps, through dedicated links designed and deployed by the Geant2 pan-European research and education network.
This will allow researchers in projects such as Seissol (research into earthquake simulations) and Comsimm (looking at current and future climate trends) to harness the combined processing power of Deisa's 200 teraflops of supercomputing infrastructure.
Requests for supercomputing resources among scientific research domains are on the increase, with 23 projects scheduled for operation in 2007.
Among these applications, projects in progress include Icaros (stratospheric ozone research, climate change), Gyro3D (plasma instability) and Helium (radiation-matter interactions).
Geant2 is the largest research and education network ever built in Europe.
Extending over 50,000 km, it connects 34 countries on the continent and has extensive links to North America and Asia.
Managed by international research and education network provider Dante, it is co-funded by Europe's National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) and the European Commission.
Geant2 and its partner NRENs currently connect seven Deisa sites across Europe - BSC (Spain), Idris (France), FZJ, HLRS, LRZ, RZG (all Germany) and Sara (Netherlands) via dedicated 10gbps wavelengths, all managed by a central switch.
Sites including Cineca (Italy), CSC (Finland), EPCC (UK) and ECMWF (UK) are scheduled for connection by mid-2007.
Deisa provides leading scientific researchers with access to a European cluster of state-of-the-art high performance computing (HPC) resources.
Deisa's aim is to create an integrated European HPC ecosystem before the end of the decade.
Victor Alessandrini, project director, Deisa says: "The underlying aim of the Deisa project is to enable scientific discovery across a broad spectrum of science and technology.
"By exploiting the point-to-point connections that Geant2 provides, we're able to create a high speed, integrated European supercomputing environment.
"This will enable us to share the massive computational resources that are needed for efficiency and performance".
"The Deisa supercomputing environment will deliver a vital resource for the European research community, said Hans Dobbeling, general manager, Dante.
"By using Geant2's point-to-point connections, Deisa can ensure its users are able to maximise usage of Europe's supercomputing resources".
Geant2 delivers the next generation research and education network for Europe.
With over 30 million research and education users in 34 countries across the continent, Geant2 offers unrivalled geographical coverage, high bandwidth, innovative hybrid networking technology and a range of user-focused services.
Its network footprint maps more than 50,000 km and its extensive geographical reach interconnects with other world regions, enabling global research collaboration.
Europe's academics and researchers can now exploit the power of dedicated Geant2 point-to-point links, creating optical private networks solely for their use, that connect specific research centres.
Geant2 is co-funded by the European Commission under the Sixth Research and Development Framework Programme.
The project partners are 30 European National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), Terena and Dante.
It is co-ordinated by Dante, the research networking organisation that plans, manages and builds research networks all over the world.
Deisa is a EU funded distributed supercomputing environment consisting of 11 of Europe's supercomputers.
It deploys and operates a number of services that enable the cooperative operation of all the national leading supercomputing platforms, and the high performance access to remote data repositories.
The Deisa infrastructure's aggregated computing power is over 190Teraflops.
Focused on the advancement of science in Europe, Deisa has moved in three years from the support of an initial set of early users in various areas of science (material sciences, cosmology, fusion research, life sciences, computational fluid dynamics, and environmental sciences) to a full scale support of leading, demanding, Grand Challenge applications in all areas of science and technology that could not come to life otherwise.
This is implemented through the Deisa Extreme Computing Initiative, launched in 2005 and reiterated in 2006.
New call for proposals opened on 30 April 2007, for the third generation DECI projects.
Dante is a non-profit organisation whose primary mission is to plan, build and manage research and education networks.
Established in 1993, Dante has been fundamental to the success of pan-European research and education networking.
Dante has built and operates Geant2 which provides the data communications infrastructure essential to the success of many research projects in Europe.
Dante is involved in worldwide initiatives to interconnect countries in other regions to one another and to Geant2.
Dante currently manages projects focused on the Mediterranean, Latin American and Asia-Pacific regions through the Eumedconnect, Alice and Tein2 (Trans-Eurasia Information Network) projects respectively.