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HPE helps Eni deploy world’s most powerful industrial supercomputer

19 Jan 2018

Eni has launched its new HPC4 supercomputer at its Green Data Centre in Ferrera Erbognone, 60km away from Milan.

The new hybrid HPC cluster provided by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) quadruples the company’s computing power and makes it the world’s most powerful industrial system.

The system has a peak performance of 18.6 Petaflops, which when combined with the supercomputing system already in position (HPC3) increases Eni’s computational peak capacity to 22.4 Petaflops.

Eni’s Green Data Centre has been designed as a single IT infrastructure to host all of HPC’s architecture and all the other business applications.

The new hybrid HPC cluster provided by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is built on 1600 HPE ProLiant DL380 nodes, each equipped with two Intel 24-core Skylake processors (totalling more than 76,000 cores) and two NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPU accelerators, all connected through a high-speed EDR InfiniBand.

The new system will be working alongside a high performance 15 Petabytes storage subsystem.

The HPC3 and now the new HPC4 supercomputers are providing strategic support to the company’s process of digital transformation across the entire value chain within Eni’s Green Data Centre, from the exploration and development phase of oil and gas reservoirs to the management of the big data generated in the operational phase by all their productive assets.

Eni chief executive officer Claudio Descalzi says the investments devoted to reinforcing the supercomputing infrastructure and the development of algorithms are a significant part of Eni’s digital transformation process.

“We can store and process enormous quantities of data for geophysical imaging, the modelling of oil systems and reservoirs, in addition to using predictive and cognitive computing algorithms for all our business activities,” says Descalzi.

“These technologies will enable us, on the one hand, to accelerate and make the entire upstream process more efficient and accurate, reducing risks in the exploration phase and, at the same time, giving us a significant technological advantage, but also to increase the level of reliability, technical integrity and operability of all our productive plants, while minimising operational risks, with benefits both in terms of safety and environmental impact.”

Descalzi says in their industry it is becoming increasingly important to be able to process ever-increasing amounts of data, ensuring more accurate and faster results.

“With HPC4 we are tracing the path for the use of exascale supercomputers in the energy sector that could revolutionise the way in which oil and gas activities are managed,” Descalzi says.

“In line with Eni’s sustainability policy, Eni’s Green Data Centre as well as the new HPC4 have been engineered to ensure the maximum level of energy efficiency in order to minimise CO2 emissions and operating costs.”

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