Seattle, WA – Cray announced it has been awarded a contract to provide the Met Office in the United Kingdom with multiple Cray XC supercomputers and Cray Sonexion storage systems. Consisting of three phases spanning multiple years, the $128 million contract expands Cray’s presence in the global weather and climate community, and is the largest supercomputer contract ever for Cray outside of the United States.
Headquartered in Exeter, England, the Met Office is the United Kingdom’s national weather service and is recognized as one of the world’s most accurate forecasters. The Met Office uses more than 10 million weather observations a day and an advanced atmospheric model to create 3,000 tailored forecasts and briefings each day that are delivered to customers ranging from government, businesses, the general public, armed forces and other organizations.
In their final configurations, which will include Cray XC40 systems, as well as next-generation Cray XC systems with current and future Intel Xeon processors, the Cray supercomputers at the Met Office will have 13 times more supercomputing power than its current systems. The Met Office will use its new Cray supercomputers and storage systems for operational weather prediction and climate research.
“We are very excited about this investment in UK science,” said Met Office Chief Executive Rob Varley. “It will lead to a step change in weather forecasting and climate prediction, and give us the capability to strengthen our collaborations with partners in the South West, UK and around the world. The new Cray supercomputers, together with improved observations, science and modeling, will deliver better forecasts and advice to support UK business, the public and government. It will help make the UK more resilient to high impact weather and other environmental risks.”
“We are truly honored that one of the most prestigious weather centers in the world has awarded us with the largest international contract in Cray’s history,” said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray. “The award is symbolic for Cray on a number of fronts — it demonstrates that our systems continue to be the supercomputers of choice for production weather centers across the globe, that our close relationship with Intel is providing customers with enhanced capabilities today and into the future and it reinforces the role that Cray plays in impacting society on a daily basis in a wide range of areas. The Met Office is both a pioneer and leader in weather and climate services, and we are excited that Cray supercomputers and storage solutions will assist them in achieving their important and complex mission of informing citizens and industry how the weather and climate will affect them now and in the future.”
The Cray XC40 supercomputers are engineered to meet the performance challenges of today’s most demanding high performance computing (HPC) users. Special features of the Cray XC40 supercomputers include: the industry-leading Aries system interconnect; a Dragonfly network topology that frees applications from locality constraints; DataWarp applications I/O accelerator technology; innovative cooling systems to lower customers’ total cost of ownership; the next-generation of the scalable, high performance Cray Linux Environment supporting a wide range of applications; Cray’s HPC optimized programming environment for improved performance and programmability, and the ability to handle a wide variety of processor types in a tightly-integrated system infrastructure.
The next-generation Cray Sonexion storage solution will be delivered in phases and, all total, will include more than 20 petabytes of storage capacity, running at speeds of more than 1.5 terabytes per-second of bandwidth. Cray’s Sonexion storage system combines Cray’s Lustre expertise tightly integrated in a unique design that allows for maximum scalability. Management and operations are simplified through an appliance design with all storage components including software, storage and infrastructure.
Consisting of products and services, the multi-year, multi-phase contract is valued at more than $128 million at current exchange rates. Multiple system deliveries are expected between 2014 and 2017, with the major deliveries expected between 2015 and 2017.
For more information on the Met Office, please visit www.metoffice.gov.uk.