Summary

Leonardo is a step forward towards providing exascale computing capabilities to researchers across Italy and Europe. Leonardo aims at maximum performance and can be classified as a top tier supercomputing system in Europe.

The system combines the most advanced computing components to be able to address even the most complex computational workflows, possibly involving HPC, AI, high-throughput, and visualization applications.

Leonardo system is capable of nearly 250 PFlops and equipped with over 100 PB of storage capacity. The system will provide 10 times the computational power of the current Cineca flagship system Marconi100.

Leonardo Model

Leonardo is a step forward towards providing exascale computing capabilities to researchers across Italy and Europe. Leonardo aims at maximum performance and can be classified as a top tier supercomputing system in Europe.

The system combines the most advanced computing components to be able to address even the most complex computational workflows, possibly involving HPC, AI, high-throughput, and visualization applications.

Leonardo system is capable of nearly 250 PFlops and equipped with over 100 PB of storage capacity. The system will provide 10 times the computational power of the current Cineca flagship system Marconi100.

Leonardo Model

hardware overview

Architettura
An overview of Leonardo architecture

Computing Partition

Leonardo will provide to users two main computing modules:

  • a Booster module, which purpose is to maximize the computational capacity. It was designed to satisfy the most computational-demanding requirements in terms of time-to-solution, while optimizing the energy-to-solution. This result is achieved with 3456 computing nodes, each equipped with four NVIDIA Ampere based GPUs driven by a single 32-cores Intel Ice Lake CPU. This partition module is expected to provide a computational performance over 240 Pflops.
  • A Data Centric module aiming to satisfy a broader range of applications. Its 1536 nodes are equipped with two Intel Sapphire Rapids CPUs, each with a core count over 50, in order to reach over 9 PFlops of sustained performance.

The system is interconnected through a 200 Gb/s InfiniBand data network.

Computing Partition

Leonardo will provide to users two main computing modules:

  • a Booster module, which purpose is to maximize the computational capacity. It was designed to satisfy the most computational-demanding requirements in terms of time-to-solution, while optimizing the energy-to-solution. This result is achieved with 3456 computing nodes, each equipped with four NVIDIA Ampere based GPUs driven by a single 32-cores Intel Ice Lake CPU. This partition module is expected to provide a computational performance over 240 Pflops.
  • A Data Centric module aiming to satisfy a broader range of applications. Its 1536 nodes are equipped with two Intel Sapphire Rapids CPUs, each with a core count over 50, in order to reach over 9 PFlops of sustained performance.

The system is interconnected through a 200 Gb/s InfiniBand data network.

Storage

The storage system features a capacity and fast tier. This architecture allows great flexibility and the ability to address even the most demanding I/O use cases in terms of bandwidth and IOPS. The storage architecture, in conjunction with the booster compute node design and its GPUDirect capability, increases the IO bandwidth and reduce IO latency towards the GPUs, therefore improving the performance for a significant number of use cases.

The Fast tier is based on DDN Exascaler and will act as a high performance tier specifically designed to support high IOPS workloads. This storage tier is completely full flash and based on NVMe and SSD disks therefore providing high metadata performance especially critical for AI workloads and in general when many files creation are required. A wide set of options are available in order to integrate fast and capacity tier in order to make them available to end users.

 

Data Network

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The low latency high bandwidth interconnect is based on a NVIDIA HDR200 solution and features a Dragonfly+ topology. This is a relatively new topology for Infiniband based networks that allows to interconnect a very large number of nodes containing the number of switches and cables, while also keeping the network diameter very small.

In comparison to non-blocking fat tree topologies, cost can be reduced and scaling-out to a larger number of nodes becomes feasible. In comparison to 2:1 blocking fat tree, close to 100% network throughput can be achieved for arbitrary traffic. Leonardo Dragonfly+ topology features a fat-tree intra-group interconnection, with 2 layers of switches, and an all-to-all inter-group interconnection.

Leonardo data network solution comes with improved adaptive routing support, which is crucial for facilitating high bisection bandwidth through non-minimal routing. In fact, intra-group routing and inter-group routing need to be balanced to provide low hops count and high network throughput. This is obtained with routing decisions evaluated in every router on the packet’s path and allows a minimum network throughput of ~ 50%.

This system gives the computational capacity to realise bandwidth demanding visualisations combined with fast access to data, such as 3D applications. 16 additional nodes are equipped with 6.4 TB NVMe disks and 2 NVidia Quadro RTX8000 48GB to be used as visualization nodes.

Data Network

Immagine21 copia

The low latency high bandwidth interconnect is based on a NVIDIA HDR200 solution and features a Dragonfly+ topology. This is a relatively new topology for Infiniband based networks that allows to interconnect a very large number of nodes containing the number of switches and cables, while also keeping the network diameter very small.

In comparison to non-blocking fat tree topologies, cost can be reduced and scaling-out to a larger number of nodes becomes feasible. In comparison to 2:1 blocking fat tree, close to 100% network throughput can be achieved for arbitrary traffic. Leonardo Dragonfly+ topology features a fat-tree intra-group interconnection, with 2 layers of switches, and an all-to-all inter-group interconnection.

Leonardo data network solution comes with improved adaptive routing support, which is crucial for facilitating high bisection bandwidth through non-minimal routing. In fact, intra-group routing and inter-group routing need to be balanced to provide low hops count and high network throughput. This is obtained with routing decisions evaluated in every router on the packet’s path and allows a minimum network throughput of ~ 50%.

This system gives the computational capacity to realise bandwidth demanding visualisations combined with fast access to data, such as 3D applications. 16 additional nodes are equipped with 6.4 TB NVMe disks and 2 NVidia Quadro RTX8000 48GB to be used as visualization nodes.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Leonardo is equipped with two different software tools enabling a dynamical adjustment of power consumption: Bull Energy Optimiser keeps track of energy and temperature profiles via IPMI and SNMP protocols. Such tools can interact with Slurm scheduler to tune some of its specific features, like a selection of the jobs based (also) on the expected power consumption or a dynamical capping of the CPUs frequencies based on the overall consumption.

This dynamical tuning procedure is enhanced by a second tool called Bull Dynamic Power Optimiser, which monitors the power consumptions core by core in order to cap frequencies to the value which grants optimal balance between energy saving and performance degradation for the running applications.

Regarding the GPU power consumption, NVIDIA Data Centre GPU Manager is provided allowing to scale down the GPUs clocks when it overcomes a custom threshold.

 

More technical information on Leonardo and EuroHPC systems can be found here.

 

performance overview

Leonardo is designed as a general-purpose system architecture able to serve all scientific communities and satisfy the needs of R&D industrial customers.

Scalable and high-throughput computing typically refer to scientific use cases that require large amount of computational resources either through highly parallel simulation runs on large scale HPC architectures or by launching a large numbers of smaller runs to evaluate the impact of different parameters. Leonardo system is expected to support both models by providing a tremendous speed-up for workloads able to exploit accelerators.

Leveraging the booster architecture, early benchmarks figures report a 15-30x time-to-science improvement for applications already ported on NVIDIA GPUs (QuantumEspresso, Specfem3D_Globe, Milc QCD) compared to Cineca Tier-0 system Marconi-100.
Examples of applications used in production on Marconi-100 (NVIDIA V100 based) can be found here.

The number of applications able to run on GPUs is increasing day by day, thanks to the diffusion of specific programming paradigms and supported by a growing ecosystem (EU Centers of Excellence, Hackathons, local support of the computing centers).

AI-based applications can leverage state-of-the-art GPUs providing large low precision peak performance, dedicated Tensor cores and a system architecture designed to support I/O bound workloads thanks also to NVIDIA GPUDirect RDMA feature and the storage fast tier.