Renting a supercomputer costs you as little as £90 an hour

Cirrus supercomputer

Need some heavyweight computing work doing? Then you might be interested to learn that Edinburgh University has made its Cirrus supercomputer available for businesses to rent.

Cirrus is described as a 'mid-range industry standard Linux cluster' which cost £1.45 million to build, and it's housed at the uni's advanced computing facility.

It's an SGI ICE XA supercomputer which boasts 56 compute nodes, each of which contains a pair of 18-core Intel Xeon E5-2695 processors, offering a total of 2,016 cores (double that using hyper-threading). Time on the beefy machine will cost you a reasonable seeming 3.69 pence, per core, per hour, although that doesn't include VAT.

Launch promo

However, the university is running a promotion for the launch of the service, and the first 20 companies who stake their claim and apply to make use of Cirrus will get a thousand core hours of usage for free. So if you get in quick enough with your application, you could be due a nice bonus.

In a statement to the press, the university said: "Businesses could dramatically cut the time taken to bring new products and services to market with help from our new supercomputer. Its applications could include helping to create efficient engineering devices, solving complex genetic calculations, or optimising the design of buildings."

It further noted that the service is "fully supported" and that users would have the benefit of the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre's expertise and advice in high-performance computing and the arcane art of data crunching.

Those fortunate companies who score with the freebie offer will also get full support, as well.

Of course, Cirrus isn't exactly in the same category as big cheeses like Sunway TaihuLight, which was crowned the new fastest supercomputer in the world back in June, and boasts no less than 40,960 nodes with a total of 10,649,600 computing cores.

Its Linpack performance benchmark hit a jaw-dropping 93 petaflop/s (93 quadrillion calculations per second), but you won't be accessing it for less than a hundred quid per hour...

Via: The Register

Image Credit: Callum Bennetts/Maverick Photography

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).