The North German Supercomputing Alliance (Norddeutscher Verbund für Hoch- und Höchstleistungsrechnen - HLRN) was founded in 2001 by the merger of the six federal states of Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. In 2012 Brandenburg joined the HLRN. Together with the federal ministry of education and research (BMBF) they have funded and procured the HLRN compute systems HLRN I - HLRN IV.
The HLRN network is part of the national HPC infrastructure and jointly operates a distributed supercomputer system located in two operating centres University of Göttingen and Zuse Institute Berlin. The Göttingen site is operated by the GWDG. A dedicated part of the NHR-system Emmi is funded by the HLRN.
Since the GWDG and the University of Göttingen have become one of eight centers Centers for National High Performance Computing (NHR Centers) in 2021, the GWDG currently operates the NHR-system Emmy (HLRN-IV), which is in part funded by the HLRN. Since October 2020, the second phase is in operation, which made it necessary to move to a scalable modular data center. The AG Computing is heavily involved in its planning and operation. Details of the HLRN-IV systems can be found on the HLRN sites.
The HLRN systems are used in particular by scientists at universities and institutions in the participating federal states, but are also available to researchers outside the federal states network. Depending on the institutes affiliation, different user fees apply. Generally, computing time on the HLRN systems is allocated within the framework of large-scale projects. For a major project an application must be submitted, which is reviewed by the Scientific Commitee and -in the best case- approved. For the preparation of this application, individual user accounts with limited computing resources can be applied for.
One of the outstanding aspects of the HLRN is the supra-regional, interdisciplinary operating competence network, which supports users during the whole process of the project application, project lifetime, as well as project extension. The competence network consists of experts from different application areas of scientific computing. The GWDG has one local expert advisor as the first point of contact for users on site and seven expert advisors from various fields. To a large extent, these tasks are carried out by the members of the AG Computing in the scope of their support responsibilities.
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