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SURFsara is the National Supercomputing and e-Science Support Centre in the Netherlands. Among SURFsara's customers are all of the Dutch Universities, a number of large research, educational and government institutions and the business community. The mission of SURFsara is to support research in the Netherlands by the development and provisioning of advanced ICT infrastructure, services and expertise. SURFsara provides expertise and services in the areas of High Performance Computing, e-Science & Cloud Services, Data Services, Network support, and Visualisation.

Together with Technology Transfer beneficiaries, SURFsara runs a programme to enable SMEs to take advantage of the high-quality infrastructure and support services that are available. In this initiative, SMEs can use the HPC facilities provided by SURFsara for demonstrating an industrial project using HPC. Once their project concept is proven, the company will have a clear picture of the potential ROI of using HPC for increasing its competitiveness. The SME then has the following options:

  • Use the facilities of SURFsara, EGI and PRACE for pre-competitive R&D purposes.
  • Use the HPC facilities of one of the Technology Transfer beneficiaries to incorporate HPC in its day-to-day production to
  • Buy its own HPC facilities.


In Fortissimo, SURFsara will look to strengthen its offer to industry, particularly to SMEs and so transfer the results of the project into practical use by industry, particularly SMEs. Its main areas of expertise include:

  • Application Support / Application Enabling: we offer single core optimisation, parallelisation and scaling support.
  • Providing large Dutch national HPC services.

SURFsara hosts large national infrastructure services such as

  • The Dutch national Supercomputer service Cartesius (Bull bulx system 271 TFlops, to be upgraded in the second half of 2014 to over 1 PF/s and to be extended in the first half of 2014 with GPGPU accelerators).
  • The National Compute Cluster Lisa (Dell InfiniBand cluster, > 6500 Intel cores, 46 TFlops).
  • Large data storage facilities and services (online capacity over 5 PB, tape capacity over 20 PB) and
  • All important national grid services (> 5000 cores). This also includes a large part of the BiG Grid infrastructure (the Dutch e-Science grid) that is a Tier-1 site for CERN LCG.

At the end of 2009 SURFsara started with a pilot cloud cluster offering on-demand and self-service virtualised High-performance compute clusters. Involving end-users from the very beginning this led to a successful piloting phase, pre-production and now very popular production cloud-cluster infrastructure. SurfSARA is contributing to open-source developments and has developed expertise in the area of open standards and interface specifications and cloud federation.

SURFsara participates in a number of national and international HPC, e-science and grid activities. SURFsara is (or was) partner in the large European e-Infrastructure projects: DEISA, DEISA-2, PRACE-1IP, PRACE-2IP, PRACE-3IP, EGI-InSPIRE and EUDAT, and partner in HPC-EUROPA and HPC-EUROPA2. Since 2008, the spin off company Vancis has been one of SURFsara’s technology-transfer beneficiaries.

In Experiment 419, SURFsara has the HPC Centre and HPC Service provider role and will provide an efficient infrastructure and expertise for the end-user an on-demand HPC capability in a controlled environment that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive and cumbersome to implement internally. In collaboration with SURFsara a cloud-based HPC infrastructure will be developed to sustain the delivery to a larger group of SMEs.

In Experiment 420, SURFsara has the HPC Centre and HPC Service provider role and will collaborate with three of SCM's developers to port SCM’s commercial computational chemistry codes to hybrid CPU-GPU supercomputers and emerging multiprocessor architectures. In collaboration with SURFsara a cloud-based HPC infrastructure will be developed to sustain the delivery to a larger group of SMEs. SURFsara is a host centre providing the Fortissimo HPC-Cloud infrastructure.

For further information, please visit or contact Maurice Bouwhuis or Frank Heere.