The Department of Computing at the University of Surrey will use a High Performance Compute Cluster (HPCC) to advance research in areas such as multimedia security; complex, intelligent and adaptive systems and applications for the financial services industry.

The HPCC will enable the university to 'scale-up' experiments, complete more complex research on larger sets of data to ensure greater accuracy and repeatability of results.

Financial analysis company, CDO2 will be one of the first commercial companies to make use of the HPCC. CD02 has partnered with the university to work on a three-year knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) aimed at improving CDO2's pricing and risk analysis technology. CDO2 develops this technology for banks, hedge funds and investment firms that are involved in trading structured credit products, specifically collateralised debt obligations (CDOs).

"We are gaining leading-edge server and storage capability with access to the appropriate expertise for these systems," said Dr Lee Gillam, research fellow, University of Surrey. "The HPCC technology will enable us to undertake further and deeper scientific and business-oriented research, benefiting real-world applications."

The cluster’s entire design, installation and maintenance is provided by HPC integrator, OCF.

Gary Dear, Surrey’s computing support manager said: "We are working closely with OCF and IBM to ensure a seamless integration technology with our existing infrastructure".

The HPCC system contains IBM's HS21 high-density blade servers featuring Intel Core 2 Duo architecture; IBM System Storage DS4500 and IBM System Storage DS4000 providing terascale storage capability. Myrinet's Myricom switching technology provides low-latency connectivity between blades.

"The investment in this system will strengthen efforts in a number of directions and complements the department's investment into Access Grid technologies," said head of the Department of Computing, Professor Steve Schneider. "The computational and collaborative capabilities will assist in advancements in existing activities and provide for new opportunities."