bwHPC Concept

The state concepts for high-performance computing and data-intensive services have been known and established in Baden-Württemberg for many years. The concept is based on the principles of cooperative provision of resources and service structures. Especially the aspect of cooperation creates synergies and bundles expertise to broaden the user base, provide services according to demand, and provide targeted support to researchers and students in using these services.


bwGRiD (2008) as the starting point of a translocational HPC infrastructure and bwGRiD supplementary measures (2011) as the beginning of a federative user support project created a close cooperation in Baden-Württemberg that continues to this day. Key results were state-wide software provision and a location-independent and flexible use of resources based on a unified working environment with a homogeneous computing infrastructure.

 1st bwHPC concept (2013 - 2018)

The requirements for simplification of access and infrastructure customized for scientific communities were comprehensively addressed on the HPC point of view with the first bwHPC concept [12] from 2013 to 2018. Key points were:

  • implementation of HPC clusters according the performance pyramid composed of 4 tiers, whereas HPC clusters are classified with respect to peak performance and scalability,
  • vertical permeability of Tier 3 to Tier 2 to 0 and vice versa,
  • differentiation of the HPC entrance level, i.e. Tier 3, providing the state-wide usable, general purpose computing system bwUniCluster (bw = Baden-Württemberg, Uni = Universal/University) and four state-wide usable bwForClusters (For = Forschung, German for Research) customized for scientific areas, i.e., bwHPC domains, as defined by bwHPC, and
  • establishing bwHPC competence centers to provide user support and services, bridging science and HPC.

 bwHPC-C5 (2013 - 2018)

Their implementation was channeled through the accompanying user support projects bwHPC-C5 Phase 1 and 2 (2013 - 2018); with the successful results of:

  • establishment of a state-wide support structure for user support of the bwForCluster and the bwUniCluster as well as the integration of Baden-Württemberg's unversities of applied sciences,
  • support of the preparatory work for the commissioning of the cluster systems (e.g. technology evaluation, integrating achievements of state projects such as bwIDM) and establishment of a software infrastructure in line with users' requirements,
  • establishment of central services, e.g. for resource management (ZAS) under the terms of the bwHPC concept, state-wide ticket system and document platform (bwHPC Wiki), and
  • establishment of a federated training program and centrally coordinated public relations activities

 bwDATA concept (2013 - 2019)

Parallel to the HPC infrastructure and the bwHPC-C5 projects, an extensive storage infrastructure with the Large Scale Data Facility (LSDF), the bwCloud and the bwDataArchive was established as part of the bwDATA concept [34]. The state projects bwFDM-Info I and II established platforms for needs assessment, continuing education, and dialog in the area of research data management, as well as special systems for visualization, bwVisu, and data analysis (e.g., the SmartData Innovation Lab).

 2nd bwHPC concept (2018 - 2024)

With the HPC, DIC and LS2DM implementation concept of the state of Baden-Württemberg [5] (in short: 2nd bwHPC concept) the previously independent, successful bwHPC and bwDATA concepts are merged into a common concept. Key points are:

  • expansion of the competence centers' areas of responsibility to include data management and the establishment of additional competence centers.
  • expansion and renewal of HPC systems at all three levels and of the data management systems in line with users' requirements
  • development of a state-wide data federation, and
  • continuation of the accompanying and user support project with a focus on the HPC and data integrated view of services for users.

The current accompanying user support project is called bwHPC-S5: Scientific Simulation and Storage Support Services.