BAIP has signed an agreement with WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) competence centre and implemented high-capacity parallel calculation system in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou.
This powerful High Performance Computing system will provide WASCAL Competence Centre with a long-needed and expected operational and computational power in order to enable further developments of regional climate models, carry out numerous projection and simulation experiments. and accordingly manage associated pre- and post-processing of input and result data.
Being able to perform such complex climate modelling tasks regarding the West African region will strongly contribute to conduct more accurate climate research and projections and deliver better climate services to WASCAL member states for the purpose of combating climate change and improving livelihood in the region,
The procurement of this HPC equipment is funded by the German Government, BMBF (Federal Ministry of Research), through the KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau, Entwicklungsbank).
WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) is an international and interdisciplinary research initiative that contributes to better prepare people and their environment against the adverse effects of climate change. It combines the expertise available in ten West African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d‘Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo) and in Germany and creates a network of scientists.
WASCAL conducts large-scale climate impact studies to analyse vast amounts of data and predict ongoing changes. The research is carried out by bringing together efforts from scientists, policy makers and communities of WASCAL member countries in a smart networking with international agencies and stakeholders.
with to its regional data collection networks and data management infrastructure, the installation of this HPC equipment for scientific climate data computing is strongly contributing to make WASCAL Competence Centre become a regionally recognised data centre, data hub, and Climate and Environmental Services delivery centre.
High-performance computing systems for everyday tasks
“This project is very important to BAIP in several aspects. In particular, it has demonstrated that the complex calculations performed by high performance computing systems (HPCs) today are a real help in solving complex and critical day-to-day tasks. We monitor the market and reasonably predict the rapid development of these technologies. The need for HPC’s data processing advantage has increased dramatically in research, medicine, engineering, banking, cyber security, education, environment and many other areas.
In addition, from now on, as a team of critical IT infrastructure professionals, we consider not only servers, data repositories, but also research, forecasting, modelling, etc. In this way, we are getting much closer to the customer’s business processes, ensuring the success of its smooth and uninterrupted operations. We have witnessed the marked ablution are change of the organisation and its services”, said Gytis Umantas, CEO of BAIP about the project’s significance.
GPU architecture – based HPC systems increasingly penetrate the HPC territory
BAIP has been implementing and upgrading high performance computing systems since 2011. “When technology changes, the architectural solutions of these systems are changing as well. The HPC system, designed by WASCAL IT Competency Centre, is based on a classic, CPU-based architecture. Such classical architecture has been time-tested; there is a certain amount of know-how on how to operate such systems in the most optimal way. On the other hand, HPC systems (or hybrid variants) based on GPU architecture are increasingly penetrating the HPC area, allowing to optimise architectural solutions even further. We see that because of this reason, high-performance computing systems are no longer just a tool used by universities and research institutions, but they are becoming increasingly widespread in other areas such as the implementation and sale of products for companies in the banking sector, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL). It is obvious that the applicability of high-performance computing systems in business, science and other fields is rapidly expanding, and in the future we are expecting a breakthrough in similar projects in Lithuania and around the world”, commented Rėdas Šimelis, head of BAIP Technological Solutions division.
Climate change affects all regions of the world
Many developing countries, largely dependent on agriculture, are among the most affected by the consequences of climate change. In 2016, the African Economic Commission (ECA) circulated a report highlighting the importance of innovative technologies in finding climate-resilient economic development methods in African countries. Rapid collection and processing of vast amounts of data is essential in order to respond swiftly to changes caused by climate change and to protect sensitive regions, also to simulate and anticipate future developments caused by climate change after processing such data. The high-performance computing systems that are being introduced today will ensure timely and valuable support for important political and economic decision-making.
(Photo: WASCAL doctoral students working on climate change models.)