Italy is taking a significant step in the field of high performance computing with the creation of the National Supercomputing Center. This pioneering project aims to position the country at the forefront of information technology, making it the first to have a national cloud datalake infrastructure . This innovative concept combines a high-speed data transmission network with cloud access and infrastructure distributed throughout the country. These resources will be assigned dynamically and virtually, optimizing the efficiency of the resources available throughout Italy.
The National Research Center in High Performance Computing, Big Data and Quantum Computing
The National Research Center in High Performance Computing, Big Data and Quantum Computing, managed by the ICSC Foundation, represents a fundamental pillar in Italy's National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). This Center is one of five established at a national level, each dedicated to sectors crucial to the country's progress.
Areas of focus include advanced simulations, high-performance computing and data analysis (HPC and Big Data), agritech development, gene therapy, RNA-based technologies, sustainable mobility and biodiversity conservation. The investment in this project not only aims to maintain and enhance the Italian infrastructure in these areas, but also to develop advanced numerical methods and applications, with a particular eye towards the integration of calculation, simulation and data analysis through cloud and distributed.
Innovation and future development
The Center is committed to implementing technologically advanced solutions, including a network with speed greater than 1 Terabit per second and a robust cloud infrastructure. These innovations will allow the management of cutting-edge research and development activities, both in the scientific and industrial fields. Furthermore, the Center will promote advanced training and policy development for responsible data management, promoting the ideals of open data and open science.
This multidisciplinary approach encourages substantial innovations in diverse sectors, from medicine to materials technology , offering Italy a shared and open cloud/HPC infrastructure, which will not only serve as a national strategic asset but also as an international magnet.
Organization and collaboration
The supercomputing center operates according to a Hub and Spoke organizational model, which involves universities, research institutions, public and private companies, distributed throughout the national territory. Its objective is to aggregate the scientific communities of excellence in Italy, structuring itself around two main pillars: infrastructures and thematic areas.
This model encourages collaboration between the academic and industrial worlds , creating synergies that benefit both the research and production systems. The Hub, which deals with the management and coordination of activities, works in close collaboration with the Spokes, responsible for achieving the Centre's objectives, promoting an inclusive approach that is also open to external collaborations.
Revolution in computing: Towards a virtual and dynamic model for national infrastructure
The National Supercomputing Center marks a turning point in the approach to computation and data management. Users will no longer have to rely on physical computers for data storage and analysis. Instead, they will have virtual systems at their disposal that will be assigned based on their availability, thus maximizing the efficiency of the process. This represents a huge leap in terms of flexibility and optimization of resources, which will be shared among all users.
The realization of this project will constitute a unique model at an international level , based on the synergy of all national resources and with an important role of private companies. This infrastructure represents an unprecedented innovation in the high-performance computing landscape.
Progress and future development of the national infrastructure
Having become operational in September 2022, the Center is currently engaged in the definition and administration phase of development and resource allocation plans. The upgrade of CINECA's Leonardo supercomputer, the acquisition of a quantum computer, the expansion of the GARR-T network, and the creation of thematic satellite centers in various Italian locations are envisaged .
The Center relies on over 1500 highly competent professionals from the Foundation's partners, with the aim of actively involving young people. There are calls for doctorates and the recruitment of researchers, as well as open calls for innovative projects, with a total budget of 64 million euros.
Transversal priorities of the national infrastructure
The Center aims to support scientific research and the production sector, promoting young people's careers and initiatives to overcome the gender gap. A significant 41% of the total funding will be invested in Southern Italy, with particular attention to female participation and higher education.
This project not only positions Italy as a leader in technological innovation, but also represents a commitment to economic and social growth, promoting equity and inclusion in the field of research and technological development. With the National Supercomputing Center, Italy demonstrates how technology can be a catalyst for progress at all levels.
The article Italy will be the first country in the world to have a national cloud datalake infrastructure was written on: Tech CuE | Close-up Engineering .