Smarter clustering...

Cluster Competence through

+ Understanding customer needs
+ Linux expertise
+ Optimal hardware selection
+ ParaStation Tool Suite
+ ParTec total cluster care

= Smarter clustering

About ParTec Cluster Competence Center GmbH

The ParTec Cluster Competence Center GmbH evolved historically out of a research initiative undertaken at the University of Karlsruhe under the supervision of Prof. Walter Tichy. The outcome of that effort was a cluster middleware solution for LINUX-based Compute Clusters named ParaStation. In 1999, the newly founded company ParTec marketed this software package commercially. ParaStation was built to provide a runtime environment for parallel jobs. It included an optimized MPI library that supported a variety of industry-standard interconnects together with a communication layer, pscom, that facilitated effective process control, job launch and process cleanup. Over the following years, ParTec was able to win a remarkable number of reference customers including some notably large installations such as the 1000 processor ALICEnext cluster at the University of Wuppertal.

While ParTec's business model was built entirely on selling software licenses, it became clear in 2004, that the market demanded a radically new approach for at least two reasons:

  • The cluster software available through open source license models had gained sufficient maturity and stability so that many of these packages provided a viable alternative to commercially available solutions. Clearly, a company-driven development effort could hardly keep pace with this evolution.
  • With LINUX clustering becoming more and more mainstream, there is a growing demand not for specific "point solutions" but for a complete cluster software stack, addressing all aspects of job queuing and scheduling, parallel file I/O, software provisioning, software development, etc. A "one-fits-all" software solution would be hardly appropriate for the diversity of customer requirements.

Therefore, the ParTec Cluster Competence Center takes a much more service-oriented approach to the customer. Our main goal is to deliver integrated and complete software stacks for LINUX- based Compute Clusters by selecting state-of-the-art software components and driving software development efforts in areas where real added value can be provided. While we support the open source model wherever applicable, we are not religiously about it and we also work with commercial software vendors to integrate their solutions when appropriate. While we give customers the choice to pick the best components suited for their needs, we focus on interoperability between all the modules in the stack.

Of course, we also support and develop the ParaStation product as an important part of our portfolio. In contrast to conventional system integrators, we have considerable software development knowledge in-house that enables us to get a deep understanding of all aspects of cluster operations and to deliver to the expectations of the end-user: To make the cluster work in the most productive way possible.

ParTec is member of major European and worldwide research consortia (e.g. PROSPECT, PRACE, D-GRID, Unicore etc.) to contribute to the development of Juropa-II, the next Petaflop architecture of supercomputers and beyond towards Exaflop computing paradigms.

ParTec Cluster Competence Center GmbH is privately owned with headquarter in Munich, Germany, and branch offices in Karlsruhe, Juelich, Bremen and San Jose (USA).