The Data Analytics platform is a hybrid infrastructure (external and internal Cloud) covering the entire range of data analytics activities. The platform, which is partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund, supports LIST's research and innovation capacity and positions it as a true leader in this field. It is based on three pillars:
LIST's HPC infrastructure mainly supports in-house research project teams with the aim of solving advanced and complex computing problems, such as climate modelling simulations, hydrological simulations, flood simulations, molecular dynamics simulations and genome sequence alignments. The HPC consists of a cluster of 40 Linux compute nodes, comprising 1,280 CPU and 4,960 Cuda cores, with a central storage capacity of 321 TB, backup facilities and management infrastructure.
The "Cognitive Analytics Pillar", launched in September 2019, aims to provide LIST's research community with advanced technologies, services and solutions in data/business analytics, artificial intelligence and Big Data.
The selection of the solution proposed by Fujitsu and the start of its installation mark a major step forward for this ambitious project. Acquiring this infrastructure, combined with High Performance Computing (HPC) and the Visualisation Wall at the Belvaux site, gives LIST a level of state-of-the-art equipment worthy of an RTO. The architecture provides a two-tier hybrid infrastructure. Firstly, this solution combines the richness of IBM’s Public Cloud service catalogue with the performance and increased security of a private cloud hosted by LIST. Secondly, this private cloud part is a solution in itself that combines the best of the proprietary model offered by IBM in the field of data science (“Watson”) with an open-source model (“Hortonworks”) offering a free and open structure, which is favoured by the research community and is designed to facilitate the integration of exogenous modules in an exploratory mode.
On Wednesday 4 December 2019, LIST activated the VisWall: a multi-touch, very high-resolution display wall with a motion tracking system that is unique in the Greater Region. The VisWall consists of an enormous high-resolution 50-million-pixel display, so that it can deal with unprecedented quantities of data based on multiple synchronised data views. This 7-metre screen, which is the size of a wall, makes it possible to make joint decisions on complex analytical tasks. The VisWall is paired with a powerful cluster of computers to perform on-the-fly calculations triggered by user interactions and provide immediate feedback. Users benefit from an immersive experience thanks to the many ways of interacting with the VisWall, including multitouch interaction, motion tracking based on customised 3D interaction accessories for navigation within very large data spaces, which are orchestrated to meet their needs.
Possible uses include data visualisation and advanced data analytics, the organisation of workshops and meetings, and teaching. There are also potential applications in numerous fields: space, infrastructure management, emergency response, modelling of biological or physical phenomena, improvement of business processes, and the design of industrial products. This equipment has no equivalent within a radius of 400 km.