Indigenous server is India's 'super' power in IT race against US and China, expert says

Indigenous server is India’s ‘super’ power in IT race against US and China, expert says

As the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) agrees to manufacture 7,000 Rudra I, the first indigenous server, for various leading institutions of higher education and research funded by the Indian government, News18 talks with an industry expert on Rudra I’s potential and possibilities.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Electronics and Computing, launched Rudra I last December. C-DAC created it as part of the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).

It has been stated that the server design can be used to build traditional standalone commercial servers as well as building blocks for large supercomputing systems with tens of petaflops of computing performance.

READ ALSO | Exclusive | ‘Rudra I’ is ready to power supercomputers: a center will offer its server technology to industry, worldwide

According to a recent report by News18, the government intends to license the Rudra I Server technology to companies that can assemble, manufacture and sell it in the market, including the global market, at competitive prices. .

An official statement also noted that Rudra is poised to demonstrate India’s ability to design, develop, build and meet the country’s multidisciplinary IT needs, as well as of critical strategic and national importance.

Market potential

Rushikesh Jadhav, Chief Technology Officer, ESDS Software Solutions Ltd, a Nasik-based company, which has expanded to 19 countries across APAC, Europe, Middle East, Americas and Africa, said told News18 that the market for x86-based servers (Intel or AMD) is huge.

The x86 family of instruction set architectures was first created by Intel.

According to Jadhav, almost all industries run on the x86 platform, which includes banking, industrial ERP, hospitals, startups, defense, and citizen-centric workloads.

He said that server-side programs, which enable the Internet such as web, applications, as well as databases, run on similar x86 platforms and “these are all compatible with the Rudra I server”.

According to the expert, with the primitive design and development, the security level of Rudra I will be quite reliable.

“ESDS itself can benefit from these native servers by introducing thousands of them into its cloud landscape. In fact, our community clouds such as banks, government and enterprises can run on these Rudra I servers,” said he added.

The CTO of ESDS, which is a catalyst for digital transformation in the modern economy based on results by enabling organizations to adopt advanced technologies, said that the government has pushed businesses towards complete digitalization, which which drives the demand for large-scale data centers and hyper infrastructure to grow evenly.

He believes that if the overall technology market is growing rapidly, these servers will add more to that growth, making its potential quite promising.

Jadhav also said, “I believe the release of Rudra I is a vital first step on a long journey into the world of x86 computing.”

This initiative, he said, should be warmly applauded and boosted for the benefit of Indian cloud service providers. Additionally, he suggested that government and enterprises introduce additional ratings for cloud service providers using Rudra I for workloads in tenders.

He said, “The Rudra I server is a two-socket server. Once the industry adopts Rudra I, we will look forward to the four-socket and then eight-socket servers of the Rudra series.

“The cloud requires dense workload processing capabilities and such improvisations will benefit the industry. The Rudra I server coupled with the Trinetra interconnect forms a reliable combination for HPC,” he noted.

Supercomputers

Supercomputers, also known as the fastest computers in the world, have always been used for scientific and technical applications that require the management of huge databases, intensive calculations, or both. Today, the technology – supercomputing – is often used to run artificial intelligence programs.

Several central processing units (CPUs) include supercomputer architectures. These processors are organized into groups of compute and memory nodes. Supercomputers can have thousands of nodes communicating with each other to solve problems using parallel processing.

Available data showed that as of this year, China has 173 of the world’s 500 most powerful supercomputers, while the United States has 128. Although these two major countries account for about 60% of the world’s most powerful supercomputers , the list of other most powerful nations with the maximum number of supercomputers also includes Japan, France, Germany and Canada.

However, in terms of supercomputers, ESDS CTO Jadhav told News18 that with the advent of shared digital knowledge, it becomes possible to design, develop and manufacture au pair systems in India.

The Ministry of Science and Technology announced in February this year that new supercomputers will be commissioned and installed in the coming year at institutes such as IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, ‘IIT Patna, IIT Delhi, Inter-University Accelerator Centre, SN Bose National Center for Basic Sciences, National Center for Radio Astrophysics and National Center for Computing.

At present, institutions such as various C-DACs and IITs as well as the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have already installed supercomputing infrastructure under the National Supercomputing Mission.

India has three public supercomputers capable of ranking in the top 500, including the PARAM Siddhi-AI built by Atos at C-DAC Pune, the Pratyush and Mihir systems built by HPE.

As reported by the ministry earlier this year, the design and development of native server nodes, interconnect switches, storage technologies and software stacks for high-performance computing or HPC are currently underway, with 85% of indigenous manufacture, which implies that these technologies will be used in future supercomputers.

According to Jadhav, supercomputers are complex systems, however, their efficiency depends on both the quality of hardware and software.

The expert said, “With the Trinetra HPC interconnect, it is possible to create a switchless Torus network architecture that avoids performance bottlenecks and allows systems to communicate with each other over a short distance.”

He also believes that such network and computing innovations will enable India to compete in the race for supercomputers against the United States, China and other countries.

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