Scientific Computing Laboratory (SCLab)

The Scientific Computing Laboratory (SCLab) advances and sustains the scientific modeling IT infrastructure of MPI-M as well as its cross-cutting model development. The unit consists of three groups: Central IT-services (CIS), Computational Infrastructure and Model Development (CIMD), and Strategic IT partnerships (SIP). SCLab has a scientific approach at various levels, depending on the group in question. More importantly, it has the character of a support group: The maintenance of the modeling infrastructure and its further development under scientific leadership in a strategic sense, in designing, developing and in implementing components of the modeling infrastructure is the most important activity of the unit, with a the focus on the central projects Sapphire and Ruby.

In the area of High Performance Computing the MPI-M co-operates via SCLab very closely with the German Climate Compute Center (DKRZ), but also other institutions of the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PrACE) and Gauss initiatives. Of very high importance for MPI-M is the relation to Germany’s National Meteorological Service (DWD) as the major development partner of the ICON model and a major player in the weather and Earth system modelling field in Germany. Teaming up with DWD and DKRZ for software development and performance optimization as well as with the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT) for chemistry model solutions, and growing this partnership is of central importance for MPI-M and the German national modelling landscape. These partnerships will also foster MPI-M’s role in the larger activities on the European floor, like the infrastructure aspects of climate modelling supported by the Centre of Excellence in Simulation of Weather and Climate in Europe (ESiWACE), coordinated by DKRZ. SIP is developing, fostering and maintaining such activities.

The aims of CIMD are closely related to the further technical development of the Earth system models and their research applications at MPI-M. Technological requirements emerging from the Sapphire and Ruby projects as well as technological change in the HPC area have to be foreseen well in advance in order to provide a solid infrastructure for these challenging projects. The participation in innovative externally funded collaborative national and international projects helps to foster the development of required infrastructure suitable for future Earth system modelling. Apart from the direct support for ongoing model development the task of this group is to identify new developments and technology and exploit its usability for the technical infrastructure used at the MPI-M.

CIS develops and supports an IT environment enabling scientists to understand Earth’s changing climate, including a well functioning interface to the DKRZ environment. We provide centralized IT for the MPI-M since centralized know-how and experience ensures effective, consistent, and cost-effective support.
This currently ranges from hardware procurement and repair, software environment, and websites to server and network administration as well as central storage. Additional new services are developed and deployed in close alignment with the scientific goals of the MPI-M. A wide range of applications, servers and hardware is needed to provide the best research environment for the staff. Further detailed information about the services of CIS can be found in the Wiki of the MPI.