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UK's N8 Research Partnership Universities Expand Research Capabilities with SGI® High Performance Computer System from Esteem Systems

Collaboration with Esteem Systems helps secure £2.5m of research funding and deepens regional supercomputing expertise

London, UK. — July 12, 2012 — SGI (NASDAQ: SGI), the trusted leader in technical computing and Esteem Systems, a specialist HPC solutions provider, today announced that the N8 Research Partnership (N8), a consortium of eight universities in the North of England, has deployed a new SGI® supercomputer cluster comprised of 83 SGI® Rackable™ standard depth (2U) servers with Intel® Xeon® processors E5-2600 product family (total of 5312 cores). The system, located at the University of Leeds, is one of the largest HPC clusters in the region. It will be used by researchers from all eight partner universities and selected commercial organisations for a variety of compute intensive tasks in computational fluid dynamics, computational chemistry, physics and biosciences.

The system was designed, installed and commissioned by SGI's partner, Esteem Systems, which has a long and successful history in providing compute intensive solutions to universities within the N8. Esteem Systems worked hand in hand with N8's bid leaders, The University of Manchester and the University of Leeds, to secure £3.25m worth of research funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for the project. This funding was available as part of the EPSRC's strategic investment in e-Infrastructure for research.

"Through this investment we are aiming to engage a new generation of researchers and industrial partners and equip them with the HPC skills and hardware that they need to commission and deliver world class science," said Chris Taylor, principle investigator for the N8 HPC project Professor. "The close working relationship with Esteem and SGI, together with their early involvement has laid a solid foundation for these goals, making it possible to achieve delivery against the extremely tight funding application and deployment schedules."

Alastair Kitching, sales and marketing director of Esteem said, "This HPC facility will accelerate the N8 and the North of England as global centres of excellence in the research and development sector. We are delighted to have played a key role in helping to secure the funding and in designing and building the HPC platform for the N8 consortium."

To fulfil its ambition N8 needed an HPC system that delivers the highest levels of performance and a partner that could offer expert collaboration that would deliver further value to researchers.

"We are delighted to have been selected by N8, this project is a great example of the intelligent pooling of resources delivering a world class research facility," said Rod Evans, vice president EMEA for SGI. "The UK as a whole will benefit directly from access to this significant compute power and indirectly from the expanding pool of talent capable of applying HPC technology which N8's research is developing. With the Scientific and Technology Facilities Council's (STFC) Hartree Centre and DiRAC facilities also in the vicinity the North of England is now a supercomputing hotspot."

As delivered the system consists of over 5,000 cores of the latest Intel® Xeon® E5 processors and will deliver a significant cost saving for the Partnership by eradicating duplicated operational and maintenance costs that would otherwise result from individual HPC provisions.

About Esteem (
Esteem is a specialist managed services provider for IT infrastructures. We design, implement and manage IT systems to enable organisations that rely on IT to grow and flourish.

We provide services to manage our customers' entire IT infrastructures from servers and desktops to applications, data and networks. We also help customers throughout the IT investment lifecycle from initial strategy development and technology assessment, through to design, procurement and implementation.

About SGI (
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About the N8 Research Partnership (
The N8 Research Partnership is a partnership of the 8 research intensive universities in the North of England - Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York.

The N8 Research Partnership aims to maximise the impact of this research base by identifying and co-ordinating powerful research teams and collaborations across the North of England. To support the collaborations, N8 Research Partnership creates teams with a critical mass of world class academics. These teams form a network of virtual centres of science and innovation excellence.

The N8 Research Partnership's main research programmes are:

The three broad criteria for the N8 Research Partnership research programmes are:

  • Demand for multi disciplinary solutions from public and private sector research users
  • Combinations of multi disciplinary world class capability across a number the N8 universities
  • Where working together can achieve a greater output than a single university effort.

Through these programmes, the N8 Research Partnership has worked with over 200 new businesses, many of which are SME's, generated over £37m of income and created 60 jobs since it was formed in 2008.

Contact Information:

Ogilvy Public Relations
Meghan Fintland

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