The Missions and Objectives of IDRIS

The Institute for Development and Resources in Intensive Scientific Computing (IDRIS), founded in 1993, is a centre of excellence in intensive numerical calculations which serves the research branches of extreme computing, as much on the application aspects (large-scale simulations) as on those linked to research inherent to high performance calculations (calculation infrastructures, resolution methods and associated algorithms, processing of large data volumes, etc.).

IDRIS is the major centre of high performance computing for the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).  Together with the two other national centres, CINES (the computing centre for the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research) and the Very Large Computing Center (TGCC) of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), and coordinated by GENCI (Grand Équipement National de Calcul Intensif), IDRIS participates in the installation of national computer resources for the use of government-funded research which requires extreme computing means.

A centre of both high performance computing resources and expertise, IDRIS is a service unit of the CNRS (“Unité Propre de Service 851”) with a multidisciplinary vocation, under the auspices of the Institute for Information Sciences and Technologies (INS2I).  The usage modalities of the IDRIS computing means are similar to those of the other large national equipment installations.

The principal objective of IDRIS is to contribute as effectively as possible to the excellence of scientific research in the modelling and intensive numerical calculation domain. 

In order to accomplish these missions, IDRIS intervenes on two levels:

  1. As a service structure through the installation and operation of a diversified avant-garde environment of intensive calculations, both versatile and evolving, and adapted to the great scientific challenges of numerical simulation.  This environment encompasses a highly skilled user support team offering strong value-added services.
  2. As a transfer agent of the latest technologies from computer science research and development towards the national infrastructures of high performance calculations.   IDRIS not only provides assistance and training but is also involved in the development and optimization of scientific codes.  Situated at the intersection of science (numerical simulation) and technology (information systems), and in close communication with its scientific users, IDRIS is in a privileged position to progressively integrate new technologies into the national system of scientific research.   This activity is reflected in the substantial contribution IDRIS made in the 1990s to the diffusion of parallel computing and continues today in the massively parallel computing domain.  IDRIS is recognized on a European scale for its expertise in the domain of supercomputer grids.  Indeed, IDRIS was the coordinator from 2004 to 2008 of the European project which conceptualized and developed the Distributed European Infrastructure for Supercomputing Applications (DEISA, 2004-2011) and it currently participates in the different projects of the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) (www.prace-ri.eu).