The VSC is responsible for the development and management of High Performance Computer Infrastructure used for research and innovation. The quality level of the infrastructure is comparable to other computational infrastructures in comparable European regions. In addition, the VSC is internationally connected through European projects such as PRACE(1) (traditional supercomputing) and EGI(2) (grid computing). Belgium has been a member of PRACE and participates in EGI via BEgrid, since October 2012.
The VSC infrastructure consists of two layers in the European multi-layer model for an integrated HPC infrastructure. Local clusters (Tier-2) at the Flemish universities are responsible for processing the mass of smaller computational tasks and provide a solid base for the HPC ecosystem. A larger central supercomputer (Tier-1) is necessary for more complicated calculations while simultaneously serving as a bridge to infrastructures at a European level.
The VSC assists researchers active in academic institutions and also the industry when using HPC through training programs and targeted advice. This offers the advantage that academia and industrialists come into contact with each other.
In addition, the VSC also works on raising awareness of the added value HPC can offer both in academic research and in industrial applications.
(1) PRACE: Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe
(2) EGI: European Grid Infrastructure