Modern IT-Infrastructure for Efficient Research

ITWM Hochgeschwindigkeitsnetzwerk
© Thomas Brenner

IThe innovative project results in the departments are only possible if based on a modern, safe, and reliable central infrastructure. Therefore, Fraunhofer ITWM continuously invests in a modern IT infrastructure.

Currently operating in three server rooms, more than 300 servers and several hundred terabyte data storage devices are networked and are directly available to approximately 400 offices and meeting rooms. The Linux high performance cluster “Beehive” began operations, to support the very resource intensive simulation calculations as well as the development and use of parallel software. The parallel file system BeeGFS – developed in-house at Fraunhofer ITWM and meanwhile, well established in the high performance computing markets of the world.


Co-Existence of Linux and Windows Archtitectures

Besides the numerous other Linux servers for Office applications and smaller computing tasks, there are several dozen Microsoft Windows terminal servers. The co-existence of Linux and Windows architectures has been a major characteristic of ITWM’s IT-infrastructure from the beginning. It enables the reproduction of almost any (customer) environment and provides the advantages of both operating systems.

In the perfect extension of the server system, users have “thin client” computers in the offices, common areas, and meeting rooms. Consuming only about 15 watts of power, these machines transfer only the graphic display from the server to the work station, which contributes to an overall identical low noise/low heat working environment.


Virtual, Safe and Mobile

The virtualization of computing systems, i.e., the abstraction of the user’s environment from the physical hardware, has become established in recent years as one of the most effective methods for the efficient use of IT resources. The researchers at Fraunhofer ITWM are provided with platforms on which they can independently create and run virtual machines and networks.

Whether an internal network connection at Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, a dedicated line to the partner TU Kaiserslautern, or a highly secure worldwide remote access to and from project partners – Fraunhofer ITWM provides fast and secure networks for connections beyond the institute's borders to exchange information and data. Furthermore, employees on the road or from a home office can access the services within the institute’s network via a virtual private network connection.