Server Room

INAF Trieste Astronomical Observatory Information Technology Framework


INAF Trieste Astronomical Observatory (OATs) has a long tradition in information technology applied to Astronomical and Astrophysical use cases, particularly for what regards computing for data reduction, analysis and simulations; data and archives management; space missions data processing; design and software development for ground-based instruments. The INAF Trieste Astronomical Observatory bases its IT activities mainly on the resources of its Data and Computing Centre.

The INAF-OATs Data Centre


The INAF researcher user community, in the last years, convey the need of an high performance computing infrastructure, both HTC and HPC, to perform tasks like N-body simulations; instruments performance simulation during designing phases; testing of computing intensive analisys algorithms; efficiency through parallelization of known complex algorithms. This pushed also the need to deep HPC/HTC comptences of the technological stuff.

Stating this need, INAF-OATs acquired a set of computing resources thanks to DHTCS-IT project (Distributed High Throughput Computing and Storage in Italy) founded by the Italian "Ministero dell'Istruzione, dell'Università e della Ricerca"  and other EU funded projects.

Today INAF-OATs has two main computing infrastructures: a HPC/HTC cluster and a cloud stack.

1400 INTEL Haswell E5-4627v3 cores
6GB RAM/Core (8.5TB RAM total) 
500 TB parallel storage (BeeGFS) 
Storage Nodes INTEL Haswell 
E5-4627v3 256GB RAM per node
Infiniband ConnectX -3 Pro Dual QSFP+ 54Gbs
The Interconnect allows high throughput and low latency (1 microsec). 
Storage is distributed on 4 nodes and guarantees 2 GB/sec of throughput.
It is equipped with more than 60 software environment for Astronomical data reduction and analysis. It offers tools for software development, profiling and debugging.

The CloudCAT Cluster is a OpenStack stack with a swift object storage
400 INTEL Westmere E5620 @ 2.40GHz cores
8GB RAM/Core
75 TB Object storage (BeeGFS) 
Infiniband 10Gbs
It is provided to users with Virtual Machine pre-configured with Astronomical Software (e.g. ESO Scisoft) and remote desktop capabilities to allow easy access and usage.
It is compliant with EGI-Federated cloud resources.


The CHIPP Project


The main purpose of INAF CHIPP project is to provide HTC and HPC resources (for small/medium size programs) to the INAF community using the already existing infrastructures. INAF at Trieste and Catania already makes available Tier-2/Tier-3 systems (1,200 CPU/core) for all the INAF community. 

30 programs have been approved during the first call for a total request of 30 M CPU/h. Programs are HPC, data reduction and analysis, machine learning.

Goal of this project, besides providing users with HTC and HPC resources to perform their work, is to provide users with the needed specialized support, to access the real service level needed for INAF users  and, in case, the requirement to apply on bigger infrastructures.


High Performance Computing


EU Projects


INAF is one of the leading institutions participating to the design and prototyping of new Exascale supercomputers in Europe. ExaNeSt European funded projec is developing, evaluating, and prototyping the physical platform and architectural solution for a unified Communication Storage Interconnect, plus the physical rack and environmental structures required to deliver European Exascale Systems.


EU funded project, brings a holistic foundation from multiple European HPC projects and partners together with the   industrial   SME   to   co-design a ground-breaking platform capable of scaling peak performance to 400 PFLOP in a peak system power envelope of 30MW; over four times the performance at four times the energy efficiency of today’s HPC platforms. Further, it targets a PUE parity rating of 1.0 through use of renewables and immersion-based cooling.


High Throughput Computing

INAF-OATs participated, since the beginning, in Italian Grid and Cloud initiatives reaching high experience in  HTC resources provisioning in such kind of environments.
At present INAF-OATs provides Cloud resources at experimental level through a cluster OpenStack-based.


Distributed Computing and Interoperable Data Access

INAF-OATs participated, since the beginning, in Italian Grid and Cloud initiatives gaining a major role in Italy and in Europe in large projects for the development of a multidisciplinary platform for distributed computing and data resources sharing. 
Recently it participated in EU projects, coordinating the Astronomy and Astrophysics community, for the development of a cloud based infrastructure in Europe with the aim to spread the IVOA standards based interoperability with CANFAR in Canada.

INAF-OATs is involved in International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) leading the italian participation. Main activities in this area are the participation in the VO recommendation development; in the VO paradigm and tools dissemination to a wide audience (specialized and not); in the management and providing of web resources for the IVOA members collaboration. 


Posters, Talks and outreach contributions

Astronomical Data Archives Meeting - Sydney, August 5-8 2019