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Christofari supercomputer (Kristofari)

Developers: Sberbank, Nvidia
Technology: Supercomputer

2019: Start of the supercomputer

On November 8, 2019 Sberbank and its cloud provider SberCloud provided the supercomputer which developers call the most powerful in Russia. Its resources are going to be used for creation and development of internal services of an ecosystem of Sberbank on the basis of artificial intelligence and also to sell as service to users of a cloud service of SberCloud.

Sberbank says that supercomputer capacity in the carried-out tests of Linpack (the most popular benchmarks for measurement of power of the high-performance systems) reached 6.7 Pflops. For comparison, the actual capacity of the most powerful supercomputer of Russia in rating top-50, the made MSU in September, is about 2.6 Pflops. It is the Lomonosov-2 supercomputer installed in MSU which developer is T-Platforms.

The supercomputer of Sberbank which received the name Christofari in honor of the first client of savings banks of Russia Nikolay Kristofari was created in partnership with Nvidia on the basis of the high-performance Nvidia DGX-2 nodes equipped with computing Tesla V100 accelerators.

Presenting the supercomputer, CTO of Sberbank, the executive vice president, the head of the Technologies block David Rafalovsky with nervousness noted that Christofari is "the main ingredient" of an AI cloud of Sberbank.

David Rafalovsky provided a new product of Sberbank<i> (a photo -</i>
David Rafalovsky provided a new product of Sberbank (a photo -
One of our major purposes – to make AI available to all, - Rafalovsky said.

The calculator is intended for solving of tasks on development and use of algorithms of artificial intelligence on purpose many times to accelerate their accomplishment. For example, with its help it is possible to provide quickly training of the models based on deep neural networks.

The machine can be used in a broad spectrum of areas, such as natural languag processing, computer vision, the automated decision making, assessment and risk management, fraud identification, predictive analytics, creation of voice assistants and chat-bots and also in other directions.

One of the first users of the supercomputer is a partner and the company as a part of Sberbank – the VisionLabs company using the computing system for parallel processing of a set of video flows. Other user – S7 airline where tested the supercomputer on training of the model solving a problem of prediction of demand for air tickets.

Sberbank as of November already uses the supercomputer for several processes of banking business, for example, at recognition and speech synthesis in the automated analysis of customer appeals in call center of bank, for the automated robot operator. Earlier the bank trained AI for these purposes within a month, with the supercomputer — several hours, declare in Sberbank.

Supercomputer services will become available to customers since November 12, Rafalovsky announced. The cost of services will depend on the volume of the ordered capacities. Rafalovsky sounded the price of use of all supercomputer entirely - 5.75 thousand rubles a minute. It "is exclusively cheap", CTO of Sberbank stated.

Also he sounded a promotion action: for 100 rubles a minute of SberCloud offers 100 minutes of all power of Christofari. This offer in Sberbank is considered convenient for those who want to try as it works.

At the same time Sberbank is ready to provide to universities and the scientific organizations access to the Christofari resources for a symbolical payment or is even free at the moments when the computing system is not loaded by commercial clients.

The chairman of the board of Sberbank German Gref complemented the presentation with the statement that if a system is strongly loaded by orders, the bank is ready to invest in creation of one more supercomputer.

It is necessary to tell that Sberbank not the first who offered commercial clients remote lease of resources of the supercomputer and related services. Rosatom at which one of the most powerful, and, maybe, and the most powerful supercomputer in the country is also set began to do it of the large organizations even earlier, for example. All the matter is that Rosatom does not open performance measures of the machine.

Also the developer of supercomputers T-Platforms began to provide similar services even earlier, having created for this purpose in 2008 separate company – "T-services". In addition to lease of computing powers the company also offers services in mathematical modeling of physical processes, development of special software, etc. Revenue "T-services" at the end of 2018 made about 80.5 million rubles.

In 2018 the "Solnechnogorsk Instrument Plant" (SIP) which is a part of Rostec put into operation the center of high-performance computing and modeling, though with an essential delay. On its base it was also going to render services of remote access to high-performance resources and the accompanying services. In Ruselectronics where SPZ enters, in July, 2019 told TAdviser that in a segment of providing supercomputer resources in Russia deficit of offers is observed.

MTS also in 2018 started cloud services for high-speed data processing based on the supercomputer. As well as the supercomputer of Sberbank, it uses the solution Nvidia with the video cards Tesla V100. The company offered several options of tariffing: with a possibility of daily use of the supercomputer from less than 1 thousand rubles a day for the small companies and in a subscription format from 29 thousand to 200 thousand rubles a month depending on required computing power for large business.

MTS told TAdviser that demand for service steadily high, in plans of cloud provider#CloudMTS further increase in resources of the supercomputer for the offer to clients.

Since launch monthly to the cloud supercomputer it is connected several large customers using it in drafts of Big Data and artificial intelligence, - the representative of MTS in a conversation with TAdviser noted.