Virgin Media Business has won a contract to provide connectivity to the Met Office's next-generation Cray supercomputer, one of the world's fastest high-performance computers.
The computer is capable of more than 23,000 trillion calculations per second, and will allow scientists to provide more accurate weather forecasts and help countries become more resilient to high impact weather.
Virgin Media Business claimed that it has created a bespoke service to meet the unique connectivity needs of the Met Office. The firm will supply two diverse, high capacity, optical circuits to move large volumes of data between the Met Office HQ and the new supercomputer which will be housed at the Exeter Science Park 2km away.
Specifically, Virgin Media will provide two optical circuits, each carrying six 1Gbps, one 10Gbps and one 100Gbps Ethernet services.
The new Met Office HPC Complex at the Science Park will house the IT Hall and a "collaboration space" where a wide range of industry organisations, research establishments and startups can get together on various projects.
"To power some of the world's most intelligent technology we need a robust network that can weather all kinds of storms," said Dave Underwood, deputy director of the high-performance computing programme at the Met Office.
"Virgin Media created a bespoke solution for us which meets the complex needs of this supercomputer and will ensure that we can sustain quality weather and climate services."
The contract was procured through the government's Network Service Framework, for which Virgin Media Business is a preferred supplier.
The use of supercomputers is nothing new in government, military and academia, but there is a growing push by commercial organisations to use supercomputers to cope with the influx of big data.
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