Dutch National Supercomputer

The Dutch national supercomputer for maximum performance

The Dutch National Supercomputer, Cartesius, is the flagship of SURFsara services. It is the most comprehensive system in the field of capability computing in the Netherlands. Cartesius is especially in high demand for its combination of fast processors and internal network, large storage capacity and the ability to process large datasets.

Simulation and modelling

The models used by researchers are becoming bigger and bigger and increasingly complex, and consequently require more computer capacity. Cartesius can provide this capacity thanks to the large number of processors and their total speed. The system is ideal for large-scale experiments. Examples include simulations and modelling that not only demand a lot of computing power and memory but also a lot in terms of communication between the various processors. Another key feature of Cartesius is its fast internal network. This not only applies to the bandwidth but also to its latency, the time it takes to send a message from one node to another node.

A vast number of processors

The system runs on Linux and enables users to compute using a vast number of processors. Besides the Intel processors, Cartesius also uses GPGPUs (General Purpose Graphics Processing Units). These accelerators combine the compute power of the GPUs with that of the CPUs. Cartesius also has fat nodes, which have 32 cores and more memory (256 GB). Researchers have access to a comprehensive set of tools, compilers and libraries. A number of libraries and tools are available on Cartesius to facilitate experiments and research in the area of machine-learning, including neural networks. See userinfo.surfsara.nl for more information.

Data storage as required

As Dutch National Supercomputer user, over 200 gigabytes of disk space will be available to you for your own files (home file system). We perform daily backups of these files. You will also have the use of 8 terabytes of temporary storage capacity. No backups are performed of these files, which are deleted after 2 weeks. Supplementary arrangements can be made if you require additional storage capacity.

Support & consultancy

Our support service is available to all our users. We could help you run or optimise your own software or algorithm, for example. Our Dutch National Supercomputer team could install special software packages and help you parallelize your own software. Online manuals are available for you to consult for suggestions on how to achieve even better performance or other information.


You can contact our helpdesk by telephone or e-mail, or in person if you prefer. Please send us your questions or problems via helpdesk@surfsara.nl or by telephone on +31-208001400. The helpdesk can be contacted during office hours (09:00-17:00).

If you would like specific advice, e.g. on how to optimise your code for better performance, please feel free to contact one of our advisers. Our consultancy service is available for advice on larger projects.

Examples from day-to-day practice

The Dutch National Supercomputer is used by researchers in such fields as astrophysics, theoretical chemistry, hydrodynamics, climate research, water management and product and process optimisation. Below are some examples of research conducted using the Dutch National Supercomputer:

More information and contact

You can find more (technical) information regarding the use of the Dutch National Supercomputer on the pages with user information for Cartesius. Are you looking for a printable version of the service description? You can download a service description of the Dutch National Supercomputer in pdf. If you have further questions, please contact us at info@surfsara.nl.

This service is included in SURFsara's core package.

Latest modifications 27 Aug 2018