ETH IT Services has been a pioneer in cluster computing since the end of the 1990's. Its first large Beowulf-type cluster, Asgard (1999-2007), contained over 500 processors and was then the largest in Europe. Its successors, Hreidar (2004-2008) and Gonzales (2005-2008) formed the basis of a new platform for cluster computing called Brutus. According to the June 2009 Top-500 list, Brutus was at that time the most power-efficient general purpose computer in the world. These machines were built and operated in the division ID Systemdienste which is in charge of server computing and storage. When Scientific IT Services were formed in 2013, Brutus and the team supporting it moved to the new division.
The Brutus cluster has been continuously upgraded and expanded over the years. It currently contains nearly 19,000 processor cores, which give it a theoretical performance of 195 teraflops (1 teraflop = 10^12 floating-point operations per second). Unfortunately this growth could not continue indefinitely due to lack of space, power and cooling on the site of ETH in Zurich. The IT Services thus decided in 2013 to build a second large cluster in ETH's brand-new computer room at CSCS in Lugano. This new cluster, called Euler, was installed in 2014 and has been expanded twice already. Currently Euler contains over 29,000 processor cores, which give it a theoretical performance of over 1000 TF. Since Euler does not replace Brutus but complements it, the total computing capacity that SIS provides to the scientific community of ETH in 2016 reaches 1.2 petaflops (1 petaflop = 10^15 floating-point operations per second).