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NCI signs $2m high performance compute cloud deal with Dell

Rebecca Merrett | July 23, 2013
Dell will help NCI develop digital laboratories to advance research in climate change, earth system science, the environment and the geosciences

The National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) has signed a $2 million contract with Dell for the delivery of a 3,200 core high performance compute cloud.

The deal will allow NCI to establish a node of the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) Research Cloud within its research environment.

The Australian government also recently provided a $50 million grant to NCI under its Super Science Initiative to develop its petascale computer.

"The establishment of a cloud alongside the NCI petascale supercomputer and the National High-Performance Data Node of the Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) initiative will enhance the scale of data-intensive science, leveraging the impact and value of each infrastructure component," NCI director professor Lindsay Botten said in a statement.

"The node capability will be enhanced by NCI's investment in high-performance hardware - Infiniband interconnect, large memory, and accelerators - and will provide extended access to cloud-appropriate applications from the extensive software library via an implementation of the NCI operating environment in a virtual machine."

Dell will help NCI develop digital laboratories to advance research in climate change, earth system science, the environment and the geosciences, as well as provide computational services for other national communities undertaking high impact research.

"The distinguishing and innovative characteristics of the NCI node are the use of floating-point optimised Intel CPUs, high performance Intel SSDs for demanding high-IOPS science workloads and a fat-tree 56Gbps Mellanox Ethernet interconnect - all of which are not the main stay of commercial or academic cloud offerings," Dr Joseph Antony, NCI cloud services manager, said in a statement.

"The multiplier effect from hosting the node at the NCI comes from holistic access to research artefacts generated on Raijin, deep integration with both archival storage and online fast disk and demonstrated fast 10GigE wide-area network access to international and local research network backbones using SXTransPORT and AARNet."

 

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