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Dell EMC wraps up $4 million CSIRO supercomputer build

Leon Spencer | July 20, 2017
New system to help expand Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's capability in deep learning.

CSIRO deputy CIO and head of scientific computing, Angus Macoustra, said the system is crucial to the organisation's work in identifying and solving emerging science problems. 

"This is a critical enabler for CSIRO science, engineering and innovation," Macoustra said. "As a leading global research organisation, it's important to sustain our global competitiveness by maintaining the currency and performance of our computing and data infrastructures.

"The power of this new system is that it allows our researchers to tackle challenging workloads and ultimately enable CSIRO research to solve real-world issues. The system will nearly double the aggregate computational power available to CSIRO researchers, and will help transform the way we do scientific research and development," he said.

The system builds on Dell EMC's previous work in the high-performance computing space, including the CSIRO's Pearcey Cluster system, installed in early 2016. 

The Pearcey system was designed by CSIRO and Dell, and delivers 230 nodes supporting data- intensive research and computational modelling. 

The new system build also follows a number of other such systems Dell EMC has helped to build for Australian universities, such as the University of Melbourne's 'Spartan', Monash University's 'MASSIVE3' and the University of Sydney's 'Artemis' system.

"We're proud to play a part in evolving the work happening at CSIRO and look forward to enabling scientific progress for years to come," Dell EMC A/NZ commercial and public sector lead, Angela Fox, said.

The call for the project's tender came just months after the CSIRO announced it was looking for a technology service provider to supply, install, and maintain a new Advanced Technology Cluster at its Pawsey Centre in Perth.

The proposed Pawsey Centre procurement was for a three-year contract with a fixed budget of $1.5 million, including hardware, software licensing, maintenance and support requirements, installation, and commissioning costs.

Dell EMC's latest work with the CSIRO comes as Dimension Data is awarded a $14 million, multi-year IT services contract by the agency.

Under the terms of the deal with Dimension Data deal, the technology supplier will provide commercial off-the-shelf software, hardware, support and maintenance across networking, unified communications, IT security, and datacentre equipment via the IT provider's eProcurement portal system.

According to the CSIRO chief information officer, Brendan Dalton, the contract supports the agency's day-to-day information management and technology operations.


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