Wednesday, March 24, 2010

CSIRO Super Computer Replacement

The CSIRO has issued a Request for Tender for a "ASC High Performance Computing Cluster". This is to replace an IBM e1350 cluster system (nicknamed "burnet") in Melbourne. There is a 1.30 MB Zip file of tender documents, including a two page statement of requirements, three page software technical specifications (essentially stating a requirement for Linux based software) and a 77 page draft hardware contract.

I wasn't able to find any details as to where the new computer was to be located nor energy
performance requirements. Obviously the computer should not be place at the location of the existing machine, which is taking up prime city office space in Melbourne. Such systems should be in purpose built facilities on a low cost industrial estate, where they can be equipped with low energy and cooling systems. There is no need for the computer to be located at an inner city office, as the computer will be operated remotely over a network. The obvious place to put the computer would be in one of the federal government's new data centres.
2 Requirements – CSIRO ASC Compute Cluster
2.1 ASC Cluster Computer Overview
CSIRO Advanced Scientific Computing (ASC) wishes to renew its existing IBM e1350 cluster system (burnet) ...

The renewed system is targeted to provide services in addition to those available to CSIRO through its partnerships with the Bureau of Meteorology, the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) and iVEC, and in addition to those available internally within CSIRO, such as the GPU cluster.

The system is targeted to provide:
  • nodes with more memory than other available systems
  • services for commercial-in-confidence computing that must be done on CSIRO hosts
  • services that require access to specialised software that cannot be provided on the partnership systems
  • services that require a more flexible environment than cannot be easily provided on the
  • partnership systems
  • close integration with the CSIRO ASC Data Store ...
  • specialised cluster services for CSIRO Mathematics, Informatics & Statistics (CMIS)
  • a development platform for CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research ...
  • a global file system across the cluster ...
From: Statement of Requirements, ASC High Performance Computing Cluster, CSIRO, ATM ID CSIRORFT2010004, 22-Mar-2010

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