Thinking Inside the Box: Supercomputing @ iVEC

Although it may look like an ordinary shipping container on the outside, iVEC’s new POD (Performance Optimised Data Centre) from Hewlett-Packard will launch iVEC into the top 100 supercomputing centres on the planet.

The supercomputer system is part of the Commonwealth government’s $1.1 billion Super Science Initiative and will result in a massive increase in iVEC’s supercomputing capability, providing a major boost to the resources available to the radioastronomy, nanoscience, geoscience and other leading computational communities.

The POD design incorporates a modified shipping container architecture to create a ‘plug and play’ containerised server cluster that will allow the first phase of the Pawsey Centre project to be online by November 2010, only four months after the acquisition deal was finalised.

This purchase is the first step in creating a world-leading supercomputing architecture to enhance Australia and New Zealand’s bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

The supercomputer, part of the $80M Pawsey Centre project, will be located at Murdoch University’s Centre for Comparative Genomics and will complement the $1 million iVEC infrastructure already housed at the Centre.

An energy-efficient 107 Teraflop system (1 Teraflop = One trillion floating point operations per second), the cluster uses HP ProLiant Blade servers with 9,600 cores and 500 terabytes of high performance storage. It will be part of iVEC’s data network, which operates at 10 gigabits per second.

For further information contact iVEC Media Officer, Brad Coleman on 08 6436 8920 or bradc@ivec.org.

About iVEC:
iVEC is an unincorporated joint venture of CSIRO and the four public WA universities.  iVEC fosters and promotes scientific and technological innovation through the provision of supercomputing and eResearch services to the research community, commercial organisations and government agencies. In 2009, iVEC was charged with establishing and operating the $80 million Pawsey Centre by the Australian government.

About the Pawsey Centre:
The Pawsey Centre (named after Dr Joseph Pawsey, an Australian pioneer in the field of radio astronomy) was officially launched by Senator Kim Carr, Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research on 27 August 2009. The Centre will be located adjoining CSIRO’s Australian Resources Research Centre in the Technology Park, Perth, Western Australia. As a supercomputing facility, it is expected to be amongst the top 20 supercomputers in the world at the time of its commissioning in 2013.