National Computational Infrastructure

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Funding Agreement Signed a a new petascale high performance computing system

eif funding agreement - signed 12apr10v 1 _smaller_box

NCI is pleased to announce that the Australian National University (ANU) and the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research executed a contract for Super Science / EIF Climate HPC Project on Tuesday, 12 April 2010. 

This project, initiated within the Super Science (Marine and Climate) initiative announced in the 2009 Commonwealth Budget, provides a $50M allocation over three financial years (2009-12) that will:

  • commission an internationally significant (petascale) HPC capability and associated data support to serve prioritised climate change, earth system science and national water management research endeavours, and to support world-class research that is of national benefit;
  • support meritorious research in all research fields through the provision of “capability” standard computational services;
  • develop a methodology to identify and support data-intensive or flagship science applications related to other NCRIS and Super Science investments;
  • develop and operate a resource allocation system that provides on-demand access to allocated resources where required; and
  • construct a new data centre facility that is capable of continuous upgrade for at least a decade.

The Commonwealth infrastructure funds are provided through the Education Investment Fund (EIF) and can be used only for the development of the data centre and the petascale HPC facility.  The very substantial costs associated with the recurrent operations of the petascale system will need to be met by the co-investment of major partners (ANU, CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology) and a number of other organisations.  Accordingly, prior to the commencement of the construction of the data centre in early 2011, NCI will facilitate the development of a Collaboration Agreement that provides for operational expenses and the support and development staff that are needed to realise the research impacts of this major investment.  Planning for this is already well advanced.

Construction of the Data Centre is anticipated to take place from January – December 2011, with the remainder of this year involving detailed planning for its development.  Also scheduled for the remainder of 2010 is planning for the services and computational and data infrastructure, in collaboration with the research communities that will be served by the new facility. 

The procurement of the petascale HPC system will occur through a request for proposals in the first quarter of 2011, with the expectation of concluding a contract for the facility in the third quarter of 2011, and the installation and commissioning of the during the first half of 2012.

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