A joint initiative of the NCRIS-supported Australian high-performance research computing capabilities
 

NCI Pawsey

NCI Australia and
Pawsey Supercomputing Centre

Background

The National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) and Pawsey Supercomputing Centre (Pawsey) are joining efforts to offer additional computation and data resources to support the national and international research community to acquire, process, analyse, store and share data supporting COVID-19 research.

The COVID-19 Special Call is intended to identify and provide resources to research projects directly responding to the pandemic. COVID-19 Special Call projects may apply for High-Performance Computing (HPC), cloud, storage resources and associated expert support across Australia’s national research computation providers.

What research is being supported?

Research that is focused on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. It is expected that all recipients will publish their results in the open scientific literature. Possible research applications could include (but are not limited to):

  • Processing and analysing gene sequences
  • Mathematical modelling of the vector stages predicting transmission and containment
  • Computational predictions of protein structures associated with COVID-19 and associated biomolecular modelling
  • Modelling economics of the COVID-19 global pandemic
  • Population mapping and demographics
  • Global biosecurity
  • Epidemiological modelling

What resources are available?

HPC Facilities

HPC resources available include Australia’s newest petaflop-scale supercomputer – Gadi at NCI. Gadi offers up to a 10 fold increase in computational performance to its predecessor, Raijin, meaning shorter queues and higher throughput. The full technical specifications of the Gadi are located here. Gadi became fully operational in early 2020.

Cloud Facilities

Cloud resources available include the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre’s large data stores and its new refreshed Cloud. The Pawsey Cloud is an integrated data-intensive infrastructure that facilitates large data workflows and computational tasks and offers a data analytics capability. The full technical specifications of the Pawsey Cloud are located here. The Pawsey Cloud service (officially opening on 1 April 2020), is being immediately re-prioritised to support researchers involved in COVID-19 research to gain accelerated access.

Access to NCI’s internal cloud to support HPC workflows, data-intensive applications or applications that are particularly suited to NCI’s cloud environments will also be considered on an as-needs basis.

Support and other resources

Data storage and expert support services (e.g. code optimisation, workflow debugging, visualisation expertise, data management advice, etc.) will be provided by dedicated support staff at both NCI and Pawsey as appropriate. 

NCI also supports proposals for highly used nationally accessible datasets that are critical to support this work.  

Remote visualisation services are also available and can be requested by emailing help@pawsey.org.au 

Application processes

All applications for resources at the NCI and Pawsey will be streamlined, prioritised and expedited, in line with the special circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applying for HPC resources

There are significant resources available to COVID-19 researchers at no cost through an Australasian Leadership Computing Grant (ALCG) COVID-19 Special Call. Further information is available in the document available for download below. 

Resources available per project:

NCI-Gadi

  • Up to 20 MSU and 0.5 PB, for use during the remainder of 2020 and Q1-2 of  2021. 
  • Successful projects may be augmented by internal NCI cloud resources as appropriate and available. 

Datasets

  • Major reference datasets (national or international) needed to support the computational and data analysis by multiple projects. 

Researchers are invited to submit an application (PDF document) to help@nci.org.au. All applicants are advised to read the supporting document “ALCG2020 COVID-19 Special Call - Information for Applicants” for advice on preparing and submitting an application.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome as soon as possible following assessment.

 Applying for Cloud resources

There are significant resources available to COVID-19 researchers at no cost.

Resources available per project:

Pawsey  Cloud

  • Allocations up to 500 cores will be considered, with up to 100 TB storage available for use during 2020 – 2021 

Pawsey – Cloud Storage   

  • Up to 0.5 PB will be considered for use during the project 

NCI – Cloud resources

  • Cloud resources may be allocated on NCI’s cloud systems  where appropriate and available 

All researchers requiring Pawsey resources should visit the Cloud application portal, marking their application with “COVID-19”:

https://apply.pawsey.org.au/

Authentication of the Pawsey Application Portal is via Australian Access Federation (AAF) credentials. Individuals who do not have an AAF login are not excluded and should contact help@pawsey.org.au for further support.

Assessment criteria for access to Pawsey Cloud resources includes:

  • Is this project research?
  • Can this project be run on Pawsey’s Cloud infrastructure?

Applications for Cloud resources can be received at any time: there is no closing date. Applications will be processed on receipt and resources can be made available within 24 hours.

Researchers can contact help@pawsey.or.au for further details at any time.

Acknowledgement

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre and the National Computational Infrastructure are both supported by the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). All publications resulting from successful COVID-19 Accelerated Access Initiative projects must acknowledge the support of NCRIS and the facility on which projects were undertaken.

NCRIS