CSIRO goes to market for $4m petaflop supercomputer

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CSIRO goes to market for $4m petaflop supercomputer

To replace 472.5 gigaflop BRAGG cluster.

The CSIRO is on the hunt for a $4 million 1 petaflop supercomputer to replace its existing BRAGG high performance compute cluster.

The new system, which is scheduled to go live by May 30 next year, will be located at the CSIRO data centre in Canberra and operated by the agency’s accelerated computing service.

It will be used by researchers across a range of fields including computational biophysics, materials science, molecular modelling, marine science, geochemical modelling, computational fluid dynamics, and deep learning.

The advanced accelerator cluster will run SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP1, along with Bright Cluster Manager.

Each node is to have at least two Pascal GPUs, 128 GB of ECC DDR memory, along with a minimum of 500GB of local disk for its local OS and redundant hot-swappable power supplies.

The nodes will be connected using an existing FDR10 InfiniBand interconnect, and the CSIRO intends to reuse existing NetShelter SX 48U racks for the new system. The number of nodes the new system will contain was not specified in tender documents.

The system will replace the CSIRO’s existing BRAGG system, which was named after Australia’s first Nobel prize-winners, Lawrence and Henry Bragg.

BRAGG was ranked number 156 on the Top500 list of supercomputers when it originally went live in 2012. It was ranked number 410 on the June 2016 list following an upgrade that gave it a peak capacity of 472.5 gigaflops.

BRAGG, which was supplied by Xenon Systems, features 128 Dual Xeon 8-core E5-2650 compute nodes (a total of 2048 compute cores) with 128 GB of RAM, 500 GB SATA storage and 384 Kepler Tesla K20 GPUs (a total of 950,976 CUDA cores).

"It's an integral part of our strategy working alongside national peak computing facilities to build Australian HPC capacity to accelerate great science and innovation," CSIRO's acting deputy chief information officer, scientific computing Angus Macoustra said in a statement.

The tender process for the new machine is currently open and will close on Monday December 19 2016.

The CSIRO also went out to tender for a new $1.5 million HPC cluster for the Pawsey Centre in Perth in September.

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