Pawsey taps Dell in massive cloud refresh

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Pawsey taps Dell in massive cloud refresh

Part of $70m capital refresh.

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre’s massive capital refresh project, in which its Magnus and Galaxy supercomputers will be replaced, will also feature a significant expansion of its cloud infrastructure, it revealed on Thursday.

The Western Australian centre has tapped Dell Technologies to upgrade its cloud with five times more memory and 25 times more storage to accommodate the nation’s hunger for data-heavy research.

Pawsey said the new platform will enable researchers to process and analyse large amounts of data through additional object storage and the Kubernetes container orchestrator, building on its existing container technology for its supercomputing and cloud systems.

The new system will be built on Dell EMC Power Edge servers, featuring 58 compute nodes using 2nd Generation AMD EPYC.

It will support up to 14,800 virtual cores, 9 petabytes of Ceph storage, 58 terabytes of RAM (up to 8 GB per core) and 100 B ethernet networking.

Pawsey singled out bioinformatics and space science as examples of emerging fields of research in Australia that generate large datasets and need high-performance storage and data throughput facilities.

The organisation said it will put a call out in the first quarter of next year for researchers interested in testing out the new system and to provide feedback and help evaluate the performance of the new system.

Mark Gray, acting head of data at Pawsey, said the new system will support researchers by providing greater flexibility, accessibility and speed.

“You can cluster containers, maybe you need to spin up 10 machines, to database services, a web server, five computational nodes, and get them all talking to each other and other HPC [high performance compute] facilities at Pawsey,” Gray said in a statement.

“With this expansion, you will be able to do it, and automate it – this is a system where researchers can run their applications wherever they want and whenever they need.”

Meanwhile, Pawsey is still seeking tenders to replace its HPC facility Magnus, which recently fell out of the global top 500 computing facilities.

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