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Intersect’s new high performance computing infrastructure

Named after another great wine growing region, ‘Orange’ replaces McLaren and is being commissioned in early 2013.

The SGI 30+ Tflop distributed memory cluster will provide a greater than 25-fold increase of compute power and a fivefold increase of disk capacity on the existing system.

The new system features 100 cluster nodes with 1600 cores powered by the Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 processor series. It also includes 200TB local scratch disk space, 101TB of usable shared storage delivering 25TFlops.

The SGI HPC cluster is comprised of 10 large compute nodes each with dual Intel Xeon E5-2600 8-core processors, 256 GB memory, and 1x2TB SATA drives. System software provided includes SGI Management Center, SGI Performance Suite, PBS Pro Scheduler and SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server operating system. In addition, there are 88 small compute nodes each with dual Intel Xeon E5-2600 8-core processors, 64GB memory, 1x1TB SATA drives. The clusters are connected with QDR InfiniBand® Non-blocking Interconnect technology.

Dual administration nodes and a system console are also provided. Storage capabilities consist of an SGI NAS Storage Server with Panasas® ActiveStor™ 12 (high performance parallel file system) delivering 57TB usable storage.

Orange is funded through the Australian Research Council's Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) scheme, (project number LE110100143). The LIEF grant, led by the University of Sydney’s Professor Leo Radom is supplemented by investments from the University of Sydney, UNSW, UTS, Macquarie University, the University of Newcastle, the University of Wollongong, Southern Cross University and the University of New England. The combined value of the capital investment is greater than $1million.

Intersect will provide the on-going hosting facilities, management and support of HPC systems on behalf of the consortium of NSW universities. A rigorous procurement process was led by the University of Sydney.