Supercomputer launches toward Big Data

An external night view of iVEC's Pawsey Centre in Perth, Western Australia.

15 November 2013

Today marks the official operational launch of the iVEC Pawsey Centre – Australia's newest supercomputer facility in Perth, Western Australia. A significant portion of the supercomputing power will be dedicated to processing radio-astronomy data from major facilities, including CSIRO's ASKAP telescope.

The iVEC Pawsey Supercomputing System is comprised of a number of integrated solutions including real-time compute and storage (provided by Cray), tape storage (HDS), a hierarchical storage management system and data analysis engines (both SGI).

Two Cray XC30 supercomputers have already been installed, as well as a general-purpose research system nicknamed 'Magnus', as well as a system to support the real-time processing needs of ASKAP.

The Magnus system has a processing capability of 69 teraflops (one trillion floating-point operations per second), which is to be expanded to approximately 1,000 teraflops in 2014. The ASKAP Central Processor has a capability of 200 teraflops.

In addition to satisfying the real-time processing needs of ASKAP, the Pawsey Centre also provides archival storage; the hierarchical storage management (HSM) software coupled with tape storage form the ASKAP Science Data Archive.

The first stage deployment of the archive has sufficient capacity to support two years of observing with ASKAP. In the future, this capacity may be expanded to support the continued growth of the ASKAP archive.

In the lead-up to the operational launch, the ASKAP Computing team have already been performing acceptance tests of the Cray supercomputer and the system.

Additionally, observational data from the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope is already being sent to and stored at the Pawsey Centre, thanks to a dedicated high-speed network link installed between the MRO and Perth. The MWA was officially launched earlier this year.

Supercomputing resources at iVEC's Pawsey Centre will also be available for data-intensive projects across the scientific spectrum, including biotechnology, geosciences and nanotechnology.

Back to Latest ASKAP News page.

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