James Cook University Expands Research Efforts with SGI HPC System
Leading Australian University Selects SGI Compute and Storage Solution to Advance Sciences Discoveries
Brisbane, Australia — March 13, 2012 — SGI (NASDAQ: SGI), the trusted leader in technical computing, today announced that James Cook University (JCU) has commissioned a new high performance computing (HPC) cluster and an upgrade to its research data facilities. The solution consists of SGI® Rackable™ standard depth clusters with 864 cores utilising 12 core AMD (NYSE: AMD) Opteron™ 6176 series processors with a total of 2.5 TB of memory, representing a peak performance of 7.9 teraflops and 120 TB of SGI® InfiniteStorage™ (IS) 5000 disk storage. In addition, SGI provided 120 TB of IS5000 online storage, and 450 TB of near-line storage expandable to 1.4PB using a SpectraLogic T950 tape library.
The HPC cluster replaces a five year old Sun HPC system. SGI was selected for this project because it offered the best end-to-end data management capability, high quality technical services for the implementation, long term commitment to HPC, as well as value for money. The system will be used across the full range of research activities of the University, and major users will include spatial and computational ecology, bioinformatics, hydrodynamic modelling, and engineering. The scale-up capability of the new system enables these groups to carry out computational and I/O tasks that were not previously possible.
A high proportion of the world's biodiversity is located in the tropics, including up to 80% of all animal and plant species and 92% of world's coral reefs. Population growth and urbanisation have led to biodiversity loss on a massive scale in many tropical countries, a process exacerbated by climate change. High population density and growth are similarly linked to poor health and to the emergence of new infectious diseases that can quickly spread. Approximately one-half of the world's population lives in the tropics; with a population growth double the world average, the tropics are under severe and growing pressure.
"The use of HPC and mining large datasets continue to grow at JCU" said Ian Atkinson, Associate Professor at JCU. "Our existing facilities were completely overloaded and we were running simulations the day the new facility was open to users that the old system could not handle. There is no area of research now that in some way does not deal with the processing of massive data sets and our new infrastructure will help us make new insights and discoveries. JCU is an active member of the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF), which was set up to provide HPC services in the state. The University appreciates the funding support QCIF provided for this project."
JCU's research mission is to find solutions to the challenges facing the world's tropics through research. To achieve this in an effective manner requires the use of advanced research infrastructure where HPC and eResearch capabilities are critical components. The new SGI HPC cluster is located on the campus at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland. The facility provides high performance computing services and storage for eResearch activities across the University.
"James Cook University has a very strong commitment to research and understands the need for HPC and eResearch infrastructure and services to support its research community," said Nick Gorga, General Manager, ANZ for SGI "SGI is delighted to have been chosen to provide this important capability and to support the University with the SGI HPC specialists available in Queensland."
"The AMD Opteron 6100 Series processors provides customers with more cores and more memory, making it ideal for the modelling applications and other research being undertaken at James Cook University," said John Fruehe, director of Server Marketing, AMD. "We're pleased to be working with them as they undertake some of the most difficult compute challenges today, that will be of critical assistance to researchers worldwide well into the future."
About James Cook University
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