6 Jul 2018 Newcastle - Researchers at Newcastle University are benefiting from a new HPC machine, called Rocket. Newcastle University has purchased a centralized HPC system to support all researchers across the University and replace existing departmental clusters as they come to end of life. The new HPC system is designed, integrated and configured by high performance compute, storage and data analytics integrator, OCF. The GPB2 million investment is funded by the University, supporting its dedication to providing world-class research facilities for its existing academics and attracting new researchers to the University.
With Rocket, the University aims to establish a HPC culture, encouraging cross-departmental research and collaboration and helping it remain a world-class research institution. Over 200 users are already benefitting from Rocket, including academics, researchers, staff and students from over 15 University departments, including medical, neuroscience, chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, engineering, computing, business and geography.
"Workloads are driving an ever-growing set of data intensive challenges that can only be met with accelerated infrastructure," said Werner Hofer, Dean of Research and Innovation at Newcastle University. Rocket provides the significant memory and fast processing we need for bulky, complex numerical computation. My post-doctoral researcher was able to process half a million CPU hours' worth of calculations which was not at all possible with our previous processing power."
The new 5.000 core system is comprised of Huawei HPC servers, housed in E9000 chassis with 110 CH121v3 nodes and CH122 nodes, including extra-large, large and medium memory nodes that are connected with Mellanox EDR Interconnect. This is supported by DDN EXAScaler ES7KX which provides 500 Terabytes (TByte) of high speed storage, and by the Universitys Research Data Warehouse, which provides two Petabytes (PByre) of storage for data at rest.
"With OCF as our partner, we have access to the skills and knowledge we need to create our HPC system," said Martin Edney, Faculty IT Manager at Newcastle University. "From inception, to design, consultancy and implementation, OCF has the in-depth experience to ensure Rocket meets the needs of every University department. The ongoing support service means that OCF is always on hand for expert guidance and support."