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Antipodean universities aided by IBM

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IBM has provided extra high-performance computing capacity to the Universities of Auckland and Otago within a new collaboration called the New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI), aimed at making large-scale scientific computing more widely available to New Zealand researchers.

Otago University is co-funding the latest purchase at The University of Auckland’s Centre for eResearch alongside Landcare Research.

The Centre for eResearch is a major partner in NeSI, a $47 million, four-year Government and research sector-backed initiative to provide national supercomputing and eScience services to New Zealand researchers.

The other NeSI partners are the University of Canterbury and NIWA (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research), both of which also utilise IBM infrastructure for high-performance computing.

Other Crown Research Institutes and universities can also purchase time on this cluster (and other NeSI resources) at a heavily discounted rate thanks to the funding provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The sale at Auckland University, phase three of a four stage programme, increases the supercomputing platform's processing capacity to around 3,000 CPU cores. IBM General Parallel File System software ties the IBM System x, iDataPlex and Linux-based cluster together, enabling efficient job scheduling for the 140 researchers using the platform.

Migrating projects onto the centrally managed facility is helping to provide a more reliable high-performance computing service, and extra staff have been recruited to manage the larger infrastructure and support the many diverse research projects that are now underway.