Pawsey Capital Refresh Boosts Cloud Infrastructure

Dell Technologies to upgrade Pawsey’s cloud with 5x more memory and 25x storage in new high throughput cloud infrastructure

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has selected Dell Technologies to expand its current cloud system with five times more memory and 25 times more storage to form a new cutting-edge system.

The new compute cloud is another piece of the puzzle that will make up the $70m capital refresh project for the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre to accelerate Australia’s rate of scientific discovery.

This new platform will enable researchers to process and analyse large amounts of data through additional object storage and the Kubernetes container orchestrator and builds on Pawsey’s existing container technology for its supercomputing and cloud systems.

Australia is entering an age of new scientific study where bioinformatics and space science, for example, are generating large datasets. This new compute cloud will support those emerging domains with its high-performance storage and data throughput.

Mark Gray, Pawsey’s Acting Head of Data, says the new system will help scientists by providing flexibility, accessibility and speed.

“You can cluster containers, maybe you need to spin up 10 machines, to database services, a web server, five computational nodes, and get them all talking to each other and other HPC facilities at Pawsey,” he said.

“With this expansion, you will be able to do it, and automate it – this is a system where researchers can run their applications wherever they want and whenever they need.”

The new system, built on industry leading Dell EMC Power Edge servers, features 58 compute nodes utilising 2nd Generation AMD EPYC™ supporting up to 14,800 virtual cores, 9 petabytes of Ceph storage, 58 terabytes of RAM (up to 8GB per core) and 100 GB ethernet networking.

“In advancing human progress researchers are often only limited by advances in technology,” said Andrew Underwood, field chief technology officer, HPC and Artificial Intelligence, Dell Technologies, Asia Pacific and Japan. “We have created a technology solution that will deliver significantly higher computing power, in a flexible and modular design, allowing researchers at Pawsey to push the limits of compute and data-intensive research workloads and delivery of faster research breakthroughs.”

Pawsey will call for researcher applications to test the new system during the first quarter 2020 to provide feedback and help evaluate the performance of the new system.

Pawsey Capital Refresh Update

In 2018 the Australian Government awarded $70 million to upgrade Pawsey’s supercomputing infrastructure.

Pawsey capital refresh is a complex upgrade will be a staged process. Some ancillary systems, including storage and network infrastructure, have been procured prior to the main system.

To access news, information and updates on the Pawsey Capital Refresh, visit its dedicated page:

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre have also been producing a Pawsey Capital Refresh podcast. The purpose of this podcast is to:

  1. Communicate updates and changes to the procurement of Pawsey’s $70 million capital refresh from 2019-2022 (projects completion)
  2. Remain transparent and accountable in Pawsey’s use of this government-granted funding
  3. Develop a platform that can be used as a call to action for feedback on the project

Click the link below to listen to Episode 3, which focuses on the HTC cloud procurement.

Pawsey Capital Refresh Podcast – Episode 3: HTC Cloud Infrastrucuture


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