Tender release for Australia’s new research supercomputer

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, through CSIRO, has today released on AusTender the major tender in a $70m capital refresh project.

Pawsey is tendering for a new supercomputing system that will replace its existing Magnus and Galaxy supercomputers.

Funded by a grant from the Australian Government, the infrastructure upgrade will allow Pawsey to keep pace with global advances in supercomputing technology.

Mark Stickells, Pawsey’s Executive Director, said the upgrade will deliver significantly increased computing power and speed, providing more efficient high-performance computing services for Australian researchers.

“Once complete, the Pawsey upgrade will further support Australian researchers to accelerate scientific discovery, enable high-impact research for the benefit of society, and remain globally competitive.

“Our aim is to provide more powerful supercomputing resources for Australian researchers, and to also improve access and efficiency for our users,” he said.

The Pawsey capital refresh project is a complex upgrade that is a staged process. Some ancillary systems have been procured prior to this tender.

Pawsey currently hosts two supercomputers: Magnus, a Cray XC40 supercomputer, uses a massively parallel architecture consisting of 1,488 individual nodes that are connected by a high-speed network; and Galaxy, a Cray XC30 supercomputer, currently a dedicated system for the radio astronomy community.

Galaxy supports Australia’s two Square Kilometre Array precursor instruments, the ASKAP and MWA radio telescopes, both located at CSIRO’s Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in remote Western Australia.

The new Pawsey supercomputing system will replace the existing systems and will provide benefits to the Australian research community currently using Pawsey services. It will also support emerging scientific and research domains.

“The upgrade impacts most, if not all, of Pawsey’s current systems,” said David Schibeci, the Technical Manager for the capital refresh project.

“The successful vendor or vendors must provide an integrated and diverse range of services where users can seamlessly move their data as required, enabling researchers to upscale their ambitions and work more efficiently in their science”.

The delivery of this tender is expected to occur in two-phases.

The first phase will provide researchers with a system that is at least equivalent in capacity to what they are currently using, with the latest generation of processors and increased memory per node.

During this phase, researchers with an active allocation on Magnus will transition to the new system.

Phase one is due to be commissioned in mid-2021.

The second phase is expected to be in production by mid-2022. It will provide an exponential expansion in capacity and state-of-the-art technology.

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth, Western Australia, was established in 2009 as part of Australia’s Super Science Initiative to be a petascale computing facility for the research community.

Pawsey is an unincorporated joint venture of CSIRO – Australia’s national science agency, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia, that provides services in the areas of supercomputing, data management and analysis, and visualisation.

The tender process is being conducted by CSIRO as the centre agent for Pawsey.

The tender release will close at 2.00 pm (AEDT; 11:00 am WAST) on 11 February 2020. For full tender specifications visit the AusTender website. (www.tenders.gov.au Tender: CSIRORFT2019045).

server room with modern mainframe equipment in data center