NeSI's national platform procurement plans
Early in 2016 NeSI started preparations to replace both the NIWA IBM P575/POWER6 (FitzRoy) and Auckland IBM iDataPlex x86 (Pan) platforms, selecting a single procurement process with NIWA as the lead agent working alongside NeSI’s other Collaborators. The procurement is running through to the end of Q2 2017, with platform implementation and user migration completed in early 2018. The funding for the new platforms has come from the NeSI Investors: MBIE, NIWA, University of Auckland, University of Otago and Landcare Research.
The design for the new platforms has been built collaboratively, driven from sector input on needs and a consideration around current and potential future gaps in service. In addition to the replacement giving the sector newer, faster high performance computers there will also be a major increase in research data storage capability, design for end-to-end workflows across institutional boundaries, virtual research laboratories, and remote visualisation services. The replacement platform will have the main High Performance Computing facility based at NIWA in Wellington, with large scale research storage and HPC test equipment to be based at the University of Auckland.
All NeSI users will go through a managed migration onto the new platforms, which will include data and code movement plus user training on new processes. The initial focus will be to support researchers to be able to move their research programme over to the new platforms and to deliver the same quality results, while the new services will be phased in through 2018. Communications to all users outlining what needs to be done will begin in the coming months, with the current users of the FitzRoy platform being the first to transition over.
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