Intersect News #10 July 2009

9 Jul 2012

Intersect to establish RDSI node in Sydney

The first five nodes of the $50 million Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) project have been announced. The storage network is intended to transform the way in which research data collections are stored and accessed in Australia.

Four primary nodes have been announced – one to be established by Intersect in Sydney, a Brisbane node at the Queensland Cyber infrastructure Foundation, the ANU will establish a node in Canberra and eResearch SA will set up a node in Adelaide. An additional node will be established by the University of Tasmania.

The RDSI programme is led by Nick Tate, based at the University of Queensland, (UQ). UQ is leading the program on behalf of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE).

Intersect consortium selects SGI for new HPC

The Intersect consortium has selected SGI to build NSW’s new high performance computing research infrastructure. The SGI 30+ Tflop distributed memory cluster will provide a greater than 25-fold increase of compute power and a 5-fold increase of disk capacity on the existing system.

The new research infrastructure is funded through the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LEIF) scheme. The LIEF grant, led by the University of Sydney’s Professor Leo Radom, is supplemented with investments from the University of Sydney, UNSW, UTS, Macquarie University, the University of Newcastle, the University of Wollongong, Southern Cross University and the University of New England. The combined value of the capital investment is greater than $1M. Intersect will provide the on-going hosting facilities, management and support of HPC systems on behalf of the consortium of NSW universities. A rigorous procurement process was led by the University of Sydney.  

“Demand for HPC across Intersect’s membership is roughly doubling each year”, said Dr Ian Gibson, Intersect CEO. “This is due to a rising awareness of both Intersect’s HPC facilities and the potential uses of HPC, as well as the rise in the need across many research disciplines for greater computational power to handle bigger research problems”.

“The workload on Intersect’s facilities covers a broad range of research across all major disciplines”, he said, “and this has influenced the choice, the design and architecture of the SGI High Performance Cluster”.

The SGI High Performance Cluster will be commissioned later this year and will complement Intersect’s share in the new peak system to be commissioned in late 2012 at the National Computational Infrastructure National Facility. HPC is one element in Intersect’s strategy for providing research infrastructure which includes RDSI storage.

AeRO airborne

About 55 heads of agencies and senior representatives of eResearch agencies attended the second forum of Australian eResearch Organisations (AeRO) in Melbourne on 18 June. The forum pursued the top priorities identified in the first forum, and subsequently ranked in a targeted survey. Discussion focused on the two leading issues:
– developing catalogues of eResearch tools and services, and so   expanding work to date by CAUDIT and ANDS; and
– providing help-desk services to support researchers across all eResearch services.

Presentations were made by representatives of CAUDIT, AARnet, ANDS, the University of Melbourne, AeRIC, AeRO and the AAF. The forum established two working committees to plan and action the next steps in both areas.

The next full AeRO forum will occur in Sydney immediately preceding the eResearch Australasia conference in October 2012. For more see

More NeCTAR projects announced

NeCTAR has announced another round of completed agreements. The following projects will involve Intersect:
Astronomy Australia Ltd’s All-Sky Virtual Observatory. To gain maximum scientific benefit from the impending data flood from new facilities, a federation of datasets from all types of astronomical facilities in Australia will be built. This involves creating hardware, tools and services to bring together data from radio and optical telescopes and supercomputers, covering all of the southern sky.

A Federated Archaeological information management system for UNSW. This project will assemble a comprehensive information system for archaeology. It will allow data from field and laboratory work to be born digital using mobile devices, processed in local databases, extracted to data warehouses suitable for sophisticated analysis, and exchanged online through cultural heritage registries and data repositories. The end product will be a suite of compatible tools accessible to archaeologists through a single portal.

NSW TARDIS node complete

Work is complete on the NSW node of the Monash University Protein Crystallography TARDIS system. Developed by Intersect for the University of Sydney (and other potential users), the project has established the NSW TARDIS node for storing macromolecular protein crystallography data. The NSW TARDIS node automates feeds of data from the Monash TARDIS system. Participating laboratories in NSW can capture, annotate, organise and store data and access stored raw data. &

This project is supported by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). ANDS is supported by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy Program and the Education Investment Fund (EIF) Super Science Initiative.

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