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CSIRO searches for supercomputer partner in $4 million tender

CSIRO searches for supercomputer partner in $4 million tender

National science agency wants to replace its BRAGG supercomputer with new petaflop system

Australia’s national science agency is searching for a technology partner to replace its existing BRAGG supercomputer with a $4 million, one petaflop advanced accelerator compute cluster.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) said in procurement documents that the new system will replace its existing BRAGG high-performance computing cluster, housed within its Information Management and Technology (IMT) Canberra data centre facility.

The BRAGG supercomputer was installed in 2012 and updated in 2014, with the GPU cluster supplied by Xenon Systems of Melbourne. It meets the needs of computational biophysics, materials science, molecular modelling, marine science, geo-chemical modelling, computational fluid dynamics, and deep learning.

BRAGG has a history of being one of the fastest supercomputers running a Windows HPC operating system in the world, ranking in the TOP500 list of the world's fastest and most powerful supercomputers.

However, the CSIRO has decided its needs a faster supercomputer to fulfil its needs, looking to fill a three-year contract for the design, installation, and maintenance of a system can achieve speeds of at least one petaflop, to replace the 472.5 gigaflop BRAGG cluster.

“There is a requirement for a replacement system to provide access to cutting-edge technologies to ensure CSIRO researchers remain globally competitive and are prepared for the next generation of leadership supercomputing systems,” tender documents stated.

The new system is to be located in the same CSIRO data centre space where BRAGG currently resides, and will need to be compliant with existing CSIRO data centre technical floor space infrastructure such as racks, power and cooling.

The procurement has a fixed budget of $4 million, which includes the hardware, software licensing, maintenance, and support requirements, installation, and commissioning costs.

All warranty, support, and maintenance costs for the system over the three-year duration of the contract are to be included in partners’ tender responses.

The call for tender comes just months after CSIRO announced it was looking for a technology service provide to supply, install, and maintain a new Advanced Technology Cluster at its Pawsey Centre in Perth.

The proposed Pawsey Centre procurement was for a three-year contract with a fixed budget of $1.5 million, including hardware, software licensing, maintenance and support requirements, installation, and commissioning costs.

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