The NeSI HPC Compute and Data Analytics Service: New systems, New Capabilities, New Science

2019-05-15T00:25:56Z (GMT) by Michael Uddstrom Blair Bethwaite
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Michael Uddstrom:
- Michael is the NeSI Platforms Manager responsible for delivering HPC services to NeSI researchers.
- Michael is also NIWA’s (http://www.niwa.co.nz/ ) Principal Scientist for Environmental Forecasting and leads NIWA’s publicly funded Forecasting Weather Systems research programme – which is critically dependent upon access to supercomputer resources to simulate and forecast natural hazards. He has more than 35 years’ experience in the development of satellite algorithms for application across a wide range of science problems - from fisheries analysis to numerical weather prediction. He also has a long history in the development and use of High Performance Computing in science in NZ. He was responsible for developing the science and technology proposals that resulted in the acquisition of NIWA’s first capability-class supercomputer in 1999, a Cray T3E 1200, the follow-on system an IBM p575/POWER6 supercomputer in 2010, and in 2017/18, the latest system comprising systems supplied by Cray and IBM.
- Michael view’s NeSI as a national treasure, in that it provides the type of High Performance Computing resources needed by NZ scientists to really work on questions that are at the forefront of their fields internationally – rather than scaling the problems back to some subset that will fit on their local compute resources. While the NeSI resources may not be as large as those available overseas, the draw on those resources is much lower too (i.e. fewer users per system), with the result that NZ scientists are generally not worse off than their colleagues overseas. It is his hope that NeSI will stimulate the development of much larger, cross disciplinary research teams that are working on problems of National significance. These will lead to outcomes that transform the way we understand our world, lead to a more resilient future for New Zealanders, and a more sustainable economy in the context of the global threats our society faces over the rest of this century.

Blair Bethwaite:
- Blair is the NeSI Solutions Manager responsible for user support services on the NeSI platforms, from onboarding and application support to optimisation of the science codes that are run on the Platforms.
- Blair has worked in distributed computing for over a decade; both in research and for research; for institutional and national projects; from applications, through grid & cloud middleware, to full HPC & cloud systems design, implementation, and operations. Previously over the ditch at Monash University, Blair most recently led Monash University's use of OpenStack to underpin research computing.
- Originally from Christchurch, Blair recently returned to take up the opportunity of becoming NeSI's new Solutions Manager, focusing back up the technology stack closer to the user. Blair's role within NeSI covers Application Support and Collaboration & Integration.

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CC BY 4.0