Advanced Computing

Do you need to collect and store large amounts of data? Is data analysis or processing taking far too long on your computer? Do you need to use specialised hardware or software for your research?

We work directly with University staff and students to help solve problems like these through the use of advanced technology. We can provide research groups with:

  • Data storage for large research data sets
  • Access to and help using High Performance Computing and Virtual Machines to improve data analysis
  • A secure and reliable hosting environment for research servers and software
  • Help solving difficult IT-related research problems

For high performance computing support, log a ticket via ServiceUON or contact your IT Business Partner.

High Performance Computing (HPC) is the use of large-scale computers and parallel processing techniques for solving computational problems. Aggregating computing power allows analysis of very large data sets and solving of complex, time-consuming problems in areas such as science, engineering, health and medicine, or business and marketing. The terms High Performance Computing and Supercomputing are used interchangeably. For more information on HPC, see the Introduction to High Performance Computing knowledge base article.

UON researchers are able to access a number of HPC systems. Some are directly supported by the University, others are accessible through competitive, merit-based schemes.

If you are new to HPC, we highly recommend that you contact us via ServiceUON or by contacting your IT Business Partner for assistance getting started.

Supported Facilities

Research Compute Grid (RCG)

A UON facility managed by IT Services with over 4000 usable cores are available, and 700 TB of usable shared storage space running on a Lustre filesystem. The technical specifications are:

  • 16 x 512GB nodes powered by 2.7 GHz Intel Xeon Gold (E5-6150) processor
  • 40x 512GB nodes powered by 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon Gold (E5-6154) processor
  • 32 x 128GB nodes powered by 2.3 GHz Intel Xeon Haswell (E5-2698 v3) processor
  • 32 x 512GB nodes powered by 2.6 GHz Intel Xeon Broadwell (E5-2697A v4) processor
  • 3 x 512GB Nvidia GPU nodes (4 x single V100)
  • 2 x 512GB Nvidia GPU nodes (2 x dual K80)
  • 1x 128GB Nvidia GPU node (4x dual K80)
How To Access

Request access through the High Performance Computing Cluster request webform in serviceUON.

More Information

See the Introduction to Using the Unix Grid knowledge base article.

Raijin

Raijin is Australia’s peak supercomputing facility, managed by the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI). Raijin includes more than 84,656 cores with 40 PBytes of usable disk space delivering over 1.37 PFlops peak performance. The NCI also maintains an extensive library of pre-installed software packages, many of which can be accessed at no cost. Users are able to request computing time on Raijin through Intersect, which has a partner share of this facility. Technical specifications are:

  • 4,416 x compute nodes (32GB to 1TB memory configurations) powered by 2.6 GHz Intel Xeon Sandy Bridge or Broadwell processors
  • 30 x NVIDIA K80 GPU nodes (each node contains 4 x NVIDIA K80 GPUs)
  • 2 x NVIDIA P100 GPU nodes (each node contains 4 x NVIDIA P100 GPUs)
  • 32 x 192GB nodes powered by the 1.3 GHz Intel Xeon Phi (Knights Landing) processor
How To Access

Request access through the High Performance Computing Cluster request webform in serviceUON.

More Information

See https://intersect.org.au/time and the Raijin User Guide.

Other Facilities

Pawsey Supercomputing Centre

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre operates multiple HPC systems, including Magnus, which consists of 35,712 CPU cores for computational research, and Galaxy, which consists of 9,440 CPU cores and is dedicated to radio-astronomy. Researchers are able to apply for access to these systems through an annual National Computational Merit Based Allocation Scheme (NCMAS).

MASSIVE (Multi-modal Australian ScienceS Imaging and Visualisation Environment)

MASSIVE is a specialised HPC facility for imaging and visualisation. It encompasses three systems (M1, M2 and M3), each supporting different configurations of CPUs, memory and GPUs. MASSIVE is best suited to computational imaging projects. Researchers are able to apply through an annual National Computational Merit Based Allocation Scheme (NCMAS).

A Virtual Machine (VM) is a computer that appears to the user as a real physical computer, however the hardware is actually simulated or virtual. Usually, a single powerful physical server runs several VMs at a time, distributing the workload onto its physical CPUs and memory as needed. Each virtual machine is a fully simulated computer which can have its own operating system and software running.

So why is this helpful in research?

  • Software can be installed onto a VM just like any other computer. This means they can complete long-running tasks, e.g. complex processing and data analysis, without slowing down the computer for other daily tasks.
  • It is possible to provide many people access to one VM, which enables your collaborators and students access to both the data and analysis software in one location.
  • VMs can be more powerful than desktop or laptop computers, which may speed up or make certain types of analysis possible.
  • Remote access to a VM and your research data allows you to run your analysis and access the results from anywhere.
  • VMs can be powered on 24/7, making them perfect for running websites, web applications and databases.

UON supports two VM platforms for research use. If you think you need a VM in your research, we recommend that you contact us to discuss your needs.

Virtual Workstations

ARCS can provide VMs to researchers who want to operate their own software from a secure, centrally managed data centre. The ongoing maintenance, patching, and support of the virtual machine is undertaken by IT professionals within our data centre, reducing the risk of interrupting long processing jobs, hardware failure, data loss or virus infection.

How To Access

To request a virtual workstation use the virtual workstation request webform in serviceUON.

IT Services provide a secure, stable and recoverable environment where research servers can be physically or virtually hosted, reducing the risk of interrupting long processing jobs, hardware failure, data loss or virus infection. The ongoing maintenance, patching, and support of the virtual machine is undertaken by IT professionals within our data centre.

The main benefits to researchers are:

  • Physical hardware is no longer required to be held in the researcher’s office or lab
  • Regular server patching by IT Services
  • Backups are regular and automated
  • Data is secure and recoverable

How To Access

Request physical or virtual hosting services through the hosting webform in serviceUON.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.