Melbourne Uni officially launches new 'hybrid' HPC service

Spartan to replace half-decade-old Edward system

The University of Melbourne has officially launched its new high-performance computing (HPC) service, Spartan.

The new service offers access to a combination of bare metal hardware and instances from the NeCTAR research cloud. Spartan is a replacement for the university’s Edward HPC service, which is scheduled to be taken offline in November.

Edward has been in operation since 2011.

The design of Spartan was informed by a review of how Edward was being used, which found the majority of jobs that were being run on the service employed only a single core and had low memory requirements.

“Many research projects demand high speed interconnect. Spartan can quickly scale into cloud based virtual machines as needed, and expand the HPC system as user needs evolve,” Bernard Meade, head of research computer services at the university, said in a statement.

“Traditional HPC systems are typically tailored for a few specific use cases, but in practice are used for a much wider variety of applications, resulting in less than optimal usage.”

“Spartan is a hybrid HPC service, designed to suit a wide range of problem domains,” Meade said. “We believe this is the future of HPC.”

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