BOM goes shopping for two supercomputers

Crunching the numbers on climate change

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) will procure two high-performance computer systems to support its operational and research science requirements.

The new supercomputers will refresh BOM's computing technology to provide "adequate and effective" high-performance computing equipment to support its own work and the joint research programs in the new joint Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR) with the CSIRO.

The CAWCR includes the Australian Community Climate Earth System Simulator (ACCESS) program.

The size of each supercomputer system is expected to be in the 3.0 to 6.0 teraflop (TFLOP) of sustained performance range.

In keeping with BOM's cycle of refreshing its computing technology about every four years, the initial acquisition will be for a period of 4.5 years with an option for two two-year extensions.

The new contract will include the supply, installation, maintenance, support and accommodation of two "balanced, high-performance, parallel computational systems and peripheral equipment".

Both supercomputer systems must be capable of supporting the BOM's operational software, where one system is a backup to the primary operational system.

The size of the storage subsystems will be in the range of 160TB to 240TB of formatted disk space for operational and research systems, respectively.

The new systems are expected to be online by October 2008.

For both systems, BOM desires operating system and application programming interfaces compatibility features to "ease" the porting and development of software

Specifically, compatibility with POSIX and the Linux Standards Base is also a requirement.

Additionally, the batch job service needs to accept job requests from remote batch queues on HP-UX, AIX, and Linux-based systems.

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