The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre



allocation_breakdown_white1The Pawsey Centre plays a key role in the Australian Government’s strategy to provide high level scientific computing resources for the Australian research community complemented by significant data storage capabilities and connected nationally by high-speed networks.

In establishing the Pawsey Centre, the Australian Government committed a 25% share of the supercomputer capability to both the radio astronomy and geosciences research domains in support of Australia’s commitment to the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project and the development of significant research capacity in the geosciences domain in Western Australia respectively. It also required that 15% of capacity be allocated through a national merit allocation scheme to ensure that researchers from across Australia can benefit from the world-class supercomputers. A further 30% and 5% were also committed to the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre partners and the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre Executive Director respectively in recognition of the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre partners operational funding commitments.

Of major significance, the Western Australian government has committed approximately $20m over 5 years to enable the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre to operate the Pawsey facility and assist the user community to harness the power of these systems and therefore maximise the Australian government investment in supercomputing.

The Pawsey Supercomputing Centre has also been working closely with a number of other significant national and international infrastructure projects to ensure the Australian research community is able to make the most of this important platform technology. These include

  • The National Geo-sequestration Laboratory (NGL)
  • The Sustainable Energy for the SKA project (SESKA)
  • The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA)
  • The Australian SKA Pathfinder Project (ASKAP)
  • The National Computing Infrastructure (NCI)

The Pawsey Centre brings the many steps of an eResearch workflow into a single location. Data is close to supercomputers so that it can be stored and analysed seamlessly. The remote rendering capability that is adjacent to the supercomputers and storage means that simulations and data streamed to the Centre can be visualised in real time.

Previously, the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre’s resources and storage have been distributed across the Perth metropolitan area. Although the 10Gbps network between them was sufficient for most workflows, it is not sufficient for the data-intensive ASKAP and MWA projects. The Pawsey Centre enables these complex workflows, as well as other data intensive projects.