IBM is set to upgrade the University of Canterbury’s BlueFern High Performance Computing (HPC) facility, having signed a new four-year contract following the initial establishment of BlueFern at the university in 2007.
IBM will undertake joint research relating to high performance computing and water management, as well as participating in a staff and student exchange with the university. It will continue to supply hardware for the facility.
The upgrade and joint research relationship with IBM are part of Canterbury University's entry into the National e-Science Infrastructure (NeSI), a NZ$48.4 million initiative to provide a national service to New Zealand research institutes. NeSI is a collaboration between the New Zealand government, the University of Canterbury, the University of Auckland, NIWA and AgResearch.
Canterbury University vice-chancellor Dr Rod Carr says in a statement announcing the initiative that the university "is committed to investing in infrastructure that provides a world-class learning environment for students and researchers.
“As the major university investor and a lead HPC provider for New Zealand, the University of Canterbury looks forward to collaborating with the Crown Research Institutes and university partners locally and internationally to deliver top quality science and technology outcomes.”
Phill Patton, general manager sales for IBM New Zealand says, “IBM is delighted to be able to contribute High Performance Computing technology and skills to the University of Canterbury adding to its reputation for research excellence. The University, in collaboration with its research partners, will achieve higher levels of advanced research, which in turn will drive economic benefits for New Zealand.”
The BlueFern computer architecture includes an upgrade to a new IBM POWER7 system, which increases the capacity by 10 times of the previous model, and the new Blue Gene P, which will go live by the end of September.