Bright Computing Provides Cluster Management Software to Enable Modernized HPC Infrastructure for NeSI and NIWA

    

Earlier this week we announced at ISC that we were part of a co-design partnership with Cray, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA), and the New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI), to collaboratively design and build a hybrid HPC and private cloud infrastructure for NeSI and NIWA based on Bright Cluster Manager and Bright OpenStack.

Since 1992, NIWA has worked at the forefront of some of the worlds most critical environmental issues and is considered New Zealand’s leading environmental science and applied research service provider. NeSI is a collaboration of four institutions, including NIWA, working together to provide HPC, analytics, data, and consultancy services to the science sector, government agencies, and other industries throughout New Zealand.

When HPC requirements for research threatened to exceed NiWA and NeSI’s resource capacity, they felt the time was right for a comprehensive, future-focused upgrade. Their needs dictated a multi-location solution—with their primary systems residing in Wellington, and their backup system housed in Auckland. The primary goals and requirements of this upgrade included, consolidating HPC investments into a single primary national HPC facility, enhancing agility to evolve services as necessary over time, the ability to provide support for an increasing number of HPC use cases, centralized management of both physical and virtual machines, and a reduction of overall cost and management.

After months of intense investigation, collaborative design, and solution realignment, Bright Computing and the combined Cray, NIWA, and NeSI teams brought the modernized NIWA and NeSI infrastructure online. The new infrastructure features three clusters in part managed by Bright solutions—one coupled to each of the Cray XC-class supercomputers and a third for development, testing, training, and education. Additional system improvements via Bright software include the reduction of costs by streamlining cluster management, simplifying data center complexity, and providing a gateway to both private and public clouds through Bright OpenStack.

Bright Cluster Manager and Bright OpenStack made it easier to deploy, provision, and manage key aspects of the NIWA and NeSI hybrid HPC infrastructure by providing managed deployment on bare metal, advanced monitoring and management tools, and dynamic health checking, all in one powerful, intuitive package. Building a flexible platform that could handle NIWA and NeSI’s long-term HPC needs required careful consideration of foundational architectural elements—servers, storage, management, and memory. Managing these essential elements has been simplified with Bright software, enabling NIWA and NeSI to fully capitalize on their future-focused environment and dynamically respond to a variety of use cases with the HPC resources they currently have.

For information on the NIWA/NeSI HPC Facility, please visit:

https://www.nesi.org.nz/services/high-performance-computing/platforms and https://www.niwa.co.nz/our-services/high-performance-computing-facility