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CSIRO sourcing new servers, desktops, laptops

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is on the hunt for a new provider for its desktops, laptops and servers for a period of up to five years.

In CSIRO documents the research agency said it would source standard desktops, high-end desktops, laptops, ultra-light laptops high-end laptops, from a new sole supplier to take advantages of compatible docking stations, power packs and standard operating images across devices.

For its servers the agency would examine benefits of a sole supplier, and supplier panel, as well as newer cloud-based options for the provision of blade servers and chassis and rack-mounted servers.

"Changes to technology have resulted in servers becoming diverse in their applied use and with the increased business focus upon eResearch and computational science, IM&T will require flexibility to identify and procure platform hardware which is best fit for the business need in an ongoing capacity," the documents read.

Given the increasing maturity of cloud computing in recent years the CSIRO also indicated it would canvas options for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) as alternate to owning its own on-site servers.

The agency said it was specifically interested in placing services into the cloud environment for long term hosting, and temporary IaaS hosting to run development, testing and training environments in the cloud as well as on-demand computational work. Accessing IaaS for disaster recovery and/or business continuity hosting was also under consideration.

In September the CSIRO, as part of the wider Australian academic supercomputing consortium, iVEC, acquired another major supercomputer, Fornax, to be based at the University of Western Australia (UWA), to further the country's ability to conduct data-intensive research.

The SGI GPU-based system, also known as iVEC@UWA, is made up of 96 nodes, each containing two 6-core Intel Xeon X5650 CPUs, an NVIDIA Tesla C2050 GPU, 48 GB RAM and 7TB of storage. All up, the system has 1152 cores, 96 GPUs and an additional dedicated 500TB fabric attached storage- (FAS) based global filesystem.

In May the CSIRO said it was to shortly move toward the procurement phase of its multi-stage petascale and real-time supercomputing Pawsey Centre project. Specific technology includes tape storage, hierarchical storage management, petascale and real-time supercomputing, data analysis engines, networking and infrastructure.


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