Facilities


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The consortium operates world-class facilities and services that will support DREAM students registered across all institutes. DREAM students will have the opportunity to engage with the Big Data centres at Newcastle and Cambridge, and with experts in the field of environmental data collection, assimilation, analysis and modelling, and focus on key NERC science. Notable research facilities across the member institutes include:

 

High Performing Computing (HPC) facilities

Joining ‘Astral’, their focused distributed parallel system, able to providing 18 tflops across its 1280 cores, Cranfield University have just commissioned their exiting new ‘Delta’ HPC service. Delta is a world-class research computing facility comprising 1920 Cores with 60 Tflops compute. The Delta CPUs support AVX2, which can perform significantly more floating point operations per clock cycle than our older facility. Delta has 2400MHz fast memory, and uses EDR Infiniband networking (100Gbps). It has 117TB of usable scratch storage, with its applications software stored on separate redundant BeeGFS file store. Delta has 4x NVidia K80 GPUs across two nodes, able to provide accelerated compute capabilities, accessed via its PBS pro scheduler. It also has a new accelerated remote visualization capability. Altogether an awesome computing resource available to DREAM researchers.

Birmingham operate their ‘BlueBEAR’ cluster for high performance computing; Cambridge run the ‘Darwin’ compute cluster (11,000 cores, 200 TFlops/s, 42 TB RAM June 2012 top 500 listed), as well as ‘Wilkes’ (256 K20 GPU, providing another 240 TFlop/s). Newcastle run their Cloud Innovation Centre.

 

GRID facilities

Cranfield University also operate a GRID system, a focused high throughput computing (HTC) system with 288 cores; Newcastle run their Condor GRID pool.

 

Data Visualisation facilities

Cranfield’s Virtual Reality system in action

Cranfield operate the ‘NERC-supported’ (NE/L012774/1) Virtual Reality and data visualisation facility. Based on the powerful Virtalis ‘ActiveMove’ immersive Big Data ‘3D virtual reality’ suite, and with separate Occulus Rift capability, this resource offers a capable visualisation capability to DREAM researchers; Birmingham have the Visual and Spatial Technology Centre (VISTA); Newcastle run the Digital Institute data CAVE and VR suite.

 

Data repository

Cranfield run the national ‘Land Information System’ (LandIS), holding national soil and related environmental data for England and Wales held in Oracle blade-server pool, and analogous international ‘World Soil Survey Archive and Catalogue’ WOSSAC. Newcastle run the EPSRC ITRC National Infrastructure database NIS-DB.

Many of our partners operate high performance computing facilities, further to this, DREAM students may also be able to access the specialist NERC HPC facilities such as Archer, MONSooN, RDF and JASMIN.