The staff at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, through their EPSRC grant, are growing their solution and Research Software Engineering (RSE) portfolio intelligently in order to meet the changing needs of their new user base.

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Our students and researchers drive our technological advancement both here at Queen’s and at Ulster,” explains Vaughan Purnell, Research Computing Manager, of Queen’s University Belfast. “When we came together to plan how we would tackle these new fields, we knew we would need the best platform for our research and an end user model built on RSE engagement. Our aim is to educate users today on the systems available, while keeping an eye to the user and system requirements of tomorrow — all without sacrificing quality or time-to-science.”

The NI-HPC ‘Kelvin2’ cluster is built through partnership with Dell EMC, ROC Technologies, and Alces Flight, features capabilities including 128-core AMD EPYC2 and Intel AVX512 equipped compute nodes, Nvidia V100 GPUs, a Mellanox 100Gb Infiniband low-latency interconnect and more than 6PB of storage capacity organised into different feature tiers. With a focus on emerging HPC fields requiring increased RSE end-user engagement, collaborating on managing the environment was key to ensure project success. …


Alces Flight provided a cloud High Performance Computing (HPC) environment built on Microsoft Azure that harnessed the newly available AMD EPYC2 (Rome) Series of Processors

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With the Alces Flight team going first in the student cluster competition, and going in on public cloud, they chose to go epic… quite literally.

“As this was CIUK’s first ever cluster challenge we really wanted to give the students something special to launch for their first challenge, which is why we choose to construct the cluster environment on Microsoft Azure with the latest AMD EPYC2 (Rome) series of processors,” said Cristin Merritt, Program Manager for Cloud HPC at Alces Flight. “For us, pulling together this cluster environment was almost entirely automated. …


This first time virtual event will have students competing across different platforms in a quest to win sponsorship to the ISC HPC Student Cluster Competition in 2021.

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The team at Alces Flight will be providing student cluster teams access to HPC on the cloud during CIUK’s first ever Cluster Competition. Designed to run from mid-October, and culminating at CIUK 2020 Online, students will engage in a series of tasks covering both hardware and software that will increase in difficulty as the finish line nears. The Alces Flight team will open the event by launching identical cloud HPC clusters for each team tailored specifically to meet the requirements set out by CIUK.

“We’ve been building ephemeral and federated cloud HPC environments for years so it makes perfect sense for us to share this capability with students hoping to pursue HPC as their future career,” said Cristin Merritt, Program Manager for Cloud HPC at Alces Flight,“As the only public cloud build in the competition we hope to set a high standard and show how well this platform works. We are honoured to be participating alongside some of the best providers in hardware and software and can’t wait to get the students on board.” …

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