High-performance computing: a cost-effective, secure, green, Australian alternative

High-performance computing (HPC) accelerates data-intensive research, commercialisation and careers, but Australians have limited access to Government-funded HPC facilities. Some spend precious time and grant money setting up their own HPC system, while others resort to less secure, slower, cloud-based options, unaware that there is a better alternative.

What is HPC?

To process vast amounts of data rapidly, HPC harnesses multiple computing servers in a cluster, which may be housed in a single facility, remotely networked, or a hybrid of these. HPC is critical to world-class R&D from meteorology to financial modelling, geoscience to genetics, agriculture to astrophysics.

Will you wait, risk the cloud, DIY or give DUG a try?

Australian researchers and innovators compete for access to two publicly funded, over-subscribed, HPC facilities: the National Computational Infrastructure at The Australian National University, and the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre at Curtin University. Unfortunately, the queue is often long, and many are turned away.

Offshore, cloud-based, HPC providers – such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle – offer weaker data security, slower processing, and long-distance technical support. Australian researchers may prefer to create their own HPC cluster if they have the expertise, funds and time, but this delays their core research significantly.

DownUnder, greener, faster

Australian-owned and -operated DUG Technology provides HPC as a service for researchers and innovators who want high security, speed and support, with a small carbon footprint. DUG uses unique immersion-cooling technology to cut power consumption by up to 51%, reducing carbon emissions.

Founded in 2003 to support better decisions in the resources sector, formerly known as DownUnder Geosolutions, DUG has grown and diversified. Applying domain-specific expertise, DUG’s team develops bespoke HPC solutions for clients across health and life sciences, space and defence, climate and weather, engineering and construction, government and education, agriculture and natural resources.

DUG holds many patents and continues to invest in R&D that keeps their technology at the cutting edge. But excellence in HPC depends on people as much as technology.DUG’s clients enjoy support from a dedicated, Australian-based contact. DUG’s team provides all onboarding, code optimisation, predictive analytics and modelling support – unlike the public cloud providers.

For example, DUG has supported lifesaving work at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, by assisting bioinformaticians to store, process and analyse colossal amounts of genomic data. The DUG team has also collaborated with LatConnect 60, an Australian smart-satellite provider undertaking Earth observations, boosting their capability to analyse and improve agricultural practices.

Austal, an Australian shipbuilder and Defence contractor, used DUG’s HPC infrastructure and services to enhance the efficiency and performance of its vessels. Astronomers using the Murchison Widefield Array telescope engaged DUG to deal with a massive data backlog. The researchers had spent two years processing just one-sixth of their data. DUG did the rest in under three hours!

DUG is reaching out to all Australian researchers to explore opportunities for new partnerships and collaborations in innovative applications of HPC. To accelerate your research and commercialisation, start a conversation about your HPC needs with Colin La Galia, DUG’s Chief Commercial Officer: colinl@dug.com