Back in the sixties and seventies it was commonplace for high-performance systems to be operated by national or regional computer centres on behalf of syndicates of universities and other research organisations.
The wheel has turned, and now Intersect Australia has installed a 30-plus teraflop SGI HPC system at Macquarie Telecom's Intellicentre 2 data centre in Sydney, and make it available on a timesharing basis to universities for research in diverse fields including genetic sequencing, clean energy production, and the simulation of tropical cyclone formations.
"Hosting these sorts of computing resources in this country is essential if we want Australian research – and the sizable socio-economic advantages it entails – to thrive in an increasingly competitive global landscape," said NSW chief scientist and engineer Professor Mary O'Kane.
Intersect Australia CEO Ian Gibson said "This investment marks a significant milestone on Intersect's infrastructure roadmap to boost the calibre of home-grown science and research with high-performance and elastic computational capacity."
Macquarie Telecom chairman Robert Kaye said working with Intersect was "part of Macquarie Telecom’s longer-term commitment to providing in-country infrastructure that supports Australian business growth and opportunities."