National Computational Infrastructure (NCI)

Information and computing sciences
Cloud computing, Data access, Data infrastructure, Data storage, Supercomputing

About this Provider

The National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) is a nationally unique, NCRIS-funded facility comprising one of the country’s most powerful supercomputers alongside vast data repositories, data management expertise, data infrastructure and data services. NCI is Australia’s leading high-performance data, storage and computing organisation, providing expertise to benefit all domains of science, government and industry.

Contact Information

TYPE OF CLIENTS

Heading of content section

The National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) is a nationally unique, NCRIS-funded facility comprising one of the country’s most powerful supercomputer alongside vast data repositories, data management expertise, data infrastructure and data services. NCI is Australia’s leading high-performance data, storage and computing organisation, providing expertise to benefit all domains of science, government and industry.
 
HOW WE CAN HELP

To radically enhance the high-performance computational methods and capabilities available to Australian researchers.

NCI is Australia’s largest research supercomputing facility, giving researchers the highest available performance for their compute and data intensive workloads. NCI’s Gadi supercomputer caters to the largest research organisations, while simultaneously supporting the leading work of individual research groups and projects. NCI supports research community requirements for both high performance computing (HPC) and high throughput computing (HTC) by providing access to Cloud and Gadi services.

NCI increases the value and reach of research-ready datasets by providing high quality and high performance data-intensive services. NCI’s data services allow users, data portals and external science cloud environments to access, interact with and extract value from our data collections. Our approach to data services is focused on working with data as a living and connected resource, developing software, and providing portals and network protocols for accessing data.

As a trusted national data repository, NCI optimises some of the largest and most significant datasets requiring our high-performance capabilities. NCI curates and optimises nationally and internationally significant reference datasets (including CMIP5 and CMIP6, ERA5, Landsat, Himawari and more), making them suitable for data-intensive science as well as publication for broader access. These data collections are used by scientists, government agencies and industry to undertake research which underpins many important scientific advancements and decision-making.

Virtual Research Environments (VREs) bring together a community of researchers across multiple organisations to enhance collaboration on national and international science priorities. Virtual research environments are developed through coordinated engagement with research communities to maximise the use of NCI’s compute and data infrastructure. NCI’s national leadership in computational workflows on HPC systems and high-performance petascale reference data provides the only research platform in Australia capable of supporting intensive data analysis and simulation. . NCI’s Cloud facilitates flexible approaches to HPC and HTC research collaboration to support the needs of the diverse Australian science community.

The high-performance data storage systems at NCI consist of multiple powerful filesystems with some of the highest performance in the country. Tightly integrated with a collocated supercomputer across a dedicated high-speed network, NCI’s more than 100 petabytes of data storage brings high-performance data to the fore and makes groundbreaking big data research possible.

NCI’s scientific visualisations are a valuable tool that enables researchers to gain deeper insights into complex datasets and easily communicate their scientific results. NCI has a team of specialist visualisation programmers (the VizLab) that generate images, videos, and virtual reality experiences that can extend the discovery process for our scientists, and communicate high-impact results more broadly.

NCI performs code and data optimisation to unlock the highest resolution science and increased scientific productivity from highly used research software. NCI is focused on improving the productivity of our most important HPC and data-intensive applications. By ensuring that the code harnesses all of the computational capability and data available to it, we can help address our most challenging scientific problems.

Services

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Equipment

  • Gadi: Gadi is Australia’s most powerful supercomputer, capable of performing more than 15 quadrillion calculations per second. Gadi supports diverse workloads from across the scientific spectrum.
  • Filesystems: NCI operates six high-performance filesystems with a capacity of over 75 Petabytes. These are linked with the Gadi supercomputer across 200 Gigabit network links.
  • Archive Storage: NCI operates a replicated tape based long term storage system. This provides bulk storage and a secure long term archive of research data used and unique reference data collections at NCI.
  • Cloud: NCI’s Cloud systems support web and data access portals, long-running services, data analytics, data processing and general cloud based Virtual Machine capabilities for a variety of processing workflows. 
  • Networking: NCI storage and compute systems are linked by HDR Infiniband technology capable of transferring data at up to 200 Gb/s, enabling high-throughput, data-intensive workloads.

Gadi

Filesystems

Archive Storage

Cloud

Networking

People

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Access to NCI is available to researchers from universities, government science agencies, medical research institutes, and industry research organisations.

DATA – Researchers from any Australian organisation can register through the my.nci.org.au portal to access data collections at NCI. Access to some data collections is restricted as determined by the data owners. To read more about available data collections and for more information, go to geonetwork.nci.org.au 

SUPERCOMPUTER – NCI allocates compute hours through three primary access schemes that service individuals, groups, or institutions:

  1. NCI Collaborating Organisations: A large portion of NCI’s supercomputing resources is reserved for researchers from our collaborating organisations. These organisations generally distribute allocated resources through internal processes. 
  2. Access Schemes: Various meritorious access schemes are available to all Australian researchers, supported by NCRIS. These include the National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme, the Australasian Leadership Computing Grants Scheme, and the NCI Adapter Scheme which all provide merit-based allocations.
  3. Flagship Allocations: The NCI Flagship Allocation Scheme provides access to HPC, data-intensive and storage services at NCI for projects identified as being of high-impact or national strategic importance, in particular ARC Centres of Excellence.

The National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) is a nationally unique, NCRIS-funded facility comprising one of the country’s most powerful supercomputers alongside vast data repositories, data management expertise, data infrastructure and data services. NCI is Australia’s leading high-performance data, storage and computing organisation, providing expertise to benefit all domains of science, government and industry. As an NCI user, a researcher has access to their own private storage allocation. This is usually calculated based on standard rates, but organisations can determine their own approach to storage allocations. Each user is expected to manage the data they produce at NCI, and are given autonomy over their dataset management. Due to requirements of the compute and data systems, researchers are expected to remove data from common systems once it is no longer required for the research. NCI provides storage for 50+ Petabytes of active research project data. Additionally, every user can access the optimised and curated nationally and internationally significant reference datasets (including CMIP5 and CMIP6, ERA5, Landsat, Himawari and more). These freely available datasets are suitable for data-intensive science as well as publication for broader access. These data collections are used by scientists, government agencies and industry to undertake research which underpins many important scientific advancements and decision-making.

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Prof Sean Smith

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Dr Debbie Eagles

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Mark McAuley

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Mark holds a Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts (Ancient History), and Bachelor of Science with Honours (Astrophysics). Upon completion of his MBA, he received the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal from the University of Notre Dame, Australia.