Intersect News #49 October 2012

8 Oct 2012

Great leaps forward in infrastructure

Intersect is midway through planning major infrastructure facilities for its members and Australian researchers. The building blocks are in place for a huge leap in service provision.

Intersect’s success in being chosen as an RDSI Node and as a NeCTAR Research Cloud Node are key parts of the larger plan. Intersect has reviewed its data centre hosting arrangements and is set to provide the best levels of service available. The arrangement, soon to be announced, will deliver a powerful and economical platform over the coming years.

Infrastructure services coming online include:

1. High Performance Computing
Intersect is deploying Orange, the new SGI ICE_X_CGI High Performance Computer providing a 25 fold increase in compute power over its predecessor but using only twice the amount of power. Intersect also has a 4% member share of NCI, Australia’s peak HPC facility, upgrading in 2013 to deliver 8 times the performance of the current peak system.

2. Peta-scale Data Storage
Intersect has been selected to be a Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) node. This will provide members with direct access to up to 50 PBytes of research data storage capacity by 2015, a huge increase on current capacity.

3. Virtual Machines and Elastic Computing
Intersect has been selected as a NeCTAR Research Cloud node. Forming part of a national research cloud, Intersect members can take advantage of elastic compute resources which complement the existing HPC services.

4. The NeCTAR Research Cloud Node will be tightly coupled with the RDSI Storage Node offering researchers the opportunity to perform their data analysis and processing without transferring large amounts of data to their institutions. Data held with Intersect is readily and quickly accessible on both the research cloud and Intersect’s HPC facilities. This service will be available in late 2012.

ReDS funding

Of interest to data owners, custodians and discipline communities: RDSI has launched a pilot of the Research Data Services program (ReDS).

Three different ways of allocating RDSI funded storage will be tested until 31 Jan 2013, after which there will be an ongoing open call for storage requests. More information can be found here:

UNE eResearch Showcase

Researchers at UNE are invited to attend an eResearch Showcase planned for 23 October. A range of guest speakers will outline new services and software in support of UNE research.

Time: 09:40 – 14:00
Date: 23 October 2012
Venue: Lewis Lecture Theatre, UNE

Please RSVP for catering purposes by 19 October

Outstanding in the field: ExSite 9

Researchers who undertake fieldwork, or capture research data away from their desks, have a new tool to support the quick application of descriptive metadata to the digital data they capture.  The ExSite9 tool enables enhanced management and documentation of research data close to the time it is created.  This tool allows researchers to prepare a package of metadata and research data for backup to a repository or archive for safekeeping and further manipulation.

Currently in acceptance testing, the ExSite9 tool is:

• cross-platform, simple to use and robust
• supports intuitive and timely creation of descriptive metadata by the researcher close to time of data capture
• supports sharing of descriptive metadata between researchers
• will wrap data and metadata up in a submission package.

Recognising that field research often takes place with either limited or no Internet access, the tool will run offline and output data that can readily be backed up or transferred to a repository.

Developed for the University of Sydney, this project is supported by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). ANDS is supported by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy Program and the Education Investment Fund (EIF) Super Science Initiative.

Extending the Schizophrenia Research Bank

Work has begun on extending and enhancing the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank. This NeCTAR funded project will build on Intersect’s earlier work, deployed in 2009, which delivered a secure, commercial grade system for collecting, storing and sharing schizophrenia research data.

Visit Intersect at eResearch Australasia

We’ll be sponsoring, presenting and have a booth at the conference, so come visit.

28 Oct – 2 Nov
SMC Centre,
66 Goulburn St Sydney.


Recruiting now

Intersect is expanding and needs new talent to manage our growing workload.  We have multiple software engineering roles:

Junior software engineers

new or recent graduates with up to 3 years commercial experience.  Exposure to Java, Ruby or similar language & experience working in Agile teams. Read more.

Mid-level software engineers

We need passionate software engineers with up to 8 years’ experience. Strong Java & Agile Scrum experience essential. Ruby, mobile apps, GPU experience highly desirable. Read more.

Back to bulletins
Your browser is not supported. Please upgrade your browser.