Loughborough University seeks £1m supercomputer

Institution issues prior information notice announcing imminent replacement of existing Hydra platform

Credit: Loughborough University

Loughborough University has a budget of £1m to replace its Hydra high-performance computing (HPC) cluster.

The existing Hydra platform supports the university’s research. It is equipped with 2,360 general compute cores and 178 InfiniBand-connected nodes running on Linux. It has 82TB of “home-user” storage space, and an additional 15TB of “scratch space”.

It offers HPC services for university researchers conducting studies backed by grants or charity funding, as well as offering services for research being undertaken by Loughborough’s PhD students. The platform is also able to provide academics and students with up to 20,000 hours of “seed time” to use for “unfunded exploration… to determine if the system provides benefits, prior to a funded usage”.

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Hydra is set to be replaced with a new supercomputer, according to a prior information notice published by the university. Technical specifications of the procurement are sparse at this stage, but Loughborough is budgeting £1m for the new system. A full contract notice is currently scheduled to go out on 1 August.

Loughborough University also serves as the home and lead consortium partner for the HPC Midlands Plus centre, which last year received a £3.2m grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.  The project, which is run from Loughborough’s Science and Enterprise Park, aims to create a Midlands-wide “centre of excellence” for high-performance computing and support modelling, simulation, engineering, and quantum technologies. 

Other institutions involved in the HPC Midlands Plus consortium include the Universities of Leicester, Nottingham, Warwick, and Birmingham, as well as Aston University, and Queen Mary, University of London.


Sam Trendall

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