BOM, Sun to build $30M supercomputer

Linux and Sun, a powerful partnership

Sun's Constellation supercomputer system

Sun's Constellation supercomputer system

Amid rumours of Sun Microsystems being snapped up by IBM, the company has announced a whopping $30 million deal with Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) to build one of the largest high-performance computing environments in the southern hemisphere.

The four-year deal, in conjunction with the Australian National University, will see two Sun Constellation systems installed running an open source software stack, a first for a weather forcasting site, according to Sun.

Located at BOM in Melbourne and the ANU in Canberra, the HPC environments will have more than 2500 Sun Blade (1500 at ANU, 1000 at BOM) server modules based on the new Intel “Nehalem” Xeon processor.

The supercomputer will facilitate a National Computational Infrastructure initiative led by ANU and jointly funded by the Commonwealth National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, ANU and CSIRO.

National Computational Infrastructure director professor Lindsay Botten said the new supercomputer – 12 times more powerful than the present system – will ensure ongoing international competitiveness and provide a facility that will help Australian researchers.

ANU supercomputing facility head Dr Ben Evans said the new system will be among the world’s top 30 HPC systems and has “excellent expansion capability” to meet rapidly emerging needs.

“Particularly as we implement the next generation of high-resolution climate models that further our understanding of this complex natural system,” Evans said.

The network connection technology for the supercomputer is Infiniband and will run Sun’s HPC software stack – Sun HPC Software, Linux Edition.

At BOM, CIO Phil Tannenbaum said the system will make the organisation “the world’s first major weather service” to operate an open source environment.

“It’s a move away from where we’ve traditionally been operating and we believe the Sun infrastructure will benefit our operational systems, as well as our research and development users,” Tannenbaum said.

“We anticipated moving to open source supercomputing for the next generation, and are pleased to have the opportunity to adopt it in 2009.”

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags LinuxSun MicrosystemsnehalemsupercomputingANUBureau of Meteorology

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rodney Gedda

Techworld Australia
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?