Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology is getting its own supercomputer


The Bureau of Meteorology has boosted the link between its two data centers from 80 gigabits per second to 200Gbps as it prepares for the installation of a new supercomputer. The federal budget included an undisclosed amount of funding for the new supercomputer. The supercomputer, to be used for weather forecasting, will operate for five years from July 2016. The funding includes a midlife upgrade two-and-a-half years into the projected operational life of the supercomputer.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) will soon to go to market to purchase a new supercomputer and datacentre. As an initiative announced as part of the 2014-15 federal budget, BOM’s new supercomputer and datacentre will replace the existing Oracle supercomputer that is currently housed in a datacentre northwest of Melbourne. The new supercomputer, which is expected to be up and running in two years time, will be 20 times faster than the current machine. It will be the eighth machine the Bureau has procured, with each typically having a lifecycle of approximately six years, and receiving a mid-life upgrade that often multiplies the running speed by two. Bureau of Meteorology director Dr Rob Vertessy told ZDNet that implementing the new supercomputer will address two main issues of weather forecasting, and provide system resilience that the organisation needs.

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