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RLP Options M&K, O and Z; N and N1; L. . .

Simon Hood

Head of Research IT Infrastructure and Platforms,
IT Services, University of Manchester


RLP Overview

RLP Overview

Workstream 1: e-Research Infrastructure
  • Compute and storage — on-site and Cloud;
  • people!
Workstream 2: Research Data Lifecycle/Management
  • Research data storage and archive;
  • publication and respositories.
Workstream 3: Research Administration
  • Grant development, funding management. . .
  • Processes, tools, systems, teams. . .


The UoM CIR Ecosystem

The University CIR Ecosystem.



RLP Change Projects. . .

  1. Progressing: Z, M and K, O.
  2. Up-coming: N and N1.
  3. L PoC.


Change Project Z

(True) HPC

First significant UoM investment in CIR ever?

  • 971k h/w + 2 FTEs
  • 4096 CPU cores ordered early Dec — ETA end March?
    • originally intended for an N8-CIR shared platform;
    • to be used for larger parallel compute jobs (cf. former Polaris);
    • largely aimed at engineers, chemists. . .
  • Free to access!
    • Light touch process for access (filter).
  • Also 300k for Cloud resources. . .


Change Projects M and K

Incremental Increase in Computational Capacity and Orchestration

  • Annual investment for duration of RLP — 410k this year.
  • October workshops:
    • GPUs, (more GPUs. . .); high-mem nodes (1.5 TB RAM).
    • Web-based compute (R Studio Server, Shiny, Jupyter),
      • likely use Cloud-based resources
  • PO out r-s-n — ETA April?
  • Free to access — email us/Landesk ticket
  • Augmented by: PI investments (extra GPUs, MACE + FBMH); also FSE bid being worked on.


Change Project O

Procurement of Cloud Resources

Current issues:
  • individuals buying via own credit cards;
  • no opportunity for aggregated bargaining/discounts —
    • Reserved Instances: up to 60 or perhaps 70% available;
  • difficult for Research IT to support;
  • data security issues too (GDPR. . .).


Change Project O (2)

First Steps:
  • Research IT master account in AWS —
    • linked to monthly bill via POISE Framework;
    • aggregate with Podcasting procurement.
  • AWS Organizations:
    • Map funded Research Projects to Orgs — billing tags.
  • Monthly invoice
    • use tags to re-charge to project accounts.
  • IaaS initially.
Also, Condor bursting into AWS:
  • SPOT instances + hibernation;
  • urgent work via on-demand an option.


Change Project O (3)

Other Work:
  • "Core IT" Services leading on Azure.
Next Steps:
  • PaaS, SaaS (e.g., R Studio — via HTTP, Shiny, Hadoop, SQL. . .).
  • Similar arrangements for GCP.
How to join the party?
  • Talk to us (email) — need account code, but. . .
  • . . .early adopters — we need guinea pigs!



In a few months. . .

  • But we invite your input now!


The Future Ecosystem

The Future University CIR Ecosystem.


Change Project N

Edge Compute and Satellite Storage

  • ITS-Managed storage and compute resources within research groups;
  • next year's funding —
  • developing ideas and use-cases now!
    • Core Research Facilities in Michael Smith Building;
    • Henry Moseley Lab.
    • You?


Change Project N1

Databases for Research

  • Existing MySQL, MsSQL and Oracle SQL farms.
  • SQLaaS?
  • Other types of databases: NoSQL. . .
  • We invite input!


Change Project L

Fit-for-Future RDS Platforms

  • GPFS PoC proposed...
  • We need an RDS platform (or platforms) fit for the next 10 years!
  • We'd love to hear your requirements. . .
  • PoC for GPFS mooted.