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RCC News: February 2016

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Connected high-speed data storage coming to UQ

RCC is building an experimental data fabric that connects on-campus computing hardware to data storage in QRIScloud, the Queensland node of Australia’s research cloud.
Working with UQ’s IT Services Division on a proof of concept project, RCC is building MeDiCI, the Metropolitan Data Caching Infrastructure, that supports data collection on campus, close to scientific instruments, data sources and local computers. These collections will be connected to the significant storage and processing capabilities of the Polaris Data Centre, where QRIScloud is sited.

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Polaris Data Centre
The Polaris Data Centre in Springfield, just outside of Brisbane.

FlashLite sets SPEC benchmark world records

RCC's data-intensive high performance computer, FlashLite, has set two world records to become the world’s most powerful shared memory server.

The ARC-funded FlashLite was installed in Springfield's Polaris Data Centre in August last year and is available for use to Australian researchers, including those at UQ.
FlashLite has taken the top position on the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation’s CPU benchmark results (SPEC), beating previous top position SGI UV systems by as much as 29 per cent. FlashLite also came third on the STREAM benchmark, trailing only two systems, which have double the processor count.
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Santa delivers bigger and better storage for FlashLite

UQ’s new data-intensive high performance computer, FlashLite, has greater storage thanks to upgrades during the summer holiday period.
Network-attached storage was significantly increased from 230 TB to 697 TB and the number of drive shelves was boosted from one to five which improves internal connectivity.
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Award honours work of GVL team

Prof David Abramson accepting iTnews Benchmark Award for Education CIO of the year 
RCC Director Prof David Abramson (pictured above) won an iTnews Benchmark Award for Education Chief Information Officer of the year on Wednesday, 17 February.
The award was for his work on the Genomics Virtual Lab, a suite of user-friendly cloud-based genomics analysis tools powered by the NeCTAR federated research cloud.
Prof Abramson said the award was really a tribute to the work of the GVL team, which started the project before he joined UQ in 2013.
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First UQ Hacky Hour for 2016

UQ’s first Hacky Hour of the year will occur this afternoon, i.e. Tuesday, 23 February.

The aim of the hour is to provide a place for people to ask computing questions, solve problems, and network with others. Anyone is welcome to attend. Bring your laptop.

RCC’s (and QCIF’s) Belinda Weaver runs Hacky Hour St Luc.

Currently, the hour will be held at St Lucy Cafe at UQ St Lucia Campus, 3–4 pm on alternative Tuesdays. Follow @hackyhourstluc on Twitter and the Hacky Hour St Luc blog for news and updates.

UQ Hacky Hour
Join the UQ happy Hacky Hour! (Photo by Belinda Weaver, RCC.)

Two new staff join RCC  

Kevin Smith       Mark Endrei
Kevin Smith (left) and Mark Endrei (right) have joined RCC to help with specific projects. 
Kevin will spend four months with RCC to enhance UQ researchers' engagement with the new data-intensive HPC, FlashLite. Mark has joined RCC as a systems administrator/programmer part-time at one day per week while he studies as a full-time UQ ITEE PhD student.
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Brisbane's first ResBaz becomes ResBuzz

The success of the inaugural Brisbane Research Bazaar earlier this month took even its organisers by surprise.
The Research Bazaar (usually shortened to ResBaz) quickly turned into ResBuzz as its 180 attendees embraced everything this research festival had to offer. The event hashtag #resbazbris even trended on Twitter.
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UQ's Dr Nouri Ben Zakour (standing) teaching Software Carpentry with R at Brisbane's first ResBaz. (Photo by Belinda Weaver, RCC.)

RCC Director to step down as chair of award panel

RCC Director Prof David Abramson will step down as chair of The Computing Research and Education Association of Australasia's (CORE) John Makepeace Bennett Award selection panel at the end of this year. 

David has chaired the panel since 2009 and is stepping down at the end of his term. The John Makepeace Bennett Award is for the "best" PhD thesis in CORE's field. 

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RCC Director Prof David Abramson presents the John Makepeace Bennett Award to PhD student Joey Scarr
On 3 February, RCC Director Prof David Abramson (right) presented the John Makepeace Bennett Award to University of Canterbury PhD student Joey Scarr.  

RCC brightest on campus?

The Axon Building on UQ's St Lucia Campus, which houses RCC, was the first on campus to be completely fitted out with LED lights last month.

In the past, other buildings were retrofitted using LEDs, but the Axon Building (building #47) is the first where all fluorescent tubes have been replaced using only LEDs.

RCC staff have found the change illuminating. 

ELIXIR Director calls for closer collaboration between Australia and Europe Dr Niklas Blomberg

The Director of ELIXIR, sustainable European infrastructure for biological information, called for a path towards Australian membership in ELIXIR in his report delivered following his Australia tour.

Dr Niklas Blomberg (pictured) visited Australia in late 2015 as a guest of VLSCI and EMBL Australia, with funding support from Bioplatforms Australia.

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UQ hosts first Brisbane Software Carpentry instructor training workskop

RCC/QCIF eResearch Analyst Team Leader Belinda Weaver organised the inaugural Brisbane Software Carpentry/Data Carpentry instructor training workshop across 18–19 January at UQ.
The result is 20 potential new Software Carpentry/Data Carpentry instructors for Australia.
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The inaugural Brisbane Software Carpentry/Data Carpentry instructor training workshop
Dr Aleksandra Pawlik (standing) leads the final session at the Brisbane Software Carpentry/Data Carpentry instructor training workshop. (Photo by Belinda Weaver, RCC.)
people and technology

What's On

UQ Hacky Hour, 23 Feb, 3–4pm, UQ St Lucia. More info
Open Data Day, 4 March, 2–5pm, ODI Queensland, Spring Hill. More info
ReDBox Lite webinar, 9 March, 10–11am, online More info
Sharing Health-y Data: Challenges and Solutions workshop, 16 March, TRI, Brisbane. More info
Dr Nick's Image Clinic, most Monday mornings, for IMB researchers and held by Dr Nick Hamilton at IMB.

RCC's seminar series will return in semester two, 2016.

All RCC events

Subscribe: RCC Seminar Alerts

people and technology


Ensure your work is recognised by services that facilitate access to quality research data
Good stewardship of research data is a key requirement for the responsible conduct of research.
Adequate management of research data is also a legislative and funding body requirement, including an obligation under the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.
The staff development course 'Research Data Management — What’s involved?' will take you through your responsibilities and explain the advice, tools and services available to help you meet the requirements under the Code, funding agreements and legislation. 
Please register to attend the two-hour course, which will occur four times in 2016, the first being today, 23 February.

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