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The History of CQU's HPC facilities

In early 2002, CQUniversity had a small compute farm funded by a local faculty for computational research applications.  In 2006, CQU and QUT, with contributing funds from QPSF (Queensland Parallel Supercomputing Foundation – now known as QCIF), successfully partnered to win a national competitive "Linkage Infrastructure Equipment and Facilities (LIEF)" Grant.  This grant enabled both QUT and CQU to upgrade its High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities.  With this funding CQUniversity purchased and commissioned a significant SGI HPC System in 2007, which was affectionately known as the "Einstein HPC cluster".  This system provided significant compute and storage facilities to all CQUniversity academics, researchers and research students, until it was decommissioned in November 2012.

In 2012, CQUniversity successfully applied to the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF) to supply matching fund of $200,000 for the "Upgrade of HPC facilities project".  Funds of $200,000 from the Office of Research and the Information Technology Directorate ($100,000 each) and QCIF matching funds lead to the purchase of CQUniversity third generation HPC facilities, in which was known as the Isaac Newton HPC Cluster.

In December 2017 and January 2018, CQUniversity conducted an upgrade to its HPC facility and whilst not a complete replacement, many of the core components including storage and compute was replaced. This fourth generation HPC facility is known as the Marie Curie HPC Cluster and like the previous HPC systems, this facility is available to all Central Queensland University academics, researchers and research students.  This system has been designed to support future growth in advanced computing utilisation.  The newest HPC system at CQ University allows significant computing capabilities that provides access to large CPU, memory and/or data storage resources.  Additionally, the HPC facilities utilizes a "Job Scheduler", thus allowing users to submit a significant number of jobs to be processed.  The CQUniversity HPC facility provides researchers access to unprecedented local research computing infrastructure.

The table below provides details of current and previous CQUniversity's HPC Systems:

Current Systems

Marie Curie Cluster

Commissioning Date

Initial installation - January 2018

Additional upgrade occurred in October 2018

Compute Nodes
Number of Compute Nodes23
CPU Sockets48
Total Memory 5.24TB

Theoretical Performance

56.6 Tflops
Shared Storage
Disk Capacity 320TB Raw

Max Power

(Not including old nodes)


Isaac Newton Cluster

Commissioning Date 21st of November 2012
Compute Nodes
Number of Compute Nodes 31
CPU Sockets 64
Cores 544
Total Memory 4.35TB
Disk 62TB Raw
Theoretical Performance 12.35 Tflops
Shared Storage
Disk Capacity 240TB Raw
Max Power 21 KW

Decommissioned Systems

Einstein Cluster (Decommissioned)

Commisioning Date November 2007
Decommisioning Date 16th of November 2012
Compute Nodes
Number of Compute Nodes 20
CPU Sockets 40
Cores 160
GPU None
Total Memory 320GB
Disk 10TB Raw
Theoretical Performance ~1.16 Tflops
Shared Storage
Disk Capacity 6 TB Raw
Max Power 

Colony Cluster (Decommissioned)

Commisioning Date Early 2002
Decommisioning Date 21st December 2007
Compute Nodes
Number of Compute Nodes 84
CPU Sockets 84
Cores 84
Total Memory 42GB
Disk 1.38TB
Theoretical Performance 84 GFlops (or 0.084 TFlops)
Shared Storage
Disk Capacity 138GB Raw
Max Power Unknown