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The University of Aberdeen has deployed a new high performance computing (HPC) cluster to consolidate and help simplify the management of individual departmental research.

The university four research disciplines consisting of energy, the North, environment and food security, and pathways to healthy living.

Head of infrastructure management Dr Brian Robertson said: "The main aim of the HPC project is to free researchers from the burden of system management and provide a computational service backed by a dedicated team of IT professionals."

He added: "Researchers will have more time to carry out their research rather than dealing with more mundane administrative issues. The new cluster will also open up potential for research projects across departments and encourage more collaboration to spark new and exciting opportunities.”

The new HPC cluster, named "Maxwell" after the eminent Scottish physicist, was implemented with the help of Dell servers and Alces Software. Existing disparate clusters were decommissioned, some of which were nearing their end of life anyway.

Their workloads were moved on to the one central cluster, which is managed by a dedicated IT team, who are on hand to help researchers use the HPC as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.

Different departments can now analyse large volumes of data much faster than on the previous set-up, said the university.

Maxwell is built on scalable PowerEdge C6220 servers, PowerVault MD3200 and MD1200 storage, as well as PowerConnect 6248 networking switches.