Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Future To Design a Strategy (Part II)

It is clear that meteorology is one of the key users of HPC. It is one of the most its important disciplines, and not for the amount of industrial benefit we can get from it, but as it is something crucial for our life affecting everyone and every organization.

As a region, the Basque created its own meteorological agency in order to provide specific information to the Basque area. Euskalmet, the name of the agency, has deployed a large meteorological sensor network.

It is very difficult to guess the compute systems they use to process the data as it is not advertised: Euskalmet has concentrated efforts on installing meteorological instruments to get data. And it is known that they are clients of the products that ECMWF elaborates -as almost every country in the EU.

They probably make use of not a big number of machines without many computer nodes replicated -in case of error- and everything hosted and mainly managed by EJIE that is the Basque Goverment Computing Services Agency and other Government Departments. Otherwise they would have appeared on telly. But they have not.

Two key factors will have to be faced in future: due to the fact that the agency is young -5 years this month- they already proclaimed that want to move towards their own research. This will suppose a major investment not only in personnel if they do not have it, but in Hardware. Research needs tons of time to verify models. Furthermore they will need an scalable backup system since data mining works will be invaluable not only for them but for the also recently created Basque Center For Climate Change.

On the other hand, the department will have to delegate the system administration tasks completely to EJIE or its equivalent. It is also unknown if EJIE has experienced in managing intensive calculation machines. Will it be cheaper and better to create a Computing Agency?

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