About FlashLite

FlashLite supports applications that need very high performance secondary memory as well as large amounts of primary (main) memory, and optimises data movement within the machine. 

FlashLite has been designed to support data intensive applications, which are neither well served by traditional supercomputers nor by modern cloud-based data centres. Conventional supercomputers maximise Floating Point Operations per Second (FLOPS) and inter-processor communication rates through high bandwidth and low latency networks. Conversely, modern cloud systems minimise the cost of ownership through reliance on virtual machines and shared storage; they thus utilise relatively slow processors and networks and, by and large, do not support parallel processing. 

FlashLite, however, maximises Input Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) while achieving competitive FLOPS ratings and high performance networking, producing a balanced system for applications that exploit parallelism, high-speed arithmetic, and high performance Input/Output (IO). The machine also uses ScaleMP's vSMP software, that provide seamless access to data regardless of location, making it easier to build new data intensive applications, whilst supporting legacy codes using familiar techniques. 

FlashLite has been funded by the Australian Research Council, in conjunction with the following stakeholders:

  • Griffith University
  • Monash University
  • Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF) 
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • The University of Queensland
  • The University of Technology, Sydney.

Users from the stakeholder organisations will need to make a case for needing a machine with the capability of FlashLite. 

A portion of FlashLite is available for competitive access to other research institutions via the National Computational Infrastructure's (NCI) National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme.


Getting a FlashLite account

  • Register to use FlashLite via the QRIScloud portal (under Services / Compute). 
  • An Australian Access Federation (AAF)  login is required to use QRIScloud services. All users associated with a university, CSIRO and most other research institutions in Australia will be able to use their organisational ID (login name) and password as their AAF credential without any further process.


FlashLite training 

RCC conducts regular 'Introduction to HPC' training for UQ staff and students on the last Friday of each month. Please visit RCC's training webpage for further information.

Non-UQ users should request training via support@qriscloud.org.au


FlashLite User Guide

Download the FlashLite User Guide (PDF 395 KB).


FlashLite support

Users of FlashLite should submit support requests to: support@qriscloud.org.au.


FlashLite FAQs

Click here to view FlashLite's FAQs.


FlashLite technical specifications

FlashLite is a multi-node cluster purchased from XENON Systems that is comprised of the following sub-systems:

  • 68 x compute nodes 
  • 2 x login nodes and 2 x administration nodes
  • dual rail 56Gbps Mellanox infiniband fabric
  • non-blocking within groups of 24 nodes 
  • 2:1 blocking factor between groups of 24 nodes
  • ScaleMP vSMP software that aggregates multiple nodes into "super nodes" with larger memory/CPU/disk/IO than the individual nodes
  • ROCKS cluster management software
  • Torque + Maui batch system
  • 150+ TB of high performance storage connected via NFS into IB fabric.

Each compute node has the following attributes:

  • 2 x Xeon E5-2680v3 2.5GHz 12core Haswell processors with 30MB Smart Cache
  • 16 x 32GB DDR4-2133 ECC LRDIMM modules – total 512GB (256GB per socket)
  • 2 x 500GB 2.5" 7.2K HDDs as RAID 1 system disk
  • 3 x 1.6TB Intel P3600 2.5" NVMe (SSD) drives for local data storage
  • 2 x Mellanox Connect-IB 56Gb/s FDR Single Port Infiniband PCIe3 x8 adapter.

The login nodes are identical to the compute nodes except that they have:

  • 0 x 1.6TB Intel P3600 2.5" NVMe (SSD) drives
  • 4 x 480GB Intel S3500 SSD drives for local data storage.

FlashLite seminar video

Professor David Abramson, Director, Research Computing Centre, University of Queensland, talks about FlashLite in this seminar from the FlashLite Information Session held at UQ on 7 August 2015.