School of Computing to slash energy costs by half


School of Computing to slash energy costs by half
School of Computing to slash energy costs by half

The School of Computing at ANU is set to reduce its energy costs by up to 51 per cent following an agreement with software firm Dug McCloud. The Australian-based company, with physical infrastructure in Western Australia, will deliver high-performance computing (HPC) services, storage and training for staff and students in the School.

The deal is part of the University’s commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions as part of the ANU Below Zero initiative. “Computing is a very energy intensive activity, and partnering with companies like DUG help to support domestic providers to continue to innovate in this space,” School of Computing Deputy Director Professor Amanda Barnard said.

Previously HPC resources in the School were managed in-house by maintaining large server/machine rooms. The agreement with DUG represents not only a major shift in energy consumption by the school, but also a dramatic expansion in HPC resourcing available to staff and students, and immediate access to state-of-the-art facilities allowing for world class teaching and leading research. 

In the first two-year pilot stage of the project, the School will be using DUG McCloud for courses taken by students enrolled in the Masters of Machine Learning and Computer Vision, as well as making it available to staff and HDR students in the School. Users will be able to log into the DUG infrastructure via a secure connection and use the space to undertake experiments and conduct research.

“With Dug McCloud and our green HPC offerings, we are excited to play a role in turbocharging the University’s scientific endeavours and helping them achieve their sustainability goals,” Dug Managing Director Matthew Lamont said.

The sustainability goal for ANU is to achieve below zero emissions by 2030 for energy, waste, work travel and direct on-campus greenhouse gas emissions. By integrating practical emission-reductions with research and teaching activities, ANU aims to drive innovation in this vital sector. It is one of the first universities in the world to adopt such ambitious targets including a below zero emissions goal. 

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