Joint Weather and Climate Research Programme
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MONSooN is a shared supercomputing service jointly funded by Met Office and NERC to facilitate collaborative research. Phase I of the computing resource consists of 30 IBM Power 6 575 compute nodes with almost 900 processor cores providing a relatively modest 17 teraflops. 60 TB of fast local disk is provided for short-term storage and a further 100 TB (possibly growing over time) has also been provided for medium-term storage for NERC users.

MONSooN provides access to the Met Office MASS-R data storage archive, access to observation data, a wiki to promote collaboration and share documentation and a platform for joint code development. A post-processing server supports interactive and IO-intensive data analysis. User home directories on the supercomputer are cross-mounted to the post-processing server. A connection from MONSooN to the Joint Academic Network (JANet) is provided at a rate of 1 Gbps.

Further details of the service (eg filesystem, software) are available on the met office collaboration wiki - registration for this site is required - contact the MONSooN Service Manager.

Joint supercomputing facility - one year on

The MONSooN service is a key piece of infrastructure for the JWCRP and has been in operation since December 2009. A four-page brochure has been published which describes the service currently available to users and summarises both service enhancements implemented in 2010 and those now being implemented. Enhancements in progress include further simplifying user access to the MONSooN environment and enhancing access to the MASS data archive.

MONSooN brochure (2·9MB)

Applying to use MONSooN

  • Users who only require access to services like the wiki and other collaboration tools may not need to make a full application. These users can be granted access by the MONSooN Service Manager or the JWCRP Programme Manager. If you think you are in this category, contact the Service Manager to discuss your access requirements.
  • Projects that require services like MASS and the HPC will need to complete and submit an application form. This form can be downloaded at the bottom of this page. This must be assessed and approved before these services can be accessed. Applications can be submitted at any time, but will only be assessed about three times a year. Closing dates for these assessments will be published on the wiki.
  • Applicants are encouraged to discuss their projects with members of the MONSooN Management Group (MMG) who should be able to give advice on the technical applicability of their work for MONSooN.
  • Completed application forms are assessed by the MMG and the Joint Science Strategy Group (JSSG). The MMG will comment on technical aspects, eg availability of the code or services requested, storage, processor time etc. and on the availability of capacity on MONSooN given the current projects and their projected use. The JSSG will determine if the science fits with the priorities of the JWCRP.
  • Recommendations from the MMG and JSSG are forwarded to the Strategic Programme Board for consideration and ultimate approval.
  • Applicants will be informed of the outcome with appropriate feedback. The users listed on the application form will then be required to sign a User Agreement and be issued with a RSA token to gain access to the MONSooN system.

Assessment criteria

  • Applications must be a collaboration between NERC funded and Met Office scientists.
  • The science proposed must address the strategic aims of the JWCRP. If applicants have doubts about the suitability of their science for MONSooN, they should contact the JWCRP Manager, or talk to a member of the Science Strategy Group.
  • MONSooN is provided primarily to enhance collaboration. Consequently, projects selected to use the service must demonstrate genuine benefit from collaboration. The service has a relatively modest amount of compute resource and is therefore not intended for intensive production runs. Applicants should clearly demonstrate a compelling reason why the work would not be possible if carried out on a different platform.

Additional documentation

MONSooN application form (126KB)