NeSI - the New Zealand eScience Infrastructure

NIWA's supercomputer, FitzRoy, is now part of the New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI) initiative.

High Performance Computing (HPC) and related eScience infrastructure are indispensable components of modern science, and are having a major impact on almost every branch of research throughout the world.

The National eScience Infrastructure (NeSI) is the most significant infrastructure investment for New Zealand's Science System in the last twenty years. Not only does it enable New Zealand's scientists across a wide range of communities and disciplines to access and utilise high performance computers, but it also brings the added benefit of achieving this from better and more efficient coordination and cooperation across the sector.


The principal investors in NeSI, aside from the Government, are the University of Auckland, NIWA and the University of Canterbury, Landcare Research and the University of Otago. The total funding involved in NeSI is $48M, with $27M from the Government and the residual from the principal investors.

NeSI is focused on:

  1. Creating an advanced, scalable computing infrastructure to support New Zealand's research communities, including:
    • University of Auckland: An IBM iDataPlex Intel cluster with 4730 Intel Cores, 42 GPGPUs and 4 Xeon Phi devices
    • NIWA: An IBM p575/POWER6 Supercomputer with 3392 cores
    • University of Canterbury with an IBM BlueGene/P Supercomputer with 8192 cores. 
  2. Providing the research tools and applications, data management, user-support, and community engagement needed for the best possible uptake of the resources.
  3. Encouraging a high level of coordination and cooperation within the research sector, leading to shared goals across the NeSI investors, and unified teams.
  4. Contributing to high quality research outputs from the application of advanced computing and data management techniques and associated services, which support the Government's published priorities for science.

    To meet these high level goals, NeSI provides access to HPC resources through regular calls for submissions under its access policy. There are multiple allocation classes available, including:

    1. Proposal Development – which provides free access to a relatively small allocation of 20,000 core-hours, so that researchers can begin to understand how their research can be advanced using HPC.
    2. Research – this is the premier access method providing up to 1,000,000 core hours of HPCF resources. Applicants for this allocation class must be conducting research that has been peer reviewed, and should be able to fund 20% of the cost of their HPC resource usage. Research Allocation users will have access to expert NeSI scientific programming staff to assist and guide their use of HPC resources.

    NeSI access policy 

    Private industry and Education can also gain access to NeSI facilities.