NZ weather predictor rejects commercial clouds on bandwidth basis

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I thought this was an interesting tidbit. Computerworld New Zealand is running a story hat mentions the country’s weather modeling agency evaluated, but subsequently rejected, outsourcing some of its computational needs to a commercial cloud

NZ MetService logoThe upgrade will be almost entirely a hardware matter says CIO Russell Turner [of MetService]. It will involve doubling the linear resolution, taking data points at the corners of 4km squares rather than 8km squares and possibly increasing the number of vertical layers in the model, currently “30 or 40”, he says. From a software point of view that task will be comparatively easy.

Approximately an eightfold increase in computer power is the main emphasis of the move.

…Cloud operation is probably not feasible, says Turner, though it was investigated. Amazon can supply arrays of HPC blade processors, but 10 Gbit/s communication with the cloud is probably not sufficient bandwidth, he says.

Interesting real application of a principle we’ve discussed several times here before.