NWSC-2: NCAR's Next Generation HPC Procurement

Note: This web page was used for the NWSC-2 procurement and has been retained here for historical reference. The results of the procurement were announced in this news release on January 11, 2016. More information is available on the Cheyenne web page.

Updated May 14, 2015

This site contains information about NCAR's next-generation HPC environment to be installed at the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center (NWSC). This new system, called NWSC-2 for procurement purposes, will be the successor to Yellowstone and related systems that have been in production since December 2012. The procurement is being led by the Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL) at NCAR.

Thu., May 14, 2015 - Release of Amendment #1

Amendment #1 to the NWSC-2 RFP changes the proposal due date. See the table below for the NWSC-2 Amendments v1.docx and a modified UCAR RFP R15-19374 NWSC-2 v2.docx documents.

Fri., April 24, 2015 - Third Q&A Release

Additional questions and answers are now available in the NWSC-2 Communications v3.docx document linked in the table below.

Fri., April 17, 2015 - Second Q&A Release

Additional questions and answers are now available in the NWSC-2 Communications v2.docx document linked in the table below. Superseded by the April 24 v3 release.

Fri., April 10, 2015 - First Q&A Release

The first set of questions and answers is now available in the NWSC-2 Communications v1.docx document linked in the table below. Superseded by the April 24 v3 release.

Fri., April 3, 2015 - NWSC-2 Procurement Release

The NWSC-2 Request for Proposals has been released. All documents are available from the table below. These documents supersede all previous versions and any related presentations or communications that have been made prior to April 3, 2015. Also note that there have been a few changes to the benchmarking applications and their instructions. Prospective vendors should download the most current versions (noted with "v1" in the filename) from the benchmark website (https://www2.cisl.ucar.edu/hpc_benchmarking).

All RFP-related communication should be with UCAR's Contracts Administrator, Alison Propes (apropes@ucar.edu, 1-303-497-8877).

Document File  Version Version date
Amendments to the UCAR RFP R15-19374 Documents NWSC-2 Amendments v1.docx v1 May 14, 2015
UCAR RFP R15-19374 (NWSC-2) UCAR RFP R15-19374 NWSC-2 v2.docx v2 May 14, 2015
Communications regarding UCAR RFP R15-19374 (NWSC-2) NWSC-2 Communications v3.docx v3 April 24, 2015
UCAR RFP R15-19374 (NWSC-2) (superseded by v2, issued May 14, 2015) UCAR RFP R15-19374 NWSC-2 v2.docx Initial (v1) April 3, 2015
Attachment 1 NWSC-2 Technical Specifications NWSC-2 Technical Specifications v1.docx Initial (v1) April 3, 2015
Attachment 2 NWSC-2 Benchmark Instructions NWSC-2 Benchmark Instructions v1.docx Initial (v1) April 3, 2015
Attachment 3 NWSC-2 Benchmark Results Spreadsheet NWSC-2 Benchmark Results v1.xlsx Initial (v1) April 3, 2015
Attachment 4 Representations & Certifications UCAR Representations & Certifications v1.docx Initial (v1) April 3, 2015
Attachment 5 Sample Subcontract Terms & Conditions R15-19374 NWSC-2 Sample Subcontract Ts&Cs v1.docx Initial (v1) April 3, 2015
Attachment 5A Sample Subcontract Schedule A (NSF Flow Downs) R15-19374 Sample Subcontract Schedule A v1.docx Initial (v1) April 3, 2015
Attachment 5B Sample Subcontract Schedule B (placeholder for Statement of Work) R15-19374 Sample Subcontract Schedule B v1.docx Initial (v1) April 3, 2015
Attachment 5C Sample Subcontract Schedule C (Contact Information) R15-19374 Sample Subcontract Schedule C v1.docx Initial (v1) April 3, 2015
Attachment 5D Sample Subcontract Schedule D (placeholder for Subcontractor Proposal) R15-19374 Sample Subcontract Schedule D v1.docx Initial (v1) April 3, 2015
Attachment 5E Sample Subcontract Schedule E (Deliverable Requirements) R15-19374 Sample Subcontract Schedule E v1.docx Initial (v1) April 3, 2015
Attachment 5F Sample Subcontract Schedule F (Acceptance Criteria and Testing) R15-19374 Sample Subcontract Schedule F v1.docx Initial (v1) April 3, 2015
Attachment 5G Sample Subcontract Schedule G (Project Management Requirements) R15-19374 Sample Subcontract Schedule G v1.docx Initial (v1) April 3, 2015
Attachment 5H Sample Subcontract Schedule H (placeholder for the NWSC-2 RFP's key documents) R15-19374 Sample Subcontract Schedule H v1.docx Initial (v1) April 3, 2015

Timeline for the NWSC-2 procurement

The following table provides a high-level summary of key milestones and dates for the NWSC-2 procurement. They are provided as general information only and do not represent a commitment by UCAR.

Milestone Estimated date Status
Draft Technical Specifications available October 20, 2014 Issued October 20, 2014, and available below
Comments due on Draft Technical Specifications December 19, 2014 Closed
Benchmark code and input cases available January 2015, but no later than 2 months prior to release of the RFP Released on February 2, 2015. Available below.
Vendor Day to be held at NWSC Cheyenne Facility February 24, 2015 Conducted. Slides from the event are available below.
Request for Proposals available April 1, 2015 Released on April 3, 2015.
Deadline for RFP questions from prospective vendors April 22, 2015 Closed
Responses to RFP questions available April 29, 2015 Closed. Responses to all questions received were provided on April 24, 2015.
Proposals due May 29, 2015, by 15:00 MDT N/A
Subcontract awarded 2H CY2015 N/A
System delivery and acceptance 2H CY2016 N/A
Production January 1, 2017 N/A

NWSC-2 background information and related documents

NCAR's current computing environment

An overview of NCAR's computing environment is provided via the Yellowstone Environment link in the table below. These systems are installed at the NWSC in Cheyenne, WY. They were put into production in December 2012 and are expected to run through 2016. The successor NWSC-2 systems will also be installed at the Cheyenne facility.

In September 2009, NCAR published the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center Science Justification, which is linked in the table below. Though this document was published six years ago, it remains highly relevant for this procurement in articulating the long-term vision and opportunities for using HPC to address scientific challenges in the atmospheric sciences.

Yellowstone workload study

CISL has prepared a Yellowstone workload study, which is available from the table below, to help provide insights into how the current HPC environment is being used. This information may be useful to those who are considering a submission to the NWSC-2 solicitation. The information is subject to change, so interested parties should check back periodically for updates.

GLADE overview

CISL has prepared a description of the current NCAR GLADE environment, which is available from the table below, to provide additional details on the current hardware and software infrastructure and connectivity.

Document/Resource with link Description
Letter to Interested Parties Intent of issuing the Draft Technical Requirements, and instructions for prospective bidders (Oct. 20, 2014, superseded by the NWSC-2 RFP)
Draft Technical Specifications Scope, budget, timeline, and technical specifications for the NWSC-2 procurement (Oct. 20, 2014, superseded by the NWSC-2 RFP)
Yellowstone Environment Technical description of the Yellowstone system and related computing environment
Yellowstone Workload Study Presentation on the important performance characteristics of the current Yellowstone computing environment (Updated March 16, 2015)
NWSC Science Justification Sets the foundation for the NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center and HPC procurements
SC14 Booth Talk NWSC-2 procurement presentation delivered at NCAR's booth at SC14 in New Orleans
NCAR benchmarks NWSC-2 benchmarks website
NWSC-2 Vendor Day Procurement Update Presentation

NWSC-2 Vendor Day Facility Presentation
Presentations delivered at the NWSC-2 Vendor Day, conducted on February 24, 2015 at the NWSC facility in Cheyenne, WY.
GLADE Overview Provides an overview and technical summary of NCAR's GLobally Accessible Data Environment. This is the primary high performance file system for the Yellowstone environment.