King’s CREATE: a new research computing ecosystem and the journey so far

Matt Penn, King’s College London

In summer 2020 the King’s College London e-Research team started reviewing options for replacing an ageing HPC cluster and OpenStack private cloud. Our primary goal for the refresh was to build a tightly integrated ecosystem with a high-degree of flexibility, catering to traditional scheduled HPC and more bespoke virtualised enclaves. Building King’s Computational Research, Engineering And Technology Environment (CREATE, launching Q1 2022) has taken us on a journey involving selection of OpenStack provisioning frameworks, opening a new data centre facility, adoption of Ubuntu and CephFS, institutional MFA integration, re-integration of incumbent storage and compute hardware, re-tooling our approach to software builds and vulnerability management. Our talk will describe our experiences building this ecosystem from the ground up which supports a highly diverse research community with workloads of all shapes and sizes.

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