United Kingdom-Exeter: Super computer
Prior information notice
This notice is for prior information only
Section I: Contracting authority
Main address: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk
Address of the buyer profile: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk
Section II: Object
Met Office's Supercomputing 2020+
The Met Office has been at the cutting edge of supercomputing for several decades. A significant UK Government investment in October 2014 started the next chapter in High Performance Computing at the Met Office culminating in the successful installation of Cray XC40 supercomputers.
The Met Office’s supercomputer capability is one of the most powerful and resilient in the world dedicated to weather and climate science. Further details can be found at www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/technology/supercomputer and information on how to participate in our benchmarking process, including the licencing arrangements, can be requested via the eTendering portal at https://procontract.due-north.com/Home/About
The Met Office is now seeking to procure new supercomputing services capability to cover the next 5-14 years. This must deliver a substantially enhanced capacity, that is both sustainable and innovative in terms of economic, technical, social, environmental and political considerations.
An initial PIN was released by the Met Office on 13.9.2018 (reference 2018/S 176-398370) to establish engagement with the wider supercomputer market in the context of three potential solution options:
1) A supercomputer provision hosted entirely within the existing Met Office data centres;
2) A supercomputer provision hosted entirely externally to the Met Office;
3) A supercomputer provision with a hybrid hosting arrangement: a proportion being within existing Met Office data centres and the remainder being dedicated compute in an external data centre.
This initial market engagement provided the Met Office with a clear understanding of what is available on the market in terms of supercomputer provision. This phase of engagement was formally closed in April 2019.
The Met Office has taken the outputs of that initial engagement and progressed its thinking, which has led to the release of this second PIN reflecting the current procurement plan.
Description of the Current PIN and Procurement:
The Met Office is now planning to procure the next generation solution to its supercomputer service capability. It is interested in exploring options whereby services will be provided via a more integrated solution including physical hosting and all necessary ancillary infrastructure (encompassing network and mechanical and electrical services), supercomputer provision, data storage and ancillary tools/services. The procurement will be for a service period covering at least 1 generation of capability for a total term of up to 14 years (including a technology refresh at the approximate midpoint) delivering a minimum of 6x increase in capacity in the first 5-7 year period.
The purpose of this PIN is to explore with the market what options might be open to the Met Office in terms of innovative proposals offering varying degrees of service delivery integration. Such proposals may be provided by a single “turnkey” provider, or by a “consortium”.
Information about lots:
This contract may be divided into a minimum of 2 lots, covering for example:
Lot 1: integrated supercomputer capacity (physical hosting, supercomputer hardware and network);
Lot 2: integrated data processing storage capability (potential physical hosting, hardware and network).
The Met Office is also interested in understanding whether there would be any market interest in an alternative lot which would cover both the above capabilities.
The Met Office is seeking prompt feedback from the market (including operators from the supercomputing, IT, data centre, chip manufacturer, hosting provider, systems integrator, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), storage vendor, interconnect supplier and developer sectors) in the form of its online questionnaire downloadable via the eTendering portal at https://procontract.due-north.com/Home/About
This market engagement may be supplemented by further informative market engagement over bidder days in Exeter, which are due to be scheduled on or between 28.5.2019 and 7.6.2019. Expressions of interest to participate in a bidder day should be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. on 23.5.2019 via https:procontract.due.north.com
The deadline for returning the market feedback via the questionnaire (which will be available on the eTendering portal after 15.5.2019) is 12:30 p.m. 24.6.2019.
If you have any questions related to this PIN please raise them via the eTendering portal at https://procontract.due-north.com/Home/About
Section IV: Procedure
Section VI: Complementary information