The OPT-NC Partners with the UNC by Supporting the Calculator Project led by the CRESICA
This Thursday, December 9, 2021, Yoann LECOURIEUX, President of the Board of Directors of OPT-NC, Philippe GERVOLINO, Acting Director General of OPT-NC and Catherine RIS, President of the University of New Caledonia (UNC) signed a sponsorship agreement according to which the office commits to supporting the project aimed at creating a shared computing center led by the CRESICA through the increase of the capacity of the Internet network.
The Project to Create a Shared Computing Center
The digital economy is one of the development priorities of the New Caledonian Government's policy. Thus, since September 2011, the Strategic Plan for the Digital Economy (PSeN) sets the ambitious objective of making New Caledonia a reference in terms of digital uses in the Pacific. In this context, the University of New Caledonia (UNC) has developed a digital and technological center (PNT), which has been operational since the start of the 2019 academic year.
Previously, since the end of 2014, higher education and research in New Caledonia have been structured around a consortium for research, higher education and innovation in New Caledonia (CRESICA). Through this consortium, the research and innovation activities of local and national higher education institutions and research organizations are coordinated with a view to optimizing and sharing resources and equipment. To date, it has nine members: The Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM), the Centre Hospitalier Territorial (CHT), the Centre de coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), the Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the Institut Agronomique néo-Calédonien (IAC), the Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la MER (Ifremer), the Institut Pasteur de Nouvelle-Calédonie (IPNC), the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), and the UNC. he consortium is currently working on a project to create a computing center shared by the members of the CRESICA on the university's campus. The aim is to design a supercomputer, i.e. an ultra-powerful computing machine capable of performing the very advanced calculations required for scientific research. The first stage of this project involves pooling the equipment of the UNC and the IRD. The objective is then to open the structure to the IFREMER, the IPNC, Météo NC, the ADECAL and its startups, and even to other interested companies in order to create a shared and optimized pole of machine excellence.
To this end, a data center has been installed at UNC; high-performance computing servers have been purchased and are being installed. In addition, an engineer dedicated to the structure is being recruited.
A Necessary Increase in the Capacity of the Internet Network
Such equipment necessarily monopolizes an important share of the Internet network's capacity. As it is, the efficiency of the computing center could have been jeopardized because of the low capacity of the existing network links between the IRD and the UNC via the Vice-Rectorate. The OPT-NC was therefore asked to increase the network capacity and thus ensure the performance of the computer.
Insofar as this project of shared computer carried by CRESICA is part of the missions of the OPT-NC through the digital development for the benefit of companies and the population, and also works for the development of the economic ecosystem based on innovation, the office wished to support the UNC by becoming a sponsor for the realization of the project.
OPT-NC has committed to assume the costs of the current LCE leased link between the IRD and the UNC and to increase its capacity from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps. This LCE will connect the computer site hosted at the university in Nouville and the IRD facilities at Ansa Vata.
The financial valuation of the partnership is made at the cost price calculated from accounting data by activity related to the commercial offer corresponding to the need of the university, that is to say a 10 Gb/s LCE link, that is to say an envelope of 7 357 680 XPF for 12 months and 14 715 360 XPF over the duration of the agreement (2 years) signed this Thursday, December 9th, 2021.
The OPT-NC, a Loyal Partner of the UNC
The OPT-NC and the UNC are already long-time partners and the office has always been willing to support the university's efforts within its mission.
In particular, in 2018, the office participated in the investment aimed at equipping the digital and technological pole, called 'Sigma', housing infrastructure and "high-tech" equipment for the research and innovative pedagogies pole of the UNC. the OPT-NC is also a member of the university foundation to which it provides financial support, while sponsoring the DUT MMI / GEA courses and regularly welcoming students on internships.
More recently, during the health crisis, the OPT-NC has also implemented actions to promote educational continuity by facilitating access to educational sites and by offering a free 5 GB mobile connection to students without Internet.
Finally, the two partners also share other points of collaboration currently in progress or to come, such as the PHARE project consisting in the hybridization of training with the collaboration of the Government of New Caledonia.