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Tools and Services

Within VUW

Science Faculty HPC Facility

As of mid-2011, VUW's Science Faculty will have a dedicated High Performance Computing Facility, which, whilst initially provisioned for members of the Science Faculty, will hopefuly become a University-wide resource and be interfaced into the national-level computing facilities.

More about the Sci Fac HPC Facility

ECS Tesla Resource

As of July 2010, the School of Engineering and Computer Science has a single GPU Computing resource

More about the ECS Tesla Resource


Attempts to have VUW interface computational and data resources into BeSTGRID and provide Federated Identity Provision, utilising Shibboleth, have been ongoing since 2009.

More about the VUW BeSTGRID Pilots

Visualisation lab (OptIPortal)

In 2008, the School of Maths, Statistics and Computer Science began installing a new visualisation lab. Programmers worked with academic staff to investigate uses of the visualisation suite for research and teaching. The visualisation lab consists of 12 LCD rear-projection screens (2560 x 1600 pixels each) combined in a 4 x 3 display to give an overall resolution of 10240 x 4800 pixels.

More about the visualisation lab project

The visualisation lab was eventually renamed The OpIPortal and officially "lauched" in October 2008

Read more about the OptIPortal and its launch.

VUW Cycle-stealing Grids

VUW has had, since 2006, two cycle-stealing grids, operated by ECS, harnessing the processing power of 1,200+ workstations, which can be used by staff and postgraduates for large-scale data processing and analysis tasks.

More about VUW's Cycle-stealing Grids

External to VUW

Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network (KAREN)

VUW is a founding member of KAREN, New Zealand's advanced research and education network.

KAREN provides ultra-high bandwidth between NZ universities, Crown Research Institutes and the National Library, and enhanced connectivity to hundreds of research institutions overseas. KAREN supports collaborative communication; large data transfers; real-time data collection & analysis; and sharing of remote resources.

More about the Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network


The Broadband-enabled Science and Technology Grid, BeSTGRID, was a Tertiary Education Commission Innovation and Development Fund project (2006-2008) to pilot eResearch infrastructure in New Zealand. After 2008, BeSTGRID continued as a collegial in-kind community, serving as a national level facilitator of both resources and expertise, as well as providing a proving ground for the development of the core components of New Zealand's national level eResearch infrastructure and their interaction

The New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI), launched in June 2011, sees a more focused approach to the provision of New Zealand's national level eResearch infrastructure being taken, both in terms of providers of services and in governement funding.

High performance computing at Blue Fern

VUW is a founding partner in the BlueFern, the University of Canterbury Supercomputer. VUW staff and students can access the BlueFern on request, and programming support and training can be arranged.

More about high performance computing and the BlueFern

Overviews of eResearch Tools

Grid computing

Grid computing combines multiple networked computers to deliver larger computational resources than would otherwise be available.

More about grid computing

Collaboration and communication tools

Researchers in all disciplines benefit from staying in touch with colleagues across NZ and around the world. Services and tools that can help with communication and collaboration include:

  • Videoconferencing
  • Access Grid collaboration suites
  • Desktop videoconferencing

More about collaboration and communication tools

Virtual research environments

Virtual research environments (VREs) are shared online workspaces that enable people working on collaborative projects to communicate and manage their projects using tools such as document sharing, bulletin boards, text chat, wikis and project calendars.

The long-term vision is that VREs could support e-researchers in their day-to-day work by providing these collaboration functions alongside other tools such as portals, repositories, hardware and scientific equipment, software applications, library resources, knowledge management tools, and common desktop applications.

More about virtual research environments
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Page Updated: 12 Jan 2012 by kevin. © Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, unless otherwise stated. Header image used and relicensed under Creative Commons. Original author: whurley.