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Case Study

Stepping in to lead the project to build a $60m supercomputer for KAUST

King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) is a world-leading graduate research university based in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia

The Customer

King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) is a world-leading graduate research university based in Saudi Arabia. It launched the Shaheen II project in 2014 to purchase a $60m supercomputer – the most powerful in the Middle East.

The Challenge

Shortly after the hardware contract was signed, KAUST’s head of HPC left at short notice. Against aggressive timescales the project found itself without key leadership at a critical stage.

What did Red Oak Consulting do?

Red Oak Consulting were part of the Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) providing HPC procurement services.

Owen Thomas, partner at Red Oak Consulting, was already on site with NAG.

Identifying that the customer needed a highly experienced HPC project manager, he arranged for a senior Red Oak project manager to join as the acting director.

Red Oak took responsibility for all aspects of the project, from benchmarking to acceptance testing to facilities. We built a team across all areas: hardware supplier, facilities, users, computational science, support and technical assurance.

We managed risks and issues and helped to build a true partnership between the supplier and the customer.

As a result of our stewardship, the project was delivered successfully, creating in the seventh most powerful supercomputer in the world.

The procurement was highly successful. Owen was highly professional and highly knowledgeable. And Mark really saved the day for us. Both Owen and Mark smoothly integrated into the KAUST team but more importantly, believed in our mission to deliver this computer in order to support the global ambitions of KAUST and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

Director of Core Labs & Major Facilities

For more details click the below link:

Below Red Oak Consulting and the team from KAUST at SC23



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