High Performance Computing on the Cloud

“[The Catalyst Cloud is] working really well for me. I’m very happy with the service.”
Tsunami blue line from Christof Meuller

Christof Mueller

Tsunami Modelling Scientist

GNS Science, a Crown Research Institute, is New Zealand's leading provider of earth, geoscience and isotope research and consultancy services. Their scientists are busy people. Due to a recent upswing of public interest in their work on forecasting and modelling natural disasters, they are being asked to provide more expertise and insight to a wider range of clients than ever before.

The GNS tsunami team researches tsunami threats that are both local to New Zealand, and all across the Pacific. By running simulations and statistical analyses, they determine where tsunamis might go in the future, and who is most at risk when they do. The information GNS Science produces is invaluable and lifesaving, and is used by all sorts of companies and agencies to inform decisions about infrastructure, emergency preparedness and more.

For Christof Mueller, tsunami modelling scientist, the process of producing tsunami information involves making detailed calculations and testing them using specialised software. For this purpose he needs to run hundreds of scenarios at a time, helping the team to explore the potential impacts of tsunamis in different circumstances.

In a recent study, a New Zealand city council approached GNS to predict the areas that could be affected by potential tsunamis, then use this to create tsunami evacuation zones, similar to the Blue Lines project in Wellington city. To run this simulation and meet the project deadline, Christof required significant compute power, and the autonomy to install and configure the software himself.

Catalyst Cloud’s engineers worked extensively with Christof to make sure that the Catalyst Cloud met his needs. At peak, his job was running 40 large compute instances in parallel, each testing 200 scenarios at a time.

As a result, GNS was able to meet the time-frame and budget of this natural hazard mitigation project.

Because we are located just a short drive away from GNS’ offices, Christof was able to get in touch or visit to quickly and easily sort out any issues.

This personal touch is an important part of working together well.

Christof Mueller Tsunami Modelling Scientist