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UCAM 046/15 For the provision of SKA-Science Data Processor Object Storage Software and NVRAM Storage.

Contract award notice


Directive 2004/18/EC

Section I: Contracting authority

I.1)Name, addresses and contact point(s)

The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge
Procurement Services, Greenwich House, 1st Floor South, Madingley Rise, Madingley Road
Contact point(s): Procurement Services
For the attention of: Tom Twitchett
CB3 0TX Cambridge
Telephone: +44 1223332233

Internet address(es):

General address of the contracting authority:

I.2)Type of the contracting authority
Other: higher education/research
I.3)Main activity
I.4)Contract award on behalf of other contracting authorities
The contracting authority is purchasing on behalf of other contracting authorities: no

Section II: Object of the contract

II.1.1)Title attributed to the contract
UCAM 046/15 For the provision of SKA-Science Data Processor Object Storage Software and NVRAM Storage.
II.1.2)Type of contract and location of works, place of delivery or of performance
Service category No 8: Research and development services
Main site or location of works, place of delivery or of performance: Cambridge.
NUTS code
II.1.3)Information about a framework agreement or a dynamic purchasing system (DPS)
II.1.4)Short description of the contract or purchase(s)

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA, is a major international project to build a next generation radio astronomy observatory. The anticipated construction cost of the full SKA is about 2 000 000 000 EUR. When completed, the SKA will be, by a large margin, the largest and most sensitive low-frequency radio observatory ever built.

The design of the main elements of the SKA is being carried out by International Consortia, with the SKA Organisation coordinating the design process. The SKA Organisation is also the overall design authority for the SKA. The SKA Organisation is a UK company limited by guarantee and is based in the UK at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire.
An integral part of the observatory is processing the data from the streams produced by digital signal processing into calibrated, usable science products. This processing is the responsibility of the ‘Science Data Processor’ (SDP) element of the SKA which is led by the University of Cambridge. The ‘Science Data Processing Consortium’ includes members on five continents and a mixture of Universities and government organisation and institutes.
The deployment of the telescopes in SKA will be phased, with the first phase (SKA1) due to commence procurement in 2017. Until 2017 the SKA project is in a pre-production phase during which elements are undergoing design and technology is brought to production readiness level. The observatory will consist of telescopes which will be sited in Southern Africa and Western Australia. There will be a computing facility for Science Data Processing on each of the continents.
The purpose of the work is to assess readiness of technology developments in storage for use in the SDP compute clusters. The applications running in the SDP clusters have an extreme need for high performance read I/O. The details of a preliminary design of the SDP can be in the Bibliography below. Additional information on software can also be found here.
The SDP clusters may well have a hybrid storage system comprising ultra-fast node-local storage leveraging NVRAM, fast island-wide shared storage spanning a limited collection of nodes (e.g. 2 racks of computers may comprise an ‘island’) while a third storage system will provide an archive in which the science products will be stored. Given current industry trends, object stores are of considerable interest.
The purpose of this project is to establish if combinations of existing technologies are feasible to achieve the following goals:
- Can an application simultaneously use NVRAM storage as part of an object store and as memory class storage?
- Can a fast RDMA interconnect be leveraged to access an object storage backend?
- Layer a layout-aware I/O-interface, for example ADIOS, on an object store and demonstrate good performance?
II.1.5)Common procurement vocabulary (CPV)

73000000, 72200000

II.1.6)Information about Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
The contract is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA): yes
II.2)Total final value of contract(s)
II.2.1)Total final value of contract(s)

Section IV: Procedure

IV.1)Type of procedure
IV.1.1)Type of procedure
IV.2)Award criteria
IV.2.1)Award criteria
The most economically advantageous tender in terms of
IV.2.2)Information about electronic auction
An electronic auction has been used: no
IV.3)Administrative information
IV.3.1)File reference number attributed by the contracting authority
UCAM 046/15
IV.3.2)Previous publication(s) concerning the same contract

Section V: Award of contract

Contract No: UCAM 046/15 Lot title: UCAM 046/15 For the provision of SKA-Science Data Processor Object Storage Software and NVRAM Storage
V.1)Date of contract award decision:
V.2)Information about offers
Number of offers received: 2
V.3)Name and address of economic operator in favour of whom the contract award decision has been taken

Canonical Group Ltd
5th Floor, Blue Fin Building, 110 Soutwark Street
SE1 0SU London

V.4)Information on value of contract
Initial estimated total value of the contract:
Value: 200 000 GBP
Excluding VAT
V.5)Information about subcontracting
The contract is likely to be sub-contracted: no

Section VI: Complementary information

VI.1)Information about European Union funds
The contract is related to a project and/or programme financed by European Union funds: no
VI.2)Additional information:
The University of Cambridge is not a public body within the meaning of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 (Directive 2004/18) and is not subject to the procurement legislation. Where the University advertises contracts in the Official Journal of the European Union, it does so on a voluntary basis and does not undertake any obligation to comply with the procurement legislation. The University reserves its rights in full to adapt or step outside the procedures in the procurement legislation as the University considers necessary.
Information about the tender process to be followed does not amount to a legally binding offer by the University to follow the process so described. The University reserves the right not to follow or to modify the procedures as the University considers necessary.
The tender process is being conducted electronically via In-tend.
Suppliers are required to register on this website: in order to receive documentation. After registering the tender documentation can then be downloaded. All tender responses and any supporting documentation must be submitted through this system. There must be no postal correspondence from bidders unless agreed with the University. Tenders shall not be sent and will not be accepted by fax or email.

VI.3)Procedures for appeal
VI.3.1)Body responsible for appeal procedures
VI.3.2)Lodging of appeals
VI.3.3)Service from which information about the lodging of appeals may be obtained
VI.4)Date of dispatch of this notice: