NAU computing cluster coming online with workshop April 29

Chris Coffey and the Monsoon computer cluster
Chris Coffey and the Monsoon computer cluster
Christopher Coffey, NAU systems administrator, with Monsoon.

The new high-performance computing cluster at Northern Arizona University, known as “Monsoon,” is running smoothly in its beta phase of testing, and campus-wide availability will coincide with a workshop at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 29.

“Monsoon will provide high-speed data transmission and high capacity computing, two things we don’t have on campus at the scale of the cluster computer,” said Bill Grabe, vice president for Research. “This will allow faculty to run bigger data analysis projects and have them completed in a reasonable amount of time.”

Grabe said the addition of the cluster is part of a multi-pronged approach to increase the breadth and depth of research at NAU. “In addition to expanding research capacity, the high-performance computing provided by the cluster is a resource that will attract new faculty interested in innovative, data-intensive research,” Grabe said.

The cluster is not intended solely for hard science. According to Christopher Coffey, the NAU systems administrator who manages the new resource, the cluster is ideal for data-rich research in areas such as biology, climate science, behavioral sciences, humanities, education, genetics and astronomy.

Tuesday’s workshop is the first in a series aimed at helping researchers learn more about the cluster and job scheduling protocol.

To sign up for a workshop, send an email to with the date you wish to attend. All workshops are held in the Applied Research and Development large pod (Building 56).