Features

Women in HPC: Revelations and Reckoning

Nov 30, 2015 | Most who work in the high performance computing (HPC) industry agree; people problems are far more complicated than technical challenges. Diversity, or the lack thereof, is the HPC industry’s current grand challenge, and how best to encourage the participation of women in HPC was the theme for several SC15 sessions, including birds-of-a-feather, panel discussion, vendor reception, and a workshop titled Women in HPC (Read more…

RoCE Fails to Scale – the Dangers of Sliding Down the RoCE Path

Nov 30, 2015 | A recent paper published by a public cloud vendor and others reveals the trials and tribulations of their RoCE experience, and the scale of their deployment woes1. The authors, including the RoCE vendor and some of the staunchest of RoCE proponents, reveal the severity of the problems faced, with “poor application performance,” “head-of-line blocking,” “unfairness,” “congestion that spreads” in the Read more…

Aeon Computing Stands Up 28 Petabyte Lustre Install for Los Alamos

Nov 26, 2015 | Among the raft of announcements launched in tandem with SC last week, there was one that stood out for being one of the largest deployed Lustre installations at 28 petabytes total. San Diego-based Aeon Computing won the contract to provide two site-wide Lustre file systems to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in support of the lab's national security mission. This is one of the monolithic storage systems that will support the Tri-Laboratory Commodity Technology System 1 (CTS-1), Read more…

SC15 Video: Thomas Sterling and William Gropp Explore NSCI Opportunity

Nov 24, 2015 | If you were hoping for a glimpse into the National Strategic Computing Initiative implementation (NSCI) plan last week while at SC15, you were out of luck. A draft, said to be quite long, has been completed but is being closely guarded at the moment. Perhaps in February, suggested William Polk of the Office of Science and Technology, closer to the final phases of federal budget preparation we’ll finally see the plan. Currently NSCI hopes are high but questions persist. Until the Read more…

Intel® Omni-Path Architecture Takes Center Stage at SC15

Nov 23, 2015 | When Intel showcased its Intel® Scalable System Framework (Intel® SFF) at SC15, it was the fabric that took center stage. Intel SSF is a flexible blueprint for developing balanced, high performance, efficient HPC systems ranging from the smallest clusters to the largest supercomputers. It's a cornerstone for what is being heralded as the “HPC everywhere” Read more…

TOP500 Reanalysis Shows ‘Nothing Wrong with Moore’s Law’

Nov 20, 2015 | In Tuesday night's TOP500 session, list co-creator and co-author Erich Strohmaier brought perspective to what could at first appear to be a land grab of unprecedented scale by China, when he shared that many of these new entrants were mid-lifecycle systems that were just now being benchmarked. But what is likely to be even more revealing is his reanalysis of what the TOP500 says about the apparent health of Moore’s law. Could Intel be right about this after all? And that’s not the only Read more…

HP(E) Still Stands Solidly Astride the HPC Server Market

Nov 20, 2015 | On November 1 – not quite three weeks ago – Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) emerged from the Big Split. That’s old news given the yearlong lead-up. Throughout the "separation" process, opinions varied wildly (still do) over HPE's prospects. Clearly it’s early days, but when IDC rolled out HPC market numbers on Tuesday (see below) HP remained firmly ahead of its closest competitors with a 36.1 percent share of the HPC server market. Dell was number two with 16.9 percent. HPE reports much Read more…

Gene Amdahl – A Personal Tribute

Nov 19, 2015 |
Amidst all the other awful news of last week, the fact that we lost an amazing and wonderful man might have gotten pushed off the front page: Gene Amdahl passed away on November 10, at age 92. We have lost one of the greatest computer architects of all time; in fact, it was his design of the IBM System/360 in the 1960s that led to the first use of the word "architecture" to describe computer design.
The New York Times has a well-written obituary about the
Read more…

HPC ROI: Invest a Dollar to Make $500-plus Reports IDC

Nov 18, 2015 | Perhaps the most eye-popping numbers in IDC’s HPC market report presented yesterday at its annual SC15 breakfast were ROI figures IDC has been developing as part of a DOE grant. The latest results indicated even higher ROI than shown in the pilot study. On average, according to the latest data, $514.7 in revenue are returned for every dollar of HPC invested. But first, let’s dig into the overall market numbers. After slumping in 2014, the worldwide HPC server market is poised to return Read more…

Sugon VP on Global Market Strategy, the VMware Venture and Robotic Immersive Cooling

Nov 18, 2015 | One of the dominant themes of the latest TOP500 edition, released Monday in time for the opening of the SC15 show in Austin, was China's leap in list share by number of systems; and one of the companies that has been pivotal in this push is Sugon (formerly Dawning). Sugon (the name means Super Dragon) and its primary Chinese competitor Inspur both have a strong presence at SC this year and both also have a targeted US focused go-to-market strategy, but Sugon has a unique challenge in that Read more…