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December 02, 2005
Earth system and climate science deals with complex phenomena in the atmosphere, the ocean, and on land surfaces, including physical, chemical and biological processes within and feedback-loops between these areas. Modeling such phenomena numerically on extremely powerful computers is a crucial element of Earth System Sciences program at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) in Hamburg, Germany. Such model simulations would not be possible without strong links to the IT-industry and strong partnerships with other computer and data centers.
The largest database in the world under Linux was installed in Hamburg by the World Data Center for Climate (WDCC) and the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ), according to the international ranking of databases published by the Winter Corporation in September. NEC installed the database system at the DKRZ three years ago in conjunction with a 1.5 teraflop NEC SX-6 series vector supercomputer, which is one of the fastest supercomputers for climate research in Europe.
A new CRAY XT3 supercomputer has recently been employed to run ECHAM, a global atmospheric circulation model developed at MPI-M. Using this new resource, the ECHAM model executed substantially faster, and at higher resolution, than ever before. Thousands of processors ran the application at a record speed of 1.4 trillion calculations per second.
Optimization and improvement of scalability of the ECHAM model code has been accomplished in co-operation with Sun Microsystems using Grid technology. The Grid environment seem to have the potential to deal successfully with the vast amounts of data, which are produced by MPI-M on a routine basis and stored in the WDCC.
The WDCC database at the DKRZ has an almost inconceivable volume of almost 220 terabytes and is about twice the size of the database of a well-known search engine. The Model and Data Group at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (M&D/MPI-M) and the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ) operate the WDCC of the International Council for Science. The WDCC's database contains the latest climate research data on the state of the climate and anticipated climatic changes. Approximately 115 terabytes of storage - corresponding to around 24,500 DVDs - are exclusively dedicated to simulation data for the new report of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is due to be published in 2007.
MPI-M estimates that a Cray XT3 would make it possible to complete their next-generation IPCC assessment runs in about the same real time as today, despite requiring 120 times more computation. This advance promises to significantly improve the scale and scope of the analysis researchers will be able to submit for the next assessment report of the IPCC. The newest findings have recently been published.
Grid technology is another area of research cooperation. MPI-M provided its ECHAM code to Sun Microsystems to improve optimization and scalability with the Solaris x64 Operating System. Using the Sun Studio Development Tools, Sun benchmarked the code on a Solaris x64 based cluster. Preliminary runs show a nearly linear scaling on 8 and 16 Sun Fire dual-core Opteron nodes. In cooperation with MPI-M, Sun intends to continue the optimization of the ECHAM code for much higher numbers of nodes. Equally important for this joint venture between industry and public research is the Grid optimization and adaptation of the data evaluation software environment of MPI-M necessary for advanced Earth System modeling.
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The world's largest supercomputers, like Tianhe-2, are great at traditional, compute-intensive HPC workloads, such as simulating atomic decay or modeling tornados. But data-intensive applications--such as mining big data sets for connections--is a different sort of workload, and runs best on a different sort of computer.
Jun 18, 2013 |
Researchers are finding innovative uses for Gordon, the 285 teraflop supercomputer housed at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) that has a unique Flash-based storage system. Since going online, researchers have put the incredibly fast I/O to use on a wide variety of workloads, ranging from chemistry to political science.
Jun 17, 2013 |
The advent of low-power mobile processors and cloud delivery models is changing the economics of computing. But just as an economy car is good at different things than a full size truck, an HPC workload still has certain computing demands that neither the fastest smartphone nor the most elastic cloud cluster can fulfill.
Jun 14, 2013 |
For all the progress we've made in IT over the last 50 years, there's one area of life that has steadfastly eluded the grasp of computers: understanding human language. Now, researchers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) are utilizing a Hadoop cluster on its Longhorn supercomputer to move the state of the art of language processing a little bit further.
Jun 13, 2013 |
Titan, the Cray XK7 at the Oak Ridge National Lab that debuted last fall as the fastest supercomputer in the world with 17.59 petaflops of sustained computing power, will rely on its previous LINPACK test for the upcoming edition of the Top 500 list.
05/10/2013 | Cleversafe, Cray, DDN, NetApp, & Panasas | From Wall Street to Hollywood, drug discovery to homeland security, companies and organizations of all sizes and stripes are coming face to face with the challenges – and opportunities – afforded by Big Data. Before anyone can utilize these extraordinary data repositories, however, they must first harness and manage their data stores, and do so utilizing technologies that underscore affordability, security, and scalability.
04/15/2013 | Bull | “50% of HPC users say their largest jobs scale to 120 cores or less.” How about yours? Are your codes ready to take advantage of today’s and tomorrow’s ultra-parallel HPC systems? Download this White Paper by Analysts Intersect360 Research to see what Bull and Intel’s Center for Excellence in Parallel Programming can do for your codes.
Join HPCwire Editor Nicole Hemsoth and Dr. David Bader from Georgia Tech as they take center stage on opening night at Atlanta's first Big Data Kick Off Week, filmed in front of a live audience. Nicole and David look at the evolution of HPC, today's big data challenges, discuss real world solutions, and reveal their predictions. Exactly what does the future holds for HPC?
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