The Week in Review

By John E. West

October 23, 2008

Here’s a collection of highlights, selected totally subjectively, from this week’s HPC news stream as reported at insideHPC.com and HPCwire.

>>10 words and a link

insideHPC Exclusive: the complete 411 on SC08 Cluster Challenge Teams;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/21/insidetrack-sc08-cluster-challenge-teams/

OpenSolaris on IBM gear courtesy;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/20/wanna-run-opensolaris-on-your-ibm-gear-go-for-it/

Sun announces first storage blade;
http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20081021005629&newsLang=en

Sun announces new datacenter design, strategy, and build services;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/22/sun-announces-new-datacenter-design-strategy-and-build-services/

Plan for the WRF winter tutorials;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/17/wrf-winter-tutorial/

Cray and KMA invest further in Earth System Research Center;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/20/cray-and-kma-further-sponsor-esrc/

Intel ponies up $120M to bring youth into science and math;
http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/20081020edu.htm?cid=rss-90004-c1-214710

MATLAB for grids and the cloud, compiler for standalone apps;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/22/matlab-becoming-more-cluster-and-grid-friendly/

TACC and UnivaUD partnering on next generation HPC software stack;
http://insidehpc.com/2008/10/22/tacc-and-univaud-partnering-on-next-generation-hpc-software-stack/

>>Getting to exascale with volunteers and GPUs

Courtesy of Sun’s HPC Watercooler, a pointer to an article over at iSTGW by David Anderson, the founder of the volunteer computing platform, BOINC:

At this scale, clusters and supercomputers run into problems with power consumption and heat dissipation, so Exa-scale computing using these approaches is probably many years away. However, there may be a much faster and cheaper path to Exa-scale, using a combination of volunteer computing and graphics processing units (GPUs).


Could this scenario be realized in the near term, say in 2010? In my opinion, it’s near-certain that GPUs will reach 1 TeraFLOPS by then, and a large percentage of PCs will be available to run BOINC (although the advent of ‘green computing’ will decrease availability somewhat). The hard part will be getting 4 million GPU-equipped volunteered PCs; there are currently about 1 million PCs participating, not all of them GPU-equipped, so an order-of-magnitude increase is needed.

The generally loose coupling between nodes in volunteer grids and the social aspect of such entities make them inappropriate for many classes of problems. But in those cases where they are appropriate, I agree with David that they will probably offer the fastest path to exascale computing. Like Blanche Du Bois, you too can “rely on the kindness of strangers.” Hopefully it will work out better for you than it did for her (yikes).

>>InsideTrack: Rocks on Solaris

Earlier this week, we posted a preview of the Sun booth at SC08. In it, we speculated on the appearance of the Rocks cluster distribution in their booth, running Sun’s Solaris operating system no less. For once, our speculation was correct! Thanks go out to Mason Katz, Greg Bruno and Anoop Rajendra (Solaris port project lead for the Rocks team) for confirming the news.

Anoop’s response:

Our display at the Sun booth will consist of

1. A small cluster running an alpha version of Rocks on Solaris.
2. Fully automated provisioning of Solaris compute nodes, and Thumper/Thor (NAS) appliances as part of the cluster from a Linux frontend.
3. Rolls support.
4. MPI support using the Sun HPC Cluster Tools product.
5. Sun Grid engine batch system support, and demonstration of running MPI jobs using SGE.

He goes on to comment:

The most important take-away from this, (we hope) will be that — Rocks brings the same ease of installation and use to deploying Solaris on a cluster, as it has brought to Linux for the past few years.

Very cool stuff! We’ve heard rumors on this for quite some time, but no concrete news to report. Now it’s confirmed.

>>The WETA Digital fire that might have been

A commenter left a comment this week on a post from back in July about WETA Digital’s growing HPC capacity. You know WETA already: they are the special effects rock stars behind Lord of the Rings, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, X-Men: The Last Stand, and others. HP announced during Dresden that the company has installed 100 TFLOPS of rendering capability in 4 different clusters that rank 219-222 on the that Top500 list.

Anyway, Noir left a comment about a fire on that story (comment here). I won’t reproduce the comment in its entirety here since it includes the entire Computerworld story, but here are excerpts:

Not many people are talking about the Fire that happened out at WETA. http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/D378E7E589536D7DCC2574CC000AAD18

Computerworld had been told an HP blade server caught fire, bringing out the fire brigade….Partly true, according to a PR spokeswoman at Weta. She says a “sensitivity” caused a hot spot in an old computer room, about to be decommissioned, which triggered an automatic call-out by the fire brigade. Asked to define “sensitivity”, she couldn’t.

To say that not many people are talking about it is an understatement. In fact, a couple reasonable Google searches turned up zero hits other than the cited story at Computerworld. While it’s true that the spokeswoman’s explanation is totally bogus, it seems reasonable that this could have happened as indicated and that this really isn’t a story. But, if you’re from that part of the globe and know anything, drop us a line.

>>Sun guides lower for Q1 2009, anticipates loss

This week Sun issued a press release giving the market a heads up that their Q1 results would be lower than anticipated

Sun expects to report revenues for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 in the range of $2.950 to $3.050 billion, as compared with $3.219 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2008….Sun anticipates reporting GAAP net loss per share, before the impact of the potential goodwill impairment charge discussed below, for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 in the range of $(0.25) to $(0.35).

To put this in perspective Sun posted a profit for 2008, with profits in three out of four quarters (Q3 was the outlier).

“Sun and its customers are seeing the impact of a slowing economy. We believe we are positioned to offer the kinds of products that can radically help customers reduce expenditures for their infrastructure from Open Storage to Solaris-based Chip Multi-Threading (CMT) systems to offering the most eco-efficient systems in the market,” said Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems.

In other words, “We have no reason to think we’ll make money when everything else is tanking, but that’s how we hope it works out.” Sun will report final Q1 results Thursday next week.

—–

John West is part of the team that summarizes the headlines in HPC news every day at insideHPC.com. You can contact him at [email protected].

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Supercomputers Streamline Prediction of Dangerous Arrhythmia

June 2, 2020

Heart arrhythmia can prove deadly, contributing to the hundreds of thousands of deaths from cardiac arrest in the U.S. every year. Unfortunately, many of those arrhythmia are induced as side effects from various medicati Read more…

By Staff report

Indiana University to Deploy Jetstream 2 Cloud with AMD, Nvidia Technology

June 2, 2020

Indiana University has been awarded a $10 million NSF grant to build ‘Jetstream 2,’ a cloud computing system that will provide 8 aggregate petaflops of computing capability in support of data analysis and AI workload Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been instrumental to AMD’s datacenter market resurgence. Nanomet Read more…

By Doug Black

Supercomputer-Powered Protein Simulations Approach Lab Accuracy

June 1, 2020

Protein simulations have dominated the supercomputing conversation of late as supercomputers around the world race to simulate the viral proteins of COVID-19 as accurately as possible and simulate potential bindings in t Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPC Career Notes: June 2020 Edition

June 1, 2020

In this monthly feature, we'll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high-performance computing community. Whether it's a promotion, new company hire, or even an accolade, we've got Read more…

By Mariana Iriarte

AWS Solution Channel

Computational Fluid Dynamics on AWS

Over the past 30 years Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has grown to become a key part of many engineering design processes. From aircraft design to modelling the blood flow in our bodies, the ability to understand the behaviour of fluids has enabled countless innovations and improved the time to market for many products. Read more…

Supercomputer Modeling Shows How COVID-19 Spreads Through Populations

May 30, 2020

As many states begin to loosen the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders that have forced most Americans inside for the past two months, researchers are poring over the data, looking for signs of the dreaded second peak of t Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Indiana University to Deploy Jetstream 2 Cloud with AMD, Nvidia Technology

June 2, 2020

Indiana University has been awarded a $10 million NSF grant to build ‘Jetstream 2,’ a cloud computing system that will provide 8 aggregate petaflops of comp Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

COVID-19 HPC Consortium Expands to Europe, Reports on Research Projects

May 28, 2020

The COVID-19 HPC Consortium, a public-private effort delivering free access to HPC processing for scientists pursuing coronavirus research – some utilizing AI Read more…

By Doug Black

$100B Plan Submitted for Massive Remake and Expansion of NSF

May 27, 2020

Legislation to reshape, expand - and rename - the National Science Foundation has been submitted in both the U.S. House and Senate. The proposal, which seems to Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Boosts Deep Learning Accuracy on Memristive Chips

May 27, 2020

IBM researchers have taken another step towards making in-memory computing based on phase change (PCM) memory devices a reality. Papers in Nature and Frontiers Read more…

By John Russell

Hats Over Hearts: Remembering Rich Brueckner

May 26, 2020

HPCwire and all of the Tabor Communications family are saddened by last week’s passing of Rich Brueckner. He was the ever-optimistic man in the Red Hat presiding over the InsideHPC media portfolio for the past decade and a constant presence at HPC’s most important events. Read more…

Nvidia Q1 Earnings Top Expectations, Datacenter Revenue Breaks $1B

May 22, 2020

Nvidia’s seemingly endless roll continued in the first quarter with the company announcing blockbuster earnings that exceeded Wall Street expectations. Nvidia Read more…

By Doug Black

Microsoft’s Massive AI Supercomputer on Azure: 285k CPU Cores, 10k GPUs

May 20, 2020

Microsoft has unveiled a supercomputing monster – among the world’s five most powerful, according to the company – aimed at what is known in scientific an Read more…

By Doug Black

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Turns Its Massive Crowdsourced Computer Network Against COVID-19

March 16, 2020

For gamers, fighting against a global crisis is usually pure fantasy – but now, it’s looking more like a reality. As supercomputers around the world spin up Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Global Supercomputing Is Mobilizing Against COVID-19

March 12, 2020

Tech has been taking some heavy losses from the coronavirus pandemic. Global supply chains have been disrupted, virtually every major tech conference taking place over the next few months has been canceled... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

Steve Scott Lays Out HPE-Cray Blended Product Roadmap

March 11, 2020

Last week, the day before the El Capitan processor disclosures were made at HPE's new headquarters in San Jose, Steve Scott (CTO for HPC & AI at HPE, and former Cray CTO) was on-hand at the Rice Oil & Gas HPC conference in Houston. He was there to discuss the HPE-Cray transition and blended roadmap, as well as his favorite topic, Cray's eighth-gen networking technology, Slingshot. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Honeywell’s Big Bet on Trapped Ion Quantum Computing

April 7, 2020

Honeywell doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of quantum computing pioneers, but a decade ago the high-tech conglomerate better known for its control systems waded deliberately into the then calmer quantum computing (QC) waters. Fast forward to March when Honeywell announced plans to introduce an ion trap-based quantum computer whose ‘performance’ would... Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

SC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

AMD
AMD
ASROCK RACK
ASROCK RACK
AWS
AWS
CEJN
CJEN
CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
IBM
IBM
MELLANOX
MELLANOX
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
SIX NINES IT
SIX NINES IT
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL
WEKAIO
WEKAIO

Contributors

Tech Conferences Are Being Canceled Due to Coronavirus

March 3, 2020

Several conferences scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, including Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC) and the Strata Data + AI conference, have Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Exascale Watch: El Capitan Will Use AMD CPUs & GPUs to Reach 2 Exaflops

March 4, 2020

HPE and its collaborators reported today that El Capitan, the forthcoming exascale supercomputer to be sited at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and serve Read more…

By John Russell

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cray to Provide NOAA with Two AMD-Powered Supercomputers

February 24, 2020

The United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last week announced plans for a major refresh of its operational weather forecasting supercomputers, part of a 10-year, $505.2 million program, which will secure two HPE-Cray systems for NOAA’s National Weather Service to be fielded later this year and put into production in early 2022. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

Fujitsu A64FX Supercomputer to Be Deployed at Nagoya University This Summer

February 3, 2020

Japanese tech giant Fujitsu announced today that it will supply Nagoya University Information Technology Center with the first commercial supercomputer powered Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This