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July 1, 2010

The Week in Review

by Tiffany Trader

Here is a collection of highlights from this week’s news stream as reported by HPCwire.

Massively Parallel Technologies Awarded Patent for Scalable Application Environments

Australia’s Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative Deploys SGI Cluster

Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute Receives Contract Extension

Microsoft, Intel to Support Local College Internship Program with Avetec’s DICE Program

Berkeley Lab Announces New International Center for Computational Science

IBM and Slovenia’s Arctur Bring Supercomputing to the Midmarket

Oracle Unveils Next Generation Sun Fire x86 Clustered Systems

Ohio Supercomputer Center, Sciences Computer Consultants Forge Alliance

PBS Professional Roll Now Available to Clustercorp’s Rocks+ Community

Verari Gains Momentum with New Investment, Leadership

NERSC, HDF Group Optimize HDF5 Library to Improve I/O Performance

Partnership of Supercomputing Centers Announce NSF XD TIS Award

Digipede Launches Digipede Network 2.4

NASA Goddard Introduces the NASA Center for Climate Simulation

Mellanox InfiniBand Delivers Record Message Rate Performance

Green500 List Gets a Little Greener

The latest Green500 list was announced by its overseers at Virginia Tech, giving due praise to the machines that perform the best whilst consuming the least energy, an energy-efficiency equation the Green500 defines as ‘millions of floating-point operations per second’ (MFLOPS) divided by ‘watts’ (W), or MFLOPS/W. This time around, accelerator-based supers have a prominent position on the list, where they occupy the top eight spots. Green500 Co-Founder Wu Feng, who is also an associate professor of Computer Science at Virginia Tech, compared the performance of accelerator-based computers with traditional supercomputers:

“The accelerator-based supercomputers on The Green500 List produce an average efficiency of 554 MFLOPS/W whereas the other measured supercomputers on the list produce an average efficiency of 181 MFLOPS/W. That makes the accelerator-based supercomputers on the Green500 more than three times more energy efficient than their non-accelerated counterparts on the list.”

This increase in accelerator-based systems has led to an upswing in the overall efficiency of the list to its current average of 140.33 MFLOPS/W — a 12.5 percent increase since November (124.71 MFLOPS/W average) and 29 percent increase since last June (108.83 MFLOPS/W average). Here’s a rundown on the top 10 finishers (there are multiple ties throughout):

1  Forschungszentrum Juelich,  QPACE Cluster
1  Universitaet Regensburg, QPACE Cluster
1  Universitaet Wuppertal, QPACE Cluster
4  National Supercomputing Centre in Shenzhen (NSCS), Nebulae
5  DOE/NNSA/LANL, BladeCenter Cluster
5  IBM Poughkeepsie Benchmarking Center, BladeCenter Cluster
7  DOE/NNSA/LANL, BladeCenter Cluster
8  Institute of Process Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Mole-8.5 Cluster
9  Mississippi State University, iDataPlex
10 Banking (M),  iDataPlex

This is the seventh edition of the Green500 list, which made its debut in November 2007. The list comes out shortly after each TOP500 list, which is announced twice a year, during SC in November and during ISC in June. Performance data used in creating the list are obtained from publicly-available sources including the TOP500 list.

The June 2010 Green500 list is available here.

Goodbye EGEE, Hello EGI

As of April 30, 2010, the Enabling Grids for E-SciencE (EGEE) is no more, but it is leaving behind a considerable legacy and setting the stage for grid collaborations to come. The organization released an announcement today to highlight some of their biggest achievements and to set the stage for the handoff to the next instantiation of the European grid schema: the European Grid Infrastructure, EGI.

EGEE grew out of the European DataGrid project, which commenced in 2001. There were three successive phases of EGEE, culminating in EGEE-III, which brought together the infrastructure, software tools and services to support more than 10,000 researchers across more than 170 research communities. In fact, EGEE can boast the largest collaborative production grid infrastructure in the world, made up of 250,000 computer processing cores, hosted by more than 300 computing centers, and running approximately 15 million computer tasks every month.

EGEE Project Director Bob Jones considers the history of the collaboration and how the project will live on in the body of its successor, EGI:

“Distributed computing infrastructures have matured at an incredible rate and EGEE has been a driving force in making this happen. In 2000 I think it would have been a brave call to say that Europe would have a sustainable production grid infrastructure built on a federation of national grid infrastructures in place by 2010. We are glad to see EGI embody the results of a decade of work and I am certain it has a bright future in contributing to the European Research Area and serving the ESFRI projects.”

The new project, the European Grid Infrastructure, EGI, brings together the federation of individual National Grid Infrastructures (NGI) under the coordination of a new organization, The European Commission is providing initial co-funding for EGI through the four-year EGI-InSPIRE project, which began May 1, 2010, also coordinated by The EGI-InSPIRE project will support the transition from a project-based system to a sustainable pan-European e-Infrastructure, by supporting “grids” of high-performance computing (HPC) and high-throughput computing (HTC) resources. EGI-InSPIRE will also integrate new distributed computing infrastructures such as clouds, supercomputing networks and desktop grids.

According Steven Newhouse, Director, sustainability will be a key focus:

“The establishment of represents a new phase for the European Grid Infrastructure. Sustainability is key for supporting the next generation of data-intensive science projects. EGI, through its foundation on strong National Grid Infrastructures, will provide the coordination necessary for a secure, reliable and integrated infrastructure in Europe.”

As part of its wrap-up process, EGEE has created a final project review, which took place in June. The final project summary can be accessed here (PDF).

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