The Week in Review

By Tiffany Trader

August 19, 2010

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

NSF Awards SDSC $2.8 Million for Trestles Supercomputer

NLR Deploys New, Wide-Area Backbone Network for GENI Project

UT, ORNL Crunching Numbers to Make Sense of Climate Change

ORION Helps Transmit First Results from Large Hadron Collider

SDSC Leads Supercomputing Efforts in Creating Largest-Ever Earthquake Simulation

Broad Institute Acquires License to All ChemAxon Products

DARPA Selects Sandia National Laboratories to Design New Supercomputer Prototype

New Computer Model Advances Climate Change Research

One Billion Unknowns Solved with the FinisTerrae Supercomputer

X-ISS Makes DecisionHPC Widely Available

HPC Advisory Council Forms Worldwide Centers of Excellence

Supermicro 4U Storage Server Features 72 Hot-swap SAS2 Drives

Force10 Powers Two of the World’s Five Fastest Supercomputers

Einstein@Home Project Discovers Unusual Pulsar

New Supercomputer Connection Speeds Genetic Research

Purdue’s cool invention

This week Purdue announced a really cool energy management device (pun intended) that will be a boon to system administrators of large scientific datacenters everywhere. It’s one of the those seemingly simple ideas that could have wide-ranging positive consequences. It seems some smart people at Purdue (redundant!) were understandably irked at losing data due to datacenter shutdowns due to overheating, and, necessity being the mother of invention, they came up with a solution, a program to slow down the system when temperatures rise, negating the need for a complete system shutdown.

It was Patrick Finnegan, a Unix systems administrator at Purdue, who first came up with the idea of using the built-in capability of the Linux operating system to slow the machines in the event that the water-cooling system malfuctions.

If the machines exceed 90 degrees, they experience an automatic shutdown to prevent damage to the multi-million dollar supercomputers. But even a brief shutdown often means millions of hours of lost computing time when dealing with computationally-intense scientific research.

Mike Shuey, the high-performance computing systems manager at Purdue, explains: “Past a certain temperature, our only option has been to start shutting down racks of computers. That has ripple effects on the research efforts of the university for weeks afterward.”

In the past, shutting down the system was the only recourse, and jobs that were in the middle of running would have to start over. Days of computational work would be lost.

The new solution is akin to slamming on the breaks of a vehicle in order to avoid a crash, except in this case, nearly 8,000 processors are being simultaneously subdued. This leads to a reduction in energy use and cuts the heat produced by the machines by as much as 30 percent. Yes, the jobs will run more slowly until the cooling system is repaired, but this is much less onerous than a complete system shut down, necessating job restarts.

One interesting aspect of the story is that the fix could not be tested out until an actual cooling emergency occurred. But when the time came for the live test, the program worked, much to the relief and satisfaction of all parties involved.

Says Shuey: “The program worked, and the datacenter didn’t overheat, so the process was a success. We actually were a bit surprised it worked so seamlessly. It’s much better to have jobs run slowly for an hour than to throw away everyone’s work in progress and mobilize staff to try to fix things.”

If you think the “High Performance Computing Saving Device” could be useful to you, it is available for a modest fee ($250), and includes all of the notes on the implementation.

Dell to pay premium for 3PAR

This week Dell announced its intention to purchase the Fremont, Calif.-based storage vendor 3PAR for $1.15 billion. The terms of the deal have been approved by the board of directors at both companies. If all goes as planned, Dell will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of 3PAR for $18 per share in cash, which is an 86 percent premium to the company’s closing price on Friday (Aug. 13). The transaction is expected to close before the end of the year.

From the release:

Dell plans to make 3PAR an integral part of its industry-leading storage portfolio, including PowerVault, EqualLogic and Dell/EMC. With 3PAR, Dell will offer innovative systems and customer choice at every storage tier, from direct-attach to highly-virtualized, clustered SANS.

3PAR provides a utility storage platform, a multi-tenant, clustered architecture for highly-virtualized datacenters and cloud computing, which Dell can now offer to its customers seeking cloud storage solutions.

According to much of the speculation surrounding this announcement, including coverage at ComputerWorld, Dell is positioning itself to compete with larger datacenter storage rivals, such as HP, IBM, Hitachi, NetApp and even partner EMC. Rich Miller at Data Center Knowledge presents a comprehensive roundup of noteworthy analysis.

Brad Anderson, Dell senior vice president of the enterprise product group, explains how the 3PAR solution fits in with Dell’s current storage offering:

“We have aligned our storage offerings over the last several years to provide our customers choice and value. 3PAR brings the same values of performance, agility and ease-of-use to higher end, virtualized storage deployments as EqualLogic does for the entry-level and mid-range, rounding out our industry-leading solutions portfolio.”

David Scott, president and CEO of 3PAR, expressed his take on the new relationship,

“3PAR has consistently provided customers with the ability to do more with less. With Dell we combine a powerful, virtualized storage platform with an outstanding distribution network to deliver this value to an even broader set of customers.”

Dell says that after closing it plans to maintain and invest in additional engineering and sales capability, and has no plans to move the current operations.

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!

Data Vortex Users Contemplate the Future of Supercomputing

October 19, 2017

Last month (Sept. 11-12), HPC networking company Data Vortex held its inaugural users group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) bringing together about 30 participants from industry, government and academia t Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Self-Training Goes Forward at Google DeepMind

October 19, 2017

DeepMind, Google’s AI research organization, announced today in a blog that AlphaGo Zero, the latest evolution of AlphaGo (the first computer program to defeat a Go world champion) trained itself within three days to play Go at a superhuman level (i.e., better than any human) – and to beat the old version of AlphaGo – without leveraging human expertise, data or training. Read more…

By Doug Black

Researchers Scale COSMO Climate Code to 4888 GPUs on Piz Daint

October 17, 2017

Effective global climate simulation, sorely needed to anticipate and cope with global warming, has long been computationally challenging. Two of the major obstacles are the needed resolution and prolonged time to compute Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Transforming Genomic Analytics with HPC-Accelerated Insights

Advancements in the field of genomics are revolutionizing our understanding of human biology, rapidly accelerating the discovery and treatment of genetic diseases, and dramatically improving human health. Read more…

Student Cluster Competition Coverage New Home

October 16, 2017

Hello computer sports fans! This is the first of many (many!) articles covering the world-wide phenomenon of Student Cluster Competitions. Finally, the Student Cluster Competition coverage has come to its natural home: H Read more…

By Dan Olds

Data Vortex Users Contemplate the Future of Supercomputing

October 19, 2017

Last month (Sept. 11-12), HPC networking company Data Vortex held its inaugural users group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) bringing together ab Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Self-Training Goes Forward at Google DeepMind

October 19, 2017

DeepMind, Google’s AI research organization, announced today in a blog that AlphaGo Zero, the latest evolution of AlphaGo (the first computer program to defeat a Go world champion) trained itself within three days to play Go at a superhuman level (i.e., better than any human) – and to beat the old version of AlphaGo – without leveraging human expertise, data or training. Read more…

By Doug Black

Student Cluster Competition Coverage New Home

October 16, 2017

Hello computer sports fans! This is the first of many (many!) articles covering the world-wide phenomenon of Student Cluster Competitions. Finally, the Student Read more…

By Dan Olds

Intel Delivers 17-Qubit Quantum Chip to European Research Partner

October 10, 2017

On Tuesday, Intel delivered a 17-qubit superconducting test chip to research partner QuTech, the quantum research institute of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. The announcement marks a major milestone in the 10-year, $50-million collaborative relationship with TU Delft and TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied Research, to accelerate advancements in quantum computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fujitsu Tapped to Build 37-Petaflops ABCI System for AIST

October 10, 2017

Fujitsu announced today it will build the long-planned AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) which is set to become the fastest supercomputer system in Japan Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Intel Debuts Programmable Acceleration Card

October 5, 2017

With a view toward supporting complex, data-intensive applications, such as AI inference, video streaming analytics, database acceleration and genomics, Intel i Read more…

By Doug Black

Reinders: “AVX-512 May Be a Hidden Gem” in Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

June 29, 2017

Imagine if we could use vector processing on something other than just floating point problems.  Today, GPUs and CPUs work tirelessly to accelerate algorithms Read more…

By James Reinders

NERSC Scales Scientific Deep Learning to 15 Petaflops

August 28, 2017

A collaborative effort between Intel, NERSC and Stanford has delivered the first 15-petaflops deep learning software running on HPC platforms and is, according Read more…

By Rob Farber

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Oracle Layoffs Reportedly Hit SPARC and Solaris Hard

September 7, 2017

Oracle’s latest layoffs have many wondering if this is the end of the line for the SPARC processor and Solaris OS development. As reported by multiple sources Read more…

By John Russell

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Releases Deeplearn.js to Further Democratize Machine Learning

August 17, 2017

Spreading the use of machine learning tools is one of the goals of Google’s PAIR (People + AI Research) initiative, which was introduced in early July. Last w Read more…

By John Russell

GlobalFoundries Puts Wind in AMD’s Sails with 12nm FinFET

September 24, 2017

From its annual tech conference last week (Sept. 20), where GlobalFoundries welcomed more than 600 semiconductor professionals (reaching the Santa Clara venue Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphcore Readies Launch of 16nm Colossus-IPU Chip

July 20, 2017

A second $30 million funding round for U.K. AI chip developer Graphcore sets up the company to go to market with its “intelligent processing unit” (IPU) in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Amazon Debuts New AMD-based GPU Instances for Graphics Acceleration

September 12, 2017

Last week Amazon Web Services (AWS) streaming service, AppStream 2.0, introduced a new GPU instance called Graphics Design intended to accelerate graphics. The Read more…

By John Russell

EU Funds 20 Million Euro ARM+FPGA Exascale Project

September 7, 2017

At the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre on Wednesday (Sept. 6), 16 partners gathered to launch the EuroEXA project, which invests €20 million over three-and-a-half years into exascale-focused research and development. Led by the Horizon 2020 program, EuroEXA picks up the banner of a triad of partner projects — ExaNeSt, EcoScale and ExaNoDe — building on their work... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Cray Moves to Acquire the Seagate ClusterStor Line

July 28, 2017

This week Cray announced that it is picking up Seagate's ClusterStor HPC storage array business for an undisclosed sum. "In short we're effectively transitioning the bulk of the ClusterStor product line to Cray," said CEO Peter Ungaro. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Launches Software Tools to Ease FPGA Programming

September 5, 2017

Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have a reputation for being difficult to program, requiring expertise in specialty languages, like Verilog or VHDL. Easin Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Advances Web-based Quantum Programming

September 5, 2017

IBM Research is pairing its Jupyter-based Data Science Experience notebook environment with its cloud-based quantum computer, IBM Q, in hopes of encouraging a new class of entrepreneurial user to solve intractable problems that even exceed the capabilities of the best AI systems. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Intel, NERSC and University Partners Launch New Big Data Center

August 17, 2017

A collaboration between the Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), Intel and five Intel Parallel Computing Cente Read more…

By Linda Barney

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This