Highlights from HPC 2012: Twenty Years of HPC at Cetraro

By Jose Luis Vazquez-Poletti

July 2, 2012

The International Advanced Workshop on High Performance Computing, Grids and Clouds (HPC 2012) took place in Cetraro, Italy, serving again as a meeting point for ideas pertaining to HPC, distributed computing, and beyond. This year’s event, held from June 25-29, was particularly significant because HPC 2012 was celebrating its 20th anniversary! And yes, I had the honor to witness and participate in this historic gathering.

HPC 2012 logoHPC Where, When and How

Every two years, the HPC Workshop takes place to shed light on key topics in advanced high performance computing systems. Last week, experts in the field accomplished this with about forty invited talks.

The venue has been always the same: Gran Hotel San Michele, located in Cetraro, Italy. The hotel shares the charm of one of the most beautiful places in South Italy.

The founder of this Workshop is Professor Lucio Grandinetti from Università della Calabria. His incredible work, dedication and passion have led to the most renowned experts in the field taking part year after year.

By the way, NATO funded the first and third editions (1992 and 1996). This interesting fact shows how the interest in HPC has grown in Europe.


Click to expand

The Talks

Speaking the social networking language of the day, we can say that the “trending topics” (aside from HPC proper) were mainly three-fold: “HPC Cloud”, “Big Data” and “Green IT”. The variety of both the content of the talks and the background of the attendees was so rich that discussions extended beyond the conference hall doors.

As a matter of fact, the quality of this year’s event “hit the clouds”. Here is just a small sampling of what was available with a focus on cloud, of course. Additional information on all the sessions is available here.

Jack Dongarra: “On the Future of High Performance Computing: How to Think for Peta and Exascale Computing”

Professor Dongarra examined how high performance computing has changed over the last ten years and looked toward the future in terms of trends. These changes have had and will continue to have a major impact on our software. Some of the software and algorithm challenges have already been encountered, such as management of communication and memory hierarchies through a combination of compile-time and run-time techniques, but the increased scale of computation, depth of memory hierarchies, range of latencies, and increased run-time environment variability will make these problems much harder. 



In this context, Professor Dongarra focused on the redesign of software to fit multicore and hybrid architectures, automatically tuned application software, exploitation of mixed precision for performance, the importance of fault tolerance and communication avoiding algorithms.

Ian Foster: “Big Process for Big Data”

After the great progress over the past decade toward effectively harnessing the collective power of IT resources distributed across the globe, Professor Foster identified a far greater challenge: researchers will soon require capabilities not so different from those used by these big-science teams.

During the talk, he described the work his team is doing at the Computation Institute at the Argonne National Laboratory to offer researchers a solution, focusing initially on research data lifecycle management. Professor Foster presented promising results obtained to date with the Globus Online system, and suggested a path toward large-scale delivery of these capabilities.

Geoffrey Fox: “Scientific Computing Supported by Clouds, Grids and Exascale Systems

Professor Fox analyzed scientific computing into classes of applications and their suitability for different architectures covering both compute and data analysis cases and both high end and long tail users. Then, he proposed an architecture for next generation cyberinfrastructure and outlined some of the research challenges. Dr. Fox is the principal investigator for the Indiana University-led Future Grid. This high-performance grid test bed will allow scientists to collaboratively develop and test innovative approaches to parallel, grid, and cloud computing.

Kenji Takeda: “Cloud computing for research and innovation

This talk addressed how cloud computing is challenging the way we think about parallel and distributed computing, particularly in the context of HPC and the Grid. In particular, Takeda discussed how the community has been exploring the use of cloud computing, including through the European Union Framework Programme 7 VENUS-C project, and the global Azure Research Engagement Programme.

Wolfgang Gentzsch: “Fujitsu and the HPC Pyramid

Dr. Gentzsch provided an overview of Fujitsu’s HPC solution portfolio, from top-end supercomputing, to mid-market HPC, and technical cloud computing. He demonstrated how Fujitsu, as the world’s third-largest IT services provider, has driven innovation in high performance computing for industry and research.

Marian Bubak: “Environments for Collaborative Applications on e-Infrastructures”

This talk evaluated a few approaches to development and execution of e-science applications on currently available e-infrastructures like grids and clouds. In this context, the WS-VLAM workflow system was presented. This system aims at covering the entire life cycle of scientific workflows: end-users are able to share workflows, reuse each other workflow components, and execute workflow on resources across multiple organizations.

Also, GridSpace was presented. GridSpace is a novel virtual laboratory framework enabling to conduct virtual experiments on grid-based infrastructures. It facilitates exploratory development of experiments by means of scripts that can be expressed in a number of popular languages, including Ruby, Python and Perl. One of most demanding applications are those from the area of Virtual Physiological Human.

Vladimir Getov: “Cloud Adoption Issues: Interoperability and Security

Prof. Getov addressed the issues behind common cloud concepts such as hybrid infrastructures, where it can be said that the entire cloud pertains to the user with all the subsequent issues. With this in mind, the talk was invitation to discuss the factors that may lead to the “true” hybrid cloud. This come along with the need to see a global consensus on regulation and standards to increase trust in this technology and lower the risks that many organizations feel goes hand-in-hand with entrusting key data or processing capabilities to third parties.

Patrick Martin: “Qos-Aware Management of Cloud Applications

Professor Martin proposed a framework for QoS-aware management of cloud applications to address the challenges that arise when selecting a cloud provider. He discussed the structure of this framework and highlighted the key research questions that must be answered in order to develop it.

Jose Luis Vazquez-Poletti: “Automatic IaaS Elasticity for the PaaS Cloud of the Future

During my talk I introduced the 4CaaSt European Commission FP7 project and our work there, providing elasticity at IaaS level. In particular I showed our three approaches: cluster management with the OpenNebula virtual infrastructure manager, a proposal for SLAs and service definition, and finally a set of admission control algorithms.

Odej Kao: “Stratosphere – data management on the cloud

Prof. Kao presented the Nephele system, an execution engine for massive-parallel virtualized environments centered on a programming model of so-called Parallelization Contracts (PACTs). Nephele is part of the large system Stratosphere, which is as generic as map/reduce systems, while overcoming several of their major weaknesses. The focus of the talk was set on the underlying cloud model, the execution strategies, the detection of communication bottlenecks and network topology, and on lightweight fault tolerance methods.

Domenico Talia: “A Cloud Framework for Knowledge Discovery Workflows on Azure

Prof. Talia introduced a Cloud framework that supports the composition and scalable execution of knowledge discovery applications on the Windows Azure platform. Here we describe the system architecture, its implementation, and current work aimed at supporting the design and execution of knowledge discovery applications modeled as workflows.

Peter Kacsuk: “Executing Multi-workflow simulations on a mixed grid/cloud infrastructure using the SHIWA Technology”

Dr. Kacsuk introduced SHIWA, a technology that makes it possible to share workflows written in various workflow languages among different user communities. It also enables the creation of so-called meta-workflows that combine workflow applications into a higher-level workflow system. The other important feature of the SHIWA technology is the support of multi-DCI (Distributed Computing Infrastructure) execution of these meta-workflows both on various grids and cloud systems. During the talk he described in detail how such meta-workflows can be created and executed on a mixed grid/cloud infrastructure.

Dana Petcu: “Open-source platform-as-a-service: requirements and implementation challenges”

Prof. Petcu explained how open‐source platforms that are currently emerging as middleware build on top of multiple clouds have a high potential to help the development of applications that are vendor agnostic and a click away from the Clouds, and, by this, to boost the migration towards the Clouds. Due to the complexity of such platforms the number of existing solutions is currently low. In this context, she presented a short analysis of the available implementations, including VMware’s Cloud Foundry or Red Hat’s OpenShift, as well as with a special focus on the mOSAIC’s platform, the European Commission FP7 project where she is Scientific Coordinator.

Yoshio Tanaka: “Building Secure and Transparent Inter-Cloud Infrastructure for Scientific Applications”

This presentation described the experiences of the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) on building secure and transparent Inter-Cloud infrastructure for scientific applications. This Inter-Cloud infrastructure was realized by cloud interoperation and network virtualization. Cloud interoperation enables sharing of virtual machine images by private and public clouds, i.e. a virtual machine image could be shared by different VM hosting environments including OpenNebula, Rocks, and Amazon EC2. Current status and future issues was presented as well.

Judy Qiu: “Scientific Data Analysis on Cloud and HPC Platforms

Prof. Qiu introduced the key features of Hadoop and Twister (a MapReduce variant) and then, she discussed important issues of interoperability between HPC and commercial clouds and reproducibility using cloud computing environments.

Alfredo Goldman: “The suitability of BSP/CGM model for HPC on Clouds

Prof. Goldman provided an overview on how to tackle latency, bandwidth and processor sharing using the BSP (Bulk Synchronous Parallel) in grids and clouds. He also introduced the main advantages of CGM (Coarse Grained Model), where the main goal is to minimize the number of communication rounds, which can have an important impact on BSP algorithms performance. Finally, he presented some preliminary experiments comparing the performance of BSP and MapReduce model.

Wolfgang Gentzsch: “EUDAT – European scientists and data centers turn to big data collaboration

During his second talk, Dr. Gentzsch highlighted the main objectives of the EUDAT project and its Collaborative Data Infrastructure. He also discussed a set of cross-disciplinary data services designed to service all European research communities, such as safe replication of data sets among different sites, data staging to compute facilities, easy data storage, metadata, single sign-on, and persistent identifiers.

Beniamino Di Martino: “Portability and Interoperability in Clouds: Agents, Semantic and Volunteer computing can help – the mOSAIC and Cloud@Home projects”

Prof. Di Martino offered an overview of the European Commission FP7 project mOSAIC (where he is the Coordinator) and the Italian National Relevance Research project Cloud@Home. This last project aims at implementing a volunteer cloud, a paradigm which mixes aspects of both cloud and volunteer computing.

The Panels

There were two panels during the Workshop and they were massive from both sides (speakers and attendees). This was because the growing interest of their suggesting titles: “Five years into exascale exploration: what have we learned?” and “Cloud Computing and Big Data: Challenges and Opportunities”.


Click to expand

A Very Special Workshop

As explained before, the HPC Workshop started 20 years ago. For this reason the participants wanted to give Professor Lucio Grandinetti a tribute in the form of a gift.
HPC 2012 Cetraro gift
Click to expand

It was a custom-created work of fine art done at the Art Institute of Chicago: a bronze sculpture with stained glass representing the hotel and the sea. Also, it had the following inscriptions: “In honor of Professor Lucio Grandinetti, founder of the International Advanced Research Workshop on High Performance Computing, on the 20th anniversary edition, June 2012”

I have to say it was a very emotive moment, and not only for Professor Lucio Grandinetti but for all the participants!

He joked with the fact that after 20 years, “the Workshop has much evolved and now it seems to be moving to Fine Arts”.

“Under The Cloud Of Cetraro

The HPC Workshop is a solid value for all connected areas. Quality is the word that defines it the best because all the experts that share their knowledge each edition cannot be wrong.

Whether it’s “evolving to Fine Arts” or not, we should keep an eye on the outcome of this Workshop every two years.

About the Author

Jose Luis Vazquez-Poletti, HPC 2012 CetraroDr. Jose Luis Vazquez-Poletti is Assistant Professor in Computer Architecture at Complutense University of Madrid (UCM, Spain), and a Cloud Computing Researcher at the Distributed Systems Architecture Research Group. He is (and has been) directly involved in EU-funded projects, such as EGEE (Grid Computing) and 4CaaSt (PaaS Cloud), as well as many Spanish national initiatives.

From 2005 to 2009, Professor Vazquez-Poletti’s research focused in application porting onto Grid Computing infrastructures, activity that let him be “where the real action was.” These applications pertained to a wide range of areas, from Fusion Physics to Bioinformatics. During this period he achieved the abilities needed for profiling applications and making them benefit of distributed computing infrastructures. Additionally, he shared these abilities in many training events organized within the EGEE Project and similar initiatives.

Since 2010 his research interests lie in different aspects of cloud computing, but always having real life applications in mind, specially those pertaining to the High Performance Computing domain.

Website: http://dsa-research.org/jlvazquez/

Linkedin: http://es.linkedin.com/in/jlvazquezpoletti/

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!

GDPR’s Impact on Scientific Research Uncertain

May 24, 2018

Amid the angst over preparations—or lack thereof—for new European Union data protections entering into force at week’s end is the equally worrisome issue of the rules’ impact on scientific research. Among the Read more…

By George Leopold

Intel Pledges First Commercial Nervana Product ‘Spring Crest’ in 2019

May 24, 2018

At its AI developer conference in San Francisco yesterday, Intel embraced a holistic approach to AI and showed off a broad AI portfolio that includes Xeon processors, Movidius technologies, FPGAs and Intel’s Nervana Neural Network Processors (NNPs), based on the technology it acquired in 2016. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Pattern Computer – Startup Claims Breakthrough in ‘Pattern Discovery’ Technology

May 23, 2018

If it weren’t for the heavy-hitter technology team behind start-up Pattern Computer, which emerged from stealth today in a live-streamed event from San Francisco, one would be tempted to dismiss its claims of inventing Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPC and AI Convergence is Accelerating New Levels of Intelligence

Data analytics is the most valuable tool in the digital marketplace – so much so that organizations are employing high performance computing (HPC) capabilities to rapidly collect, share, and analyze endless streams of data. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Mastering the Big Data Challenge in Cognitive Healthcare

Patrick Chain, genomics researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, posed a question in a recent blog: What if a nurse could swipe a patient’s saliva and run a quick genetic test to determine if the patient’s sore throat was caused by a cold virus or a bacterial infection? Read more…

Silicon Startup Raises ‘Prodigy’ for Hyperscale/AI Workloads

May 23, 2018

There's another silicon startup coming onto the HPC/hyperscale scene with some intriguing and bold claims. Silicon Valley-based Tachyum Inc., which has been emerging from stealth over the last year and a half, is unveili Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Pledges First Commercial Nervana Product ‘Spring Crest’ in 2019

May 24, 2018

At its AI developer conference in San Francisco yesterday, Intel embraced a holistic approach to AI and showed off a broad AI portfolio that includes Xeon processors, Movidius technologies, FPGAs and Intel’s Nervana Neural Network Processors (NNPs), based on the technology it acquired in 2016. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Pattern Computer – Startup Claims Breakthrough in ‘Pattern Discovery’ Technology

May 23, 2018

If it weren’t for the heavy-hitter technology team behind start-up Pattern Computer, which emerged from stealth today in a live-streamed event from San Franci Read more…

By John Russell

Silicon Startup Raises ‘Prodigy’ for Hyperscale/AI Workloads

May 23, 2018

There's another silicon startup coming onto the HPC/hyperscale scene with some intriguing and bold claims. Silicon Valley-based Tachyum Inc., which has been eme Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Japan Meteorological Agency Takes Delivery of Pair of Crays

May 21, 2018

Cray has supplied two identical Cray XC50 supercomputers to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) in northwestern Tokyo. Boasting more than 18 petaflops combine Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and th Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Quantum Network Hub Opens in Japan

May 17, 2018

Following on the launch of its Q Commercial quantum network last December with 12 industrial and academic partners, the official Japanese hub at Keio University is now open to facilitate the exploration of quantum applications important to science and business. The news comes a week after IBM announced that North Carolina State University was the first U.S. university to join its Q Network. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Democratizing HPC: OSC Releases Version 1.3 of OnDemand

May 16, 2018

Making HPC resources readily available and easier to use for scientists who may have less HPC expertise is an ongoing challenge. Open OnDemand is a project by t Read more…

By John Russell

MLPerf – Will New Machine Learning Benchmark Help Propel AI Forward?

May 2, 2018

Let the AI benchmarking wars begin. Today, a diverse group from academia and industry – Google, Baidu, Intel, AMD, Harvard, and Stanford among them – releas Read more…

By John Russell

How the Cloud Is Falling Short for HPC

March 15, 2018

The last couple of years have seen cloud computing gradually build some legitimacy within the HPC world, but still the HPC industry lies far behind enterprise I Read more…

By Chris Downing

Russian Nuclear Engineers Caught Cryptomining on Lab Supercomputer

February 12, 2018

Nuclear scientists working at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) have been arrested for using lab supercomputing resources to mine crypto-currency, according to a report in Russia’s Interfax News Agency. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

Deep Learning at 15 PFlops Enables Training for Extreme Weather Identification at Scale

March 19, 2018

Petaflop per second deep learning training performance on the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) Cori supercomputer has given climate Read more…

By Rob Farber

AI Cloud Competition Heats Up: Google’s TPUs, Amazon Building AI Chip

February 12, 2018

Competition in the white hot AI (and public cloud) market pits Google against Amazon this week, with Google offering AI hardware on its cloud platform intended Read more…

By Doug Black

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lenovo Unveils Warm Water Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 in Rampup to LRZ Install

February 22, 2018

This week Lenovo took the wraps off the ThinkSystem SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with par Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17

Altair

AMD @ SC17

AMD

ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack

CEJN @ SC17

CEJN

DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17

Huawei

IBM @ SC17

IBM

IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17

Intel

Lenovo @ SC17

Lenovo

Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17

Microsoft

Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17

Supericro

Tyan @ SC17

Tyan

Univa @ SC17

Univa

Google Chases Quantum Supremacy with 72-Qubit Processor

March 7, 2018

Google pulled ahead of the pack this week in the race toward "quantum supremacy," with the introduction of a new 72-qubit quantum processor called Bristlecone. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CFO Steps down in Executive Shuffle at Supermicro

January 31, 2018

Supermicro yesterday announced senior management shuffling including prominent departures, the completion of an audit linked to its delayed Nasdaq filings, and Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Wins $57 Million DoD Supercomputing Contract

February 20, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today revealed details of its massive $57 million HPC contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The deal calls for HP Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC and AI – Two Communities Same Future

January 25, 2018

According to Al Gara (Intel Fellow, Data Center Group), high performance computing and artificial intelligence will increasingly intertwine as we transition to Read more…

By Rob Farber

Deep Learning Portends ‘Sea Change’ for Oil and Gas Sector

February 1, 2018

The billowing compute and data demands that spurred the oil and gas industry to be the largest commercial users of high-performance computing are now propelling Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Ups Hardware Game with 16-GPU DGX-2 Server and 18-Port NVSwitch

March 27, 2018

Nvidia unveiled a raft of new products from its annual technology conference in San Jose today, and despite not offering up a new chip architecture, there were still a few surprises in store for HPC hardware aficionados. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Hennessy & Patterson: A New Golden Age for Computer Architecture

April 17, 2018

On Monday June 4, 2018, 2017 A.M. Turing Award Winners John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson will deliver the Turing Lecture at the 45th International Sympo Read more…

By Staff

Part One: Deep Dive into 2018 Trends in Life Sciences HPC

March 1, 2018

Life sciences is an interesting lens through which to see HPC. It is perhaps not an obvious choice, given life sciences’ relative newness as a heavy user of H Read more…

By John Russell

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