Boosting Discovery Speed and Productivity

February 4, 2019

While price and performance have typically been used when evaluating, selecting, and operating HPC storage systems, increasingly productivity is a more important parameter.  In essence, productivity means getting the best insights and answers in the shortest possible wall clock time within an envelope of other factors such as cost, and when the result is needed.

Productivity not only takes into account processing speed, the ability to keep CPUs satiated, and fast data transfers from storage to compute resources, but also factors in reliability, availability, speed to insight, and the completion of the greatest number of compute jobs in a given time. One additional productivity criteria to consider is how long a system can remain useful without excessive downtime and maintenance. Essentially, the discovery process needs high-performance systems that can quickly run the most compute and data analysis jobs over many years without excessive downtime or maintenance.

NCSA Blue Waters: The HPC high productivity poster child

A good example that embodies what is needed in the most demanding discovery environments is the National Center for Supercomputing Applications Blue Waters system. The Blue Waters team partnered with the Cray supercomputing company for compute and data storage to help achieve the high productivity goals.

From the start, those managing the Blue Waters program focused on productivity. Its mission is to enable science and engineering that cannot be done otherwise, and to greatly improve time to insight.  Examples of things not even feasible before Blue Waters include:

  • all atom simulations of viruses using over 100 million atoms
  • simulation of the first billion years of the universe evolution and galaxy formation after the big bang, which required all the memory on the Blue Waters compute system
  • producing high resolution digital elevation models of 1/3 of the earth in less than two years.

Some teams report a factor of ten or more increases in productivity while others report an infinite increase because they can do things that prior to Blue Waters were simply not possible.

Beyond raw computer power, the system had to have a tightly integrated, high-performance storage system that could support the compute data demands. Additionally, the entire compute and storage infrastructure had to be tightly integrated, flexible, optimized, and be highly reliable to avoid diminishing the quality of services.

One great challenge with computing systems used for scientific discovery is sustaining productivity over the years. Each year, the modeling, simulations, and analysis gets more complex, more granular, and makes use of vastly more data.

According to Bill Kramer, Principle Investigator and Director of the Blue Waters Project, “Despite its scale, Blue Waters is incredibly reliable.  Over the last project year, Blue Waters had only one unscheduled system wide interruption, due to a campus wide power issue, and has a 99.7% scheduled uptime.  Mean Time Between System-wide Interrupt have been four to eight months for the past several years. Even more importantly, (knock on wood somewhere please), is the node and disk reliability.  On a daily basis, the individual node failure rate is below 1.5 nodes/day (0.006% of all the nodes) and a drive failure rate continuing below 0.43 drives/day (0.0026% of all the disks). What that means is Blue Waters is running better now than it did in the first couple of years of operations and there is no indication that will change in the next couple of years.”

Supercomputing systems must scale in compute power, as well as storage capacity and performance. In every field, new lab equipment, satellites, telescopes and sensors have produced higher-resolution and finer granular data. In the life sciences, next-generation sequencers have become faster (producing more data in a given time) and much less expensive to operate (allowing many more sequences to be done in given time). Storage systems have had to keep pace with the data volume growth. And their data analysis systems had to scale in performance.

Blue Waters has kept pace with the demands of the scientific research community. Today, Blue Waters continues to be a discovery mainstay for the open research community as a workhorse system at NCSA. Since March 2013, Blue Waters has delivered over 26 billion core-hours to scientific research. A key to this success has been the ability to scale the system’s storage bandwidth and metadata to accommodate the enormous amounts of data being analyzed.

“The storage system requirements on Blue Waters are extremely ambitious.  The 1.1 TB/s sustain I/O bandwidth for Blue Waters is still unmatched by any other production open system in the world today. Combined with 36 racks of ClusterStorTM (36+of raw PB of storage PB) and over 250 PB of near-line storage, Blue Waters is still the most data capable system in the HPC world.” explained Kramer.

The key to HPC productivity: Find the right technology partner

Building a fast and highly productive system for discovery requires the integration of many advanced technologies. For leading-edge systems, that means incorporating solutions that are new to the market. Most organizations simply do not have the across-the-board expertise in every element, nor the in-house skill set to evaluate, select, and integrate the elements and then optimize and maintain the system’s performance.

That’s where an experienced technology partner can help. Cray designed, architected, and built the Blue Waters extreme scale system and maintains and improves the system to keep it at the leading edge of productive computing.

The system’s ClusterStor storage is a good example of how Blue Waters can remain a high performer and continue to be a productive resource. The system’s productivity remains high due to the ClusterStor storage’s high-performance and high level of resiliency.  Furthermore, the Blue Waters, with the ClusterStor storage system is a leading enabler of being able to converge big data and extreme computing workload on the same system running very large modeling to extreme data intensive and machine/deep learning workload.

“The ClusterStor organization has had the privilege to partner with the Blue Waters team for the past 6 years. As a result, we have carried forward the lessons learned into the latest ClusterStor storage solutions”, according to Don Grabski, who has been with the ClusterStor product management team for 7 years.  The ClusterStor L300 and L300N line of parallel file system storage represents the latest HPC storage solution. This storage is a perfect match for the most demanding discovery workloads. ClusterStor parallel file systems balance the value equation by delivering the exact performance, speed, scalability, data protection, and availability to match an organization’s requirements and budget demands.

The systems deliver enterprise-level performance with more capacity, fewer drives, less need for IT support and more data access. Furthermore, ClusterStor technology optimizes performance productivity and system availability, accelerating time to insight.

The current ClusterStor product line includes:

  • ClusterStor L300 Storage System, which is an all-HDD Lustreâ It achieves performance requirements with the lowest number of HDDs, enclosures, and racks by maximizing the performance of each storage device.
  • ClusterStor L300N Storage System, which is a hybrid SSD/HDD solution with flash-accelerated NXD software that redirects I/O to the appropriate storage medium. It delivers cost-effective, consistent performance on mixed I/O workloads while shielding the application, file system, and users from complexity through transparent flash acceleration.
  • ClusterStor L300F Storage System, which is a scalable storage unit that provides the opportunity to add Flash storage pool creating a truly hybrid system. The L300F is designed and optimized to overcome the latency experienced by rotating media – the remaining IOPS bottleneck for Lustreâ.

The ClusterStor line includes engineered HPC Storage Solution features including:

  • Integrated software and hardware solution
  • Test validation
  • Management
  • Support automation

Taking these features together, ClusterStor storage systems enable the fast time-to-results and sustained performance needed in today’s most demanding discovery environments. The systems also scale to meet future demands by offering a way to increase capacity without impacting performance or availability seamlessly.

To learn more about increasing HPC productivity, visit:

https://www.cray.com/products/storage/clusterstor

 

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!

Global QC Market Projected to Grow to More Than $800 million by 2024

September 28, 2020

The Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C) and Hyperion Research are projecting that the global quantum computing (QC) market - worth an estimated $320 million in 2020 - will grow at an anticipated 27% CAGR betw Read more…

By Staff Reports

DoE’s ASCAC Backs AI for Science Program that Emulates the Exascale Initiative

September 28, 2020

Roughly a year after beginning formal efforts to explore an AI for Science initiative the Department of Energy’s Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee last week accepted a subcommittee report calling for a t Read more…

By John Russell

Supercomputer Research Aims to Supercharge COVID-19 Antiviral Remdesivir

September 25, 2020

Remdesivir is one of a handful of therapeutic antiviral drugs that have been proven to improve outcomes for COVID-19 patients, and as such, is a crucial weapon in the fight against the pandemic – especially in the abse Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

NOAA Announces Major Upgrade to Ensemble Forecast Model, Extends Range to 35 Days

September 23, 2020

A bit over a year ago, the United States’ Global Forecast System (GFS) received a major upgrade: a new dynamical core – its first in 40 years – called the finite-volume cubed-sphere, or FV3. Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is bringing the FV3 dynamical core to... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AI Silicon Startup Graphcore Launches Channel Partner Program

September 23, 2020

AI compute platform vendor Graphcore has launched its first formal global channel partner program to promote and boost the sales of its AI processors and blade computing products. The formalized, all-new Graphcore Elite Partner Program follows the company’s past history of working with several... Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

AWS Solution Channel

The Water Institute of the Gulf runs compute-heavy storm surge and wave simulations on AWS

The Water Institute of the Gulf (Water Institute) runs its storm surge and wave analysis models on Amazon Web Services (AWS)—a task that sometimes requires large bursts of compute power. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Berlin Institute of Health: Putting HPC to Work for the World

Researchers from the Center for Digital Health at the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) are using science to understand the pathophysiology of COVID-19, which can help to inform the development of targeted treatments. Read more…

Arm Targets HPC with New Neoverse Platforms

September 22, 2020

UK-based semiconductor design company Arm today teased details of its Neoverse roadmap, introducing V1 (codenamed Zeus) and N2 (codenamed Perseus), Arm’s second generation N-series platform. The chip IP vendor said the new platforms will deliver 50 percent and 40 percent more... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DoE’s ASCAC Backs AI for Science Program that Emulates the Exascale Initiative

September 28, 2020

Roughly a year after beginning formal efforts to explore an AI for Science initiative the Department of Energy’s Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Commit Read more…

By John Russell

NOAA Announces Major Upgrade to Ensemble Forecast Model, Extends Range to 35 Days

September 23, 2020

A bit over a year ago, the United States’ Global Forecast System (GFS) received a major upgrade: a new dynamical core – its first in 40 years – called the finite-volume cubed-sphere, or FV3. Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is bringing the FV3 dynamical core to... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Arm Targets HPC with New Neoverse Platforms

September 22, 2020

UK-based semiconductor design company Arm today teased details of its Neoverse roadmap, introducing V1 (codenamed Zeus) and N2 (codenamed Perseus), Arm’s second generation N-series platform. The chip IP vendor said the new platforms will deliver 50 percent and 40 percent more... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Oracle Cloud Deepens HPC Embrace with Launch of A100 Instances, Plans for Arm, More 

September 22, 2020

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) continued its steady ramp-up of HPC capabilities today with a flurry of announcements. Topping the list is general availabilit Read more…

By John Russell

European Commission Declares €8 Billion Investment in Supercomputing

September 18, 2020

Just under two years ago, the European Commission formalized the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU): a concerted HPC effort (comprising 32 participating states at c Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Google Hires Longtime Intel Exec Bill Magro to Lead HPC Strategy

September 18, 2020

In a sign of the times, another prominent HPCer has made a move to a hyperscaler. Longtime Intel executive Bill Magro joined Google as chief technologist for hi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Future of Fintech on Display at HPC + AI Wall Street

September 17, 2020

Those who tuned in for Tuesday's HPC + AI Wall Street event got a peak at the future of fintech and lively discussion of topics like blockchain, AI for risk man Read more…

By Alex Woodie, Tiffany Trader and Todd R. Weiss

IBM’s Quantum Race to One Million Qubits

September 15, 2020

IBM today outlined its ambitious quantum computing technology roadmap at its virtual Quantum Summit. The eye-popping million qubit number is still far out, agrees IBM, but perhaps not that far out. Just as eye-popping is IBM’s nearer-term plan for a 1,000-plus qubit system named Condor... Read more…

By John Russell

Supercomputer-Powered Research Uncovers Signs of ‘Bradykinin Storm’ That May Explain COVID-19 Symptoms

July 28, 2020

Doctors and medical researchers have struggled to pinpoint – let alone explain – the deluge of symptoms induced by COVID-19 infections in patients, and what Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia Said to Be Close on Arm Deal

August 3, 2020

GPU leader Nvidia Corp. is in talks to buy U.K. chip designer Arm from parent company Softbank, according to several reports over the weekend. If consummated Read more…

By George Leopold

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

Intel’s 7nm Slip Raises Questions About Ponte Vecchio GPU, Aurora Supercomputer

July 30, 2020

During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel announced a one-year delay of its 7nm process technology, which it says it will create an approximate six-month shift for its CPU product timing relative to prior expectations. The primary issue is a defect mode in the 7nm process that resulted in yield degradation... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Hires Longtime Intel Exec Bill Magro to Lead HPC Strategy

September 18, 2020

In a sign of the times, another prominent HPCer has made a move to a hyperscaler. Longtime Intel executive Bill Magro joined Google as chief technologist for hi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Keeps Cray Brand Promise, Reveals HPE Cray Supercomputing Line

August 4, 2020

The HPC community, ever-affectionate toward Cray and its eponymous founder, can breathe a (virtual) sigh of relief. The Cray brand will live on, encompassing th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

European Commission Declares €8 Billion Investment in Supercomputing

September 18, 2020

Just under two years ago, the European Commission formalized the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU): a concerted HPC effort (comprising 32 participating states at c Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Powers Fugaku’s Storage, Scores IO500 Win

August 28, 2020

In June, RIKEN shook the supercomputing world with its Arm-based, Fujitsu-built juggernaut: Fugaku. The system, which weighs in at 415.5 Linpack petaflops, topp Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Google Cloud Debuts 16-GPU Ampere A100 Instances

July 7, 2020

On the heels of the Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU launch in May, Google Cloud is announcing alpha availability of the A100 “Accelerator Optimized” VM A2 instance family on Google Compute Engine. The instances are powered by the HGX A100 16-GPU platform, which combines two HGX A100 8-GPU baseboards using... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DOD Orders Two AI-Focused Supercomputers from Liqid

August 24, 2020

The U.S. Department of Defense is making a big investment in data analytics and AI computing with the procurement of two HPC systems that will provide the High Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

Microsoft Azure Adds A100 GPU Instances for ‘Supercomputer-Class AI’ in the Cloud

August 19, 2020

Microsoft Azure continues to infuse its cloud platform with HPC- and AI-directed technologies. Today the cloud services purveyor announced a new virtual machine Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Japan’s Fugaku Tops Global Supercomputing Rankings

June 22, 2020

A new Top500 champ was unveiled today. Supercomputer Fugaku, the pride of Japan and the namesake of Mount Fuji, vaulted to the top of the 55th edition of the To Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Joliot-Curie Supercomputer Used to Build First Full, High-Fidelity Aircraft Engine Simulation

July 14, 2020

When industrial designers plan the design of a new element of a vehicle’s propulsion or exterior, they typically use fluid dynamics to optimize airflow and in Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Intel Speeds NAMD by 1.8x: Saves Xeon Processor Users Millions of Compute Hours

August 12, 2020

Potentially saving datacenters millions of CPU node hours, Intel and the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC) have collaborated to develop AVX-512 optimizations for the NAMD scalable molecular dynamics code. These optimizations will be incorporated into release 2.15 with patches available for earlier versions. Read more…

By Rob Farber

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