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WekaIO’s High-Performance File System Now Available on AWS Marketplace

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 07:33

SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 27, 2017 — WekaIO, a leader in high performance, scalable file storage for data intensive applications, announced the latest version of its cloud-based scalable file system, WekaIO Version 3.1, which delivers an enterprise-class, feature-rich, high-performance file system for compute-intensive applications and technical compute workloads. The new snapshot functionality in Matrix Version 3.1 is designed to help users fully realize the promise of the cloud with a single vendor solution to provide remote backup to Amazon S3, provision resources for cloud bursting workflows or utilize a Pause/Resume feature to underpin a hybrid cloud strategy for cost-effective data archiving.

With Amazon S3, Matrix Version 3.1 supports cloud bursting, allowing users with on-premises compute clusters to elastically grow their environment in response to peak workload periods, or move their entire high performance workloads to the cloud. The snapshot to the Amazon S3 functionality simplifies periodic backup, delivering a single-vendor backup solution, whereby an entire file system and its data can be backed up on Amazon S3, without the need to purchase additional backup tools. The remote cloud copy can be automatically updated as frequently as desired, without impacting application performance. It also can serve as an easy way to perform a “fire-drill” audit of the backup by simply rehydrating the file system on Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a test copy.

“There continues to be a strong trend within IT and research organizations to adopt a cloud strategy to accommodate the demands of high-performance applications,” said Sabina Joseph, Head of Global Storage Partnerships & Alliances at Amazon Web Services, Inc. “WekaIO has already demonstrated that high performance workloads can achieve outstanding performance on AWS through its SPEC SFS 2014 results. Leveraging AWS, customers can now benefit from a solution developed specifically to scale their businesses, making it easier to move high-performance applications to the cloud.”

WekaIO is fully self-service and provisionable on most Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances with locally attached SSDs, and is ideal for analytics, genomics and HPC customers looking for a feature-rich, high-performance file system for their compute intensive applications running on AWS. The software can be automatically provisioned as a hyperconverged solution where applications and storage share the same instances, or as dedicated storage servers that connect other lower cost Amazon EC2 instances without local SSD storage.

Matrix Version 3.1 with snapshot to Amazon S3 functionality incorporates a Pause/Resume feature that is an ideal cost-effective cloud bursting and data archive strategy. Users may run Matrix Version 3.1 on Amazon EC2 instances for high application performance, stop instances, and pay only for cost-effective Amazon S3 storage, then resume future computations by re-spinning the Amazon EC2 instances.

“Using WekaIO Matrix Version 3.1 in conjunction with AWS allows enterprises to develop a true utility compute and storage model,” said Omri Palmon, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at WekaIO. “The combined solution is designed to deliver extreme performance, high bandwidth and cloud scalability while delivering significant cost savings in CAPEX and OPEX.”

WekaIO will be demonstrating Matrix Version 3.1 at Booth #507 at AWS re:Invent 2017 in Las Vegas on Nov 27-Dec 1.

Get started by using WekaIO’s cluster planning calculator.


WekaIO Version 3.1 is available now on AWS Marketplace and through select resellers.

About WekaIO

WekaIO leapfrogs legacy infrastructures and improves IT agility by delivering faster access to data with software-centric data storage solutions that accelerates application performance and unlocks the true promise of the cloud. WekaIO Matrix software is ideally suited for performance intensive workloads such as Web 2.0 application serving, financial modeling, life sciences research, media rendering, Big Data analytics, log management and government or university research. For more information, visit www.weka.io, email us at sales@weka.io, or watch our latest video here.

Source: WekaIO

The post WekaIO’s High-Performance File System Now Available on AWS Marketplace appeared first on HPCwire.

How you can Boost Acceleration with OpenCAPI, Today!

Mon, 11/27/2017 - 01:01

The challenges in silicon scaling and the demands of today’s data-intensive Artificial Intelligence (AI), High Performance Computing (HPC), and analytics workloads are forcing rapid growth in deployment of accelerated computing in our industry.  In addition, the next several years will see a new wave of disruptive memory technologies that will transform the economics of large memory deployments in support of these applications.  But this new wave of accelerators and disruptive technologies won’t add much value if the platform they’re running on wasn’t designed to unleash their potential.

OpenCAPI was developed to fuel this heterogeneous computing revolution by unleashing the potential of these new technologies!  New trends are emerging as accelerators become more commonplace and workloads are being re-written or developed from scratch with acceleration in mind.  Accelerators need improved access to the capacity and low cost per Gigabyte of system memory without the inefficiency of the IO subsystem; OpenCAPI achieves this by providing very high bandwidth with coherency.  The portion of the application running on the accelerator often requires fine-grained interaction with the portion of the application running on the CPU.  The programming complexity and CPU overhead required to communicate with a traditional I/O-attached accelerator makes this impractical, but OpenCAPI places the accelerator natively into the application’s user space to bring about this fine-grained interaction.  These trends led to the development of the OpenCAPI architecture.

To facilitate broad adoption, OpenCAPI was architected to minimize the amount and complexity of circuitry required in an accelerator. In the case of an FPGA, less than five percent of the logic is consumed. Placing the complexity in the CPU instead of the accelerator also allows OpenCAPI to be supportable across all CPU architectures.  Programing with OpenCAPI was also made easier with virtual addressing.  The OpenCAPI architecture also enables a heterogeneous data center environment by enabling not only accelerators but also coherent network controllers, and coherent storage controllers.  In addition, OpenCAPI enables both advanced memory with a wide range of access semantics from load/store to user-mode data transfer models, and access to classic DRAM memory with extremely low latencies.

With products launching now, OpenCAPI is becoming the open standard interface for high performance acceleration today.  As seen at SC17 in the OpenCAPI Consortium and development partners’ booths, there are a wide variety of OpenCAPI based products ranging from systems to components and additional hardware is being tested today in various laboratories.

Join a team that is driving to make a difference in our industry today!  Start by visiting the OpenCAPI Consortium website at www.opencapi.org to learn more including information about membership.  You can also download the protocol specifications after a simple registration process.  Visit the website or stop by the OpenCAPI Consortium booth #1587 at SC17 for more details.  The OpenCAPI Consortium is an open standards forum that is home to the OpenCAPI specifications, enablement, and has operating work groups including the TL and DL protocols, PHY, enablement, and more.  There are now over 30 members of which many are engaged in product development that leverages OpenCAPI technology.

Development Partner Quotes and Blog Links

Companies that are making a difference today include the following:

Mellanox Technologies recently announced the Innova-2 FPGA-based Programmable Adapter, an OpenCAPI based solution which will result in delivering innovative platforms for high-performance computing and deep learning applications.  “We are happy to demonstrate our Innova-2 FPGA-based programmable adapter supporting the OpenCAPI interface at the supercomputing conference 2017,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. “The deep collaborations among the OpenCAPI consortium members enables Mellanox to introduce OpenCAPI based solutions to the market in a short time, which will result in delivering innovative platforms for high-performance computing and deep learning applications.” SC17 booth #653.

Molex Electronic Solutions showcased at SC17 the Flash Storage Accelerator (FSA) development platform which supports OpenCAPI natively and brings hyper converged accelerated storage to Google’s/Rackspace’s Zaius/Barreleye-G2 POWER9 OCP Platform.  “FSA is designed to natively support the benefits of OpenCAPI by providing the lowest possible latency and highest bandwidth to NVMe Storage with the added benefits of OpenCAPI Flash functionality and near storage FPGA acceleration,” said Allan Cantle, founder of Nallatech which was recently purchased by Molex.  “HPDA applications such as Graph Analytics, In-Memory Databases and Bioinformatics are expected to benefit greatly from this platform.” SC17 booth #1263.

Alpha Data Inc. offers OpenCAPI enabled FPGA accelerator boards, featuring Xilinx UltraScale+ FPGAs on POWER9 for high-performance, compute intensive cognitive workloads. “Alpha Data’s Xilinx® FPGA based boards provide the highest performance per watt, lowest latency and simple programming methods for heterogeneous processing systems using POWER architecture,” said Adam Smith, Director of Marketing.  SC17 booth #1838.

Xilinx, Inc. is the leading accelerator platform for OpenCAPI enabled All-Programmable FPGAs, SoCs, and 3DICs.  “Xilinx is pleased to be the accelerator of choice furthering the adoption of the OpenCAPI interface which enables new datacenter and high performance computing workloads,” said Ivo Bolsens, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Xilinx. SC17 booth #681.

Amphenol Corporation announced their OpenCAPI FPGA Loop Back cable and OpenCAPI cable.  These enable testing and OpenCAPI accelerators to be connected to standard PCIe while signaling to the host processor through sockets attached to the main system board.  “We are excited to work on OpenCAPI solutions by leveraging our interconnect technology for improved signal integrity and increased bandwidth,” said Greg McSorley, Business Development Manager.

IBM rolled out the CORAL Program at SC17, demonstrating how acceleration is being leveraged by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Summit supercomputer. Coral is equipped with the POWER9 based AC922 system and NVIDIA’s newest Volta-based Tesla GPU accelerator.  “This system will be one of the fastest supercomputers in the world when fully operational next year,” said Brad McCredie, Vice President and IBM Fellow, Cognitive Systems Development. “It will push the frontiers of scientific computing, modeling and simulation.” SC17 booth #1525.

Western Digital is tracking OpenCAPI standards development while exploring OpenCAPI prototype memory and accelerator devices to standardize the process for key storage, memory and accelerator interfaces.  “OpenCAPI standardizes high speed serial, low latency interconnect for memory devices and accelerator devices, the key enablement technologies for new data center workloads focused on machine learning and artificial intelligence,” said Zvonimir Bandic, Sr. Director, Next Generation Platform Technologies, Western Digital.  SC17 booth #643.

Micron is working to unlock the next generation of memory technology with the development of new interface standards such as OpenCAPI in their current and future products. “Unlocking next generations of acceleration and machine learning will require the development of new interface standards such as OpenCAPI,” said Jon Carter, VP-Emerging Memory, Business Development.  “Micron continues to support these standards-setting activities to develop differentiated platforms that leverage Micron’s current and future products.” SC17 booth #1963.

Rackspace is at center stage in the OpenCAPI ecosystem, working with Google to make its two socket POWER9 server, Zaius/Barreleye G2, an appealing development platform for accelerators in the Open Compute community. “The OpenCAPI accelerator and software ecosystem is growing rapidly” said Adi Gangidi, Senior Design Engineer with Rackspace. “With design, manufacturing and firmware collateral available via the Open Compute website, accelerator developers find it easy to design and test their solutions on our platform.”

Tektronix offers test solutions that are applicable to OpenCAPI’s physical layer standards capable of testing at 25Gbps and beyond.  Tektronix offers best-in-class solutions for receiver and transmitter characterization, automation, and debug supporting data rates through 32Gb/s.  “We are excited to be a Contributing Member of the OpenCAPI Consortium,” said Joe Allen, Market Segment Lead at Tektronix.  “Tektronix provides unique tools that are widely used within the Data Center and are scalable for OpenCAPI and we look forward to deliver comprehensive test and characterization solutions in this emerging market.”

Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corp. is working on custom silicon design platforms that enable users to rapidly develop and deploy OpenCAPI based accelerator solutions in the computing, storage and networking space. “We are excited about the tremendous interest in custom silicon for machine learning and AI accelerators,” said Yukihiro Urakawa, Vice President, Logic LSI Division. “By offering pre-verified OpenCAPI sub-system IP in our custom silicon portfolio, we look forward to seeing very high performance, power optimized accelerators that take full advantage of the OpenCAPI interface.”

Wistron unveiled their POWER9 system design at SC17 that incorporated OpenCAPI technology through the 25Gbps high speed links.  “In order to provide the best backend architecture in AI, Big Data, and Cloud applications, Wistron POWER9 system design incorporates OpenCAPI technology through 25Gbps high speed link to dramatically change the traditional data transition method. This design not only improves GPU performance, but also utilizes next generation advanced memory, coherent network, storage, and FPGA. This is an ideal system infrastructure to meet next decade computing world challenges,” said Donald Hwang, Chief Technology Officer and President of EBG at Wistron Corporation.

Inventec introduced and demonstrated the Lan Yang system based on the Open Compute Project (OCP) platform.  “Two POWER9 processors and state of the art bus technology including OpenCAPI and PCIe Gen4 provides the basis for the most advanced technologies for 48V Open Power solutions,” said Lynn Chiu of Inventec.  “We took in one step further and added AST2500 for smart management and OCP Mezz 2.0 slots for expansion and heterogeneous infrastructure to support dedicated customer’s requirement for data center applications.”

The post How you can Boost Acceleration with OpenCAPI, Today! appeared first on HPCwire.

SC17 US Student Cluster Competition Teams: Defending the Home Turf

Fri, 11/24/2017 - 16:54

Nine US universities showed up to the SC17 Student Cluster Competition in an attempt to keep the trophies in the United States. Let’s use our video lens to get to know them a bit better….

Georgia Tech is a newbie team composed of budding computer scientists and other tech types. They’ve dubbed themselves “Team Swarm” in a nod to their school mascot, the yellow jacket. They’re mostly juniors and seniors, with the exception of one 5th year senior who took a redshirt year in order to, assumedly, gain some more experience.

The team seems to be adjusting to the competition fairly well, but is facing some of the usual problems. The Yellow Jacket configuration isn’t quite what they need in order to compete in the upper echelon, but they’re moving ahead with determination. Check out the video for more details.

On another note, their team song still sucks….and it got stuck in my head again when they mentioned it.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a second time competitor at the big SC17 cluster dance. This team has some great experience, one member actually works on Blue Waters, and the others (with one exception) are seniors who are just about ready to graduate into the world of professional clustering.

The team feels pretty good about their performance, although they concede that they won’t have the highest benchmark scores. They’re happy that they put their best foot forward and feel that they got the most out of their box.

They also have been working on training their next team, with nine other members on the way to cluster stardom next year. What’s really gratifying about this team is that they all seem like they’re committed to careers in HPC, which is fantastic. We definitely need new blood in this industry and these kids are supplying it – hmm….that didn’t come out exactly like I hoped, but you get my point, right?

Northeastern University had to sit through two of my inane interviews because I screwed up the first one. Needless to say, they’re a patient bunch of students. Things have been going pretty smoothly with the NEU team, but they did do a last minute hardware change.

They were originally decked out with Radeon MI25 GPUs, which are pretty good at single-precision computation and great at machine learning. However, all of the benchmarks and applications at SC17 require double-precision. I did have an idea for the team, as you’ll see on the video. My idea? Run the apps in single precision but do them twice. The team wasn’t very impressed with my shortcut.

They ended up swapping their Radeon GPUs for four NVIDIA P100s, which was quite the last minute fire drill. Team Boston provided the NVIDIA cards out of their hardware stash. Nice job, Team Boston, way to help out another team.

San Diego State University/SW Oklahoma State University is another combination team that is competing together for the first time. When we catch up with the team in the video, they’re doing ok….but not great.

They’ve having a problem getting MrBays running on their GPUs, but they’re trying various work arounds to see if they can get it to work. In the meantime, they’re running the application on their CPU, although they’re pretty sure they won’t get close to finishing if they don’t get it running on GPUs.

The team had originally figured they’d be able to run a Power 8 based head node, storage node, and a couple of compute nodes. However, there’s no way that amount of hardware will run under the 3,000 watt power cap. So the team had to slim down their cluster considerably, as they discuss in the video.

William Henry Harrison High School is the first high school only team to compete at any major Student Cluster Competition. Who would have figured that we’d get to a place where a high school can compete credibly against university cluster teams? But WHHHS is doing just that, holding their own against older students who have much more experience and expertise.

When we got our cameras to their booth, the team is feeling good about their progress. They had just completed MrBayes and were driving on. The team was currently having a few problems with the Reproducibility task and MPAS, but felt confident that they would overcome the challenges.

One bad note was that the team wasn’t able to submit a HPCG score due to some unnamed problem. That’s not a good thing, but it’s not an unrecoverable error, they still have time and apps to make up for the shortfall on HPCG.

The Chicago Fusion Team is composed of students from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Maine South High School, and Adlai Stevenson High School. We couldn’t find the time to film a video introduction due to both of our busy schedules. However, this is a team that looks like a pretty solid competitor and has had very few problems as near as I can tell. We’ll see how they look when the benchmarks and apps are scored – that’ll tell the tale.

Team Boston is a frequent competitor in the Student Cluster Competitions. As usual, the Big Man, Evan DeNato (or is it DeNado?) is at the helm, leading the team as usual.

When we catch up with Team Chowder, they’re looking at their cloud budget and figuring out how to apportion it for the Born application. Boston is doing well on MrBayes and doesn’t seem to see any problems ahead of them.

In the video, we talk about various ways to present data (my favorite: spider chart). The team is also working on the mystery application (MPAS). In talking to them, we discover their HPL (LINPACK) benchmark would have been a record breaking score just a year ago, but this year? No such luck.

Team Texas is comprised of students from University of Texas, Austin, and Texas State University. The team had just undergone the second of two (planned) power outages and was hard at work bringing up their cluster to complete the competition.

The team feels that their strongest application so far has been MPASS, the mystery application.

One of the students was all dressed up, having attended the job fair earlier in the day. He looks like a great candidate with a great attitude. I promised to post his resume in this video, but forgot. You can find his name in the video, if you have a position open and are looking for a motivated and knowledgeable employee with a great attitude.

Something a student said triggered me, and I went into my IEEE FP rant (it’s the shame of the computer industry) towards the end of the video and almost lose control when a student disagrees with me. But I manage to keep my rage bottled up so we could all part as friends.

Team Utah is looking to build upon their second place finish at SC16 last year. The newbie team burst onto the scene in a home court battle that saw them top all competitors but one. Can they do it again?

When our lenses catch up to them during SC17, the team seems calm and composed. They had a few problems setting up Born, but it’s running smoothly in the cloud at the time of the video. During the video, I discuss some personal GPU-enabling business with their HPL expert; I might be putting him to work at a later date.

The Utes have a couple of new faces, but the rest of the team competed at SC16 and are at least somewhat used to the pressure. I dangle the prospect of dropping out of college to participate in the underground cluster competitions that still exist in out of the way locales. The team wasn’t buying it and figured they’d stay in school.

If you missed any of the other “Meet the Teams” features, you can find the European teams here, and the Asian team here.

Now that we’ve given the teams their fifteen minutes of video fame (more like 5 minutes, but who’s counting?), it’s time to see how they finished. In our next article, we’ll be exhaustively going over the results to see who won and how they won. Stay tuned……

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Long Flights to Cluster Fights: Meet the Asian Student Cluster Teams

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 18:36

Five teams from Asia traveled thousands of miles to compete at the SC17 Student Cluster Competition in Denver. Our cameras were there to meet ‘em, greet ‘em, and grill ‘em about their clusters and how they’re doing in the competition so far….


Team Nanyang got some great news on the second day of the competition:  They’d won the LINPACK Award and established a new Student Cluster Competition record score of 51.77 TFlop/s. This is way higher than the former record of 37.05 TFlop/s established just a few months before at ISC17.

In the video, we talk about how Nanyang has been steadily improving their cluster competition performance. We also discuss how they pulled off that great LINPACK score (hint:  it has something to do with fans).

Team NTHU (Taiwan) is all smiles as we film their introductory video. We did a full intro of the team and found out  how they’re dividing up the work. They don’t seem to be having any problems with the applications, their system is running fine, and all is good.

NTHU has a heralded history in the SC cluster competition. They participated in the very first student cluster competition way back in 2007, taking home the LINPACK award. Team Taiwan also nabbed a couple of Overall Championship trophies back in 2010 and 2011. Although they haven’t been in the winner’s circle lately, they have to be considered one of the elite teams and a contender for the championship.

University of Peking is competing in their second SC Student Cluster Competition. Team Peking turned in a solid performance in 2016, but is looking to do a whole lot better this year. In talking to the team, they were pleasantly surprised at the strength of their benchmark scores, as their system performed over spec.

The team is sporting 10 NVIDIA V100 accelerators on a single node configuration. Single-node? Huh? What’s the deal with that? How does a single-node system qualify as a cluster? Well, the team has answers for these questions, but you’ll have to watch the video to see it.

Tsinghua University is living in a pressure cooker. If they win the SC17 contest, they’ll be only the second team in history to earn the triple crown of student clustering, winning all three major tournaments (ASC, ISC, and SC) in a single year. The first team to accomplish this feat was another Tsinghua team back in 2015.

As you can see in the video, this is a seasoned and confident team. They’re not running their whole eight node cluster, having decided to run only five nodes (with ten NVIDIA V100 GPUs).

Team Tsinghua sees Born as the most difficult application, with 1,136 ‘shots’ that have to be completed in order to win the task. In a typical Tsinghua move, they ported Born over to their GPUs, then optimized the bejesus out of it to bring the run time for each shot down to minutes rather than hours.

Next up, we’ll take a look at the US based teams participating in the SC17 Student Cluster Competition. Stay tuned for more….

The post Long Flights to Cluster Fights: Meet the Asian Student Cluster Teams appeared first on HPCwire.

Japan Unveils Quantum Neural Network

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 15:53

The U.S. and China are leading the race toward productive quantum computing, but it’s early enough that ultimate leadership is still something of an open question. The latest geo-region to throw its hat in the quantum computing ring is Japan. The nation will begin offering public access to a prototype quantum device over the internet for free starting Nov. 27 at https://qnncloud.com.

As reported by Japanese news outlets this week, Tokyo-based NTT along with the National Institute of Informatics and the University of Tokyo are working on a quantum computing device that exploits the properties of light. Backed with state investment, the quantum neural network (QNN) prototype is reported to be capable of prolonged operation at room temperature. The system consists of a 1km long optical fiber loop, a special optical amplifier called a PSA, and an FPGA. (See video below for a detailed explanation of how it all works.)

Source: NTT (YouTube)

The implementation, a type of Ising machine, is a departure from superconducting quantum efforts which require exotic and expensive cooling apparatus. NTT’s prototype draws just 1kW, close to an ordinary household appliance.

Unlike efforts from Google and IBM, this won’t be a universal quantum computer. The goal of the QNN is to find solutions to combinatorial optimization problems thousands of times faster than classical computers are able to (this is what Ising machines are theorized to excel at). Potential real-world use cases include easing traffic congestion, optimizing smart phone communications, and drug discovery. Project stakeholders are aiming to commercialize the system by March 2020 and are seeking participation from the community for testing and software development purposes.

“We will seek to further improve the prototype so that the quantum computer can tackle problems with near-infinite combinations that are difficult to solve, even by modern computers at high speed,” said project head Stanford University Professor Emeritus Yoshihisa Yamamoto.

Japan has quietly been building its quantum research portfolio and will kick off a ten-year, 30 billion yen ($267 million) quantum research program in April 2018.

For further background, see the Oct. 2016, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) announcement here: http://www.jst.go.jp/pr/announce/20161021/index.html

The Japanese news portal Nikkei has photos of the unveiling here.

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Oakforest-PACS Ranks Number One on IO-500

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 15:00

Nov. 22 — The Joint Center for Advanced High Performance Computing (JCAHPC) announced that the storage performance of the Oakforest-PACS supercomputer has ranked #1 in the first IO-500 list released in November 2017. The IO-500 is a world ranking list of storage performance, which is evaluated by the IO-500 benchmark that measures the storage performance using read/write bandwidth for large files and read/write/listing performance for small files. Storage performance in supercomputers is critical for large-scale simulation, big data analysis, and artificial intelligence. The IO-500 list facilitates to improve the storage performance that greatly helps to improve the CPU performance.

A storage system of the Oakforest-PACS supercomputer comprises a parallel file system (DataDirect Networks ES14KX) and a file cache system (Infinite Memory Engine). The file cache system is introduced to improve the storage performance. The IO-500 benchmark for the file cache system achieves 742 GiB/s[1] for file per process write access that parallel processes access their own file, and 600 GiB/s for single shared file write access that parallel processes access a single shared file but a different position, which is typical access patterns in high performance computing.

Supporting Resources

More on the Joint Center for Advanced High Performance Computing (JCAHPC) –

More on the Information Technology Center, the University of Tokyo –

More on the Center for Computational Sciences, the University of Tsukuba –

More on IO-500 benchmark and list – http://io500.org/


JCAHPC is a world-leading supercomputer center jointly established by the Information Technology Center at the University of Tokyo and the Center for Computational Sciences at the University of Tsukuba. It operates the Oakforest-PACS supercomputer built by Fujitsu to rapidly promote research and development in science and technology since December 2016. The Oakforest-PACS supercomputer is provided as a shared resource for computational science research under programs of the High Performance Computing Infrastructure (HPCI) and each university. The Information Technology Center at the University of Tokyo and the Center for Computational Sciences at the University of Tsukuba contribute further progress of computational sciences, big data analysis and artificial intelligence by operating the Oakforest-PACS supercomputer.

[1] GiB/s – the unit of file access performance, which accesses 1 GiByte data per second. 1 GiByte  is 10243 Byte that means 1,073,741,824 Byte.

Source: JCAHPC

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Argonne Appoints Chief of Staff Megan Clifford

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 14:44

Nov. 22 — Megan Clifford has been named Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

Megan C. Clifford

Clifford joined Argonne in November 2013 as the Director of Strategy and Innovation for the Global Security Sciences division (GSS). She has developed and executed strategies and programs with multi-disciplinary and cross-institutional teams to address a range of energy and global security challenges. Clifford previously held a senior executive position at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, D.C., where she served on the leadership team responsible for growth and performance of the firm’s $790 million Justice and Homeland Security business.

Clifford will serve as an advisor to Laboratory Director Paul Kearns, helping him to maintain and grow the laboratory’s vital stakeholder relationships. Clifford’s strong leadership, sponsor engagement, business acumen and program development experience, along with her strategic background are assets that position her to enable growth and achievement of the Argonne mission.

Clifford assumes the Chief of Staff role from Eleanor Taylor, who becomes Director of Board Relations for the University of Chicago on Dec. 4.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.

Source: Argonne National Laboratory

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David Womble Named ORNL AI Program Director

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 14:25

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 21, 2017—The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has hired high-performance computing leader David Womble to direct its artificial intelligence (AI) efforts.

Womble began as AI Program Director on October 30. His responsibilities include guiding ORNL’s AI and machine learning strategy for high-performance computing (HPC); ensuring broad scientific impacts to the Department of Energy Office of Science mission; and long-range program planning and project leadership.

David Womble

In more than three decades in computing Womble has won two R&D100 awards and the Association for Computing Machinery’s Gordon Bell Prize, awarded each year “to recognize outstanding achievement in high-performance computing.”

Prior to joining ORNL Womble spent 30 years at Sandia National Laboratories, where he served as a senior manager and Program Deputy for Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC). The ASC program is responsible for developing and deploying modeling and simulation capabilities, including hardware and software, in support of Sandia’s nuclear weapons program.

During his tenure at Sandia, Womble made numerous contributions across the computing spectrum including in HPC, numerical mathematics, linear solvers, scalable algorithms, and I/O. He established the Computer Science Research Institute and led Sandia’s seismic imaging project in DOE’s Advanced Computational Technologies Initiative.

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning represent the next generation in data analytics and have tremendous potential in science and engineering and commercial applications,” Womble said. “I am excited to be part of ORNL’s world-class research team and look forward to spearheading the development and application of the laboratory’s new AI capabilities.”

ORNL currently boasts two R&D 100 awards and 10 patents related to its AI research, and the addition of Womble is one of several moves by the laboratory to build on that foundation to help shape the AI state of the art and apply it to problems of national and international importance.

The laboratory, which is currently home to Titan, the nation’s most powerful computer for science, will soon launch Summit, which thanks to its combination of IBM POWER9 CPUs and NVIDIA Volta graphics processing units (GPUs) is being billed as the world’s “smartest,” or AI-ready, HPC system. ORNL’s partnership with NVIDIA has also resulted in a series of Deep Learning workshops aimed at assisting the laboratory’s researchers in harnessing the power of deep learning to rapidly accelerate breakthroughs across the scientific spectrum. And the laboratory has recently partnered with the University of Tennessee’s Bredesen Center on a joint Data Science and Engineering Ph.D. program aimed at bringing an expanded data expertise to some of DOE’s most pressing problems.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit http://science.energy.gov/.

Source: ORNL

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Perspective: What Really Happened at SC17?

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 14:05

SC is over. Now comes the myriad of follow-ups. Inboxes are filled with templated emails from vendors and other exhibitors hoping to win a place in the post-SC thinking of booth visitors. Attendees of tutorials, workshops and other technical sessions will be inundated with requests for feedback (please do provide feedback – this really helps the presenters and the SC committees). Mr Smarty-pants will have already sent all their personal post-SC emails to those who warranted specific feedback, following up on conversations in Denver while they are fresh in the minds of both parties. Ms Clever-clogs reasons that anything sent to US people before Thanksgiving will be ignored and so smugly holds back on follow-up emails until the first week of December.

The post-SC follow-ups are not limited to emails – HPC media and bloggers rush to assert their summaries of a week that is far too packed and varied to be fairly summarized. I’m no different and HPCwire has kindly agreed to publish my personal wrap-up of SC17.

Processor Wars

It got real.

Anticipated, hoped-for, hyped, and foretold for some time now, SC17 is when the competition undeniably broke free in the HPC processor space. There are now several very credible processor options for HPC systems – either available now, or baked into the roadmaps of HPC vendors for upcoming systems. Intel’s Skylake and its successors remain a strong option, GPUs (especially Nvidia) offer distinct advantages in some cases, while IBM’s Power9 and AMD’s EPYC are ready alternatives actively being considered by HPC buyers now. But it was the ARM family – notably Qualcomm and Cavium – that stole the show in terms of mindshare. The first benchmarks of Cavium’s ThunderX2, or TX2 as it became nicknamed, showed it competing well with the market leader Intel on benchmark performance. One set of benchmark charts from the GW4 Alliance was referred to several times a day across diverse meetings. EPYC and Power9 are also reputed to compete well on benchmarks. When taking pricing into account, the genuine choices for HPC processors look more open than for several years. Results from our (NAG’s) impartial HPC technology evaluation consulting for various customers support these conclusions. It will be interesting to see how this emerges into deployment reality as HPC procurements take place over the next few months.

It’s Official

Talking of processors, the rumors around the abandonment of Intel’s Knights Hill processor that have been circulating for a while were confirmed as true by Intel. (It seems to still be a secret how long those rumors have been running and the precise timing of Intel’s decisions.) However, Intel confirmed in various public statements that they still have roadmaps and plans for processors to support exascale supercomputers in the first year or two of the next decade. I’m constrained by confidentiality here, so I won’t say much more. Only that Intel’s sharing of long term roadmaps under strict NDA are very useful to those who get them, and we all understand that those roadmaps – and indeed all roadmaps – are subject to change. When helping our customers plan for large future HPC deployments, best guesses that might change are still much better than those vendors who are reluctant to share anything useful “because it might change”.

It’s Not Official

It has long been true that some of the most valuable parts of the SC week are actually those away from the official program. Vendor events on the first weekend (e.g., Intel DevCon, HPE HP-CAST, and more) have become staple parts of the SC week for some. The endless round of NDA vendor briefings in the hotels and restaurants near the convention center fill substantial portions of schedules for many of us at each SC. The networking receptions, evening and daytime, are essential to find out what is going on in the HPC world, to exchange ideas with peers, to unearth new solutions, and to spark collaborations. Sadly, the clashes of these many off-program events with valuable parts of the official program (e.g., workshops and tutorials) are getting harder to navigate. Simply put, the SC phenomena has such a richness of opportunities, it is fundamentally impossible to participate in all of it.

Airline Points

Probably the second most popular topic of conversation in Denver was not actually HPC technology. I lost track of the number of conversations I was party to or overheard on the topic of travel. Airline and hotel points, “status”, misconnects, travel war stories (I don’t just mean United vs its passengers), and so on. Some of you will know I am personally a bit of a geek on the details of a range of airline and hotel “loyalty” programs and how to get the best out of them. At first this might seem a trivial topic for a supercomputing conference wrap-up, but I mention it because it actually highlights a critical aspect of HPC. The HPC community is a global one. Much of what we achieve in HPC is driven by multi-partner and international approaches. Some of it is (perceived) competition – the international race to exascale, economic competitiveness, etc. Much of the community aspect is collaboration – we deliver better when we work together on common issues – even across areas where there might be competitive undertones (e.g., early exascale capability). Conferences and workshops are a critical element in enabling the community’s diverse expertise and experience to drive the successful delivery and scientific impact of HPC. Plenty of travel thus becomes a natural indicator of the health of the HPC community.


Of course, the underlying reason we travel is to meet people. Ultimately, people are the most necessary and most differentiating component of any HPC capability. For this reason, when I do HPC strategy consulting, we look closely at the organizational and people planning aspects of the HPC services, as well as the technology elements. Thus, I was pleased to see the continued emphasis on the people aspects of SC. Explicit attention to diversity in the committees, presenters, and panels. A strong education and training program (including our three tutorials – HPC finance, HPC business cases, and HPC procurement). The student cluster competition. Mentoring programs. And more. The measure of success is surely when the SC community no longer feels the need for a dedicated Women-in-HPC agenda, nor a dedicated student program, etc., because those groups feel welcome and integral to all parts of the SC agenda. And, equally, the other side of the coin is when we have every part of the week’s activities enjoying a diverse participation. However, we are a long way from that end goal now and we need a clear plan to get there, which we can only achieve by keeping the issues prominent. NAG was delighted to support the Women-in-HPC networking reception at SC17 and I discussed this with several people there. I think the next step is to put in place actions to enable all individuals (whether they associate with the diversity issues, or are early career/student attendees, etc.) to be comfortable participating in the full breadth of the week’s activities, rather than focused into a subset of events.


Personally, I thought Denver was a great host city for SC and I look forward to returning in 2019. Next year SC18 is in Dallas – but don’t leave it that long to engage with your HPC community colleagues – there are plenty of excellent conferences and workshops before then. See you at one of the many HPC meetings in the coming months – and do reach out directly if I might be able to help with any free advice or mentoring.

Andrew Jones leads the international HPC consulting and services business at NAG. He is also active on twitter as @hpcnotes.

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NCSA Announces GECAT Funding of Two International Seed Projects

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 11:35

Nov. 22, 2017 — The Global Initiative to Enhance @scale and Distributed Computing and Analysis Technologies (GECAT) project, led by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)’s NSF-funded Blue Waters Project, which seeks to build connections across national borders as a way of improving a global cyberinfrastructure for scientific advancement, has announced the funding of two seed projects that connect researchers on different continents to high performance computing resources that would not otherwise be attainable.

The first, newly-funded project, “High-End Visualization of Coherent Structures and Turbulent Events in Wall-Bounded Flows with a Passive Scalar” is led by Guillermo Araya (University of Puerto Rico) in collaboration with Guillermo Marin and Fernando Cucchietti (both of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center) and focuses on creating time-dependent, three-dimensional flow visualizations. As with most visual simulations, the amount of data required is massive and nearly impossible to sift through without robust parallel computing infrastructure. The GECAT enables this visualization to be possible by connecting Dr. Araya from the University of Puerto Rico with one of Europe’s strongest HPC centers, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, in order to provide the parallel processes necessary to perform these intricate, data-intensive visualizations at a speed that would otherwise be impossible.

The second, a continuation of a previous GECAT pilot project titled “Performance Scalability and Portability on Advanced HPC Systems”, features William Tang (PI) of Princeton University in collaboration with James Lin (PI) of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), who seek to improve the way code (specifically, GTC-P code) is used on modern GPU/CPU systems. Deploying this code in systems like Pi, a supercomputer housed at SJTU or the National Center for Supercomputing Applications’ (NCSA) Blue Waters system, will in-turn allow researchers to explore the code’s utility on GPU/CPU systems, and find ways to make this and similar codes more scalable and portable. This collaboration, enabled by GECAT, could help researchers develop and share associated lessons learned to assist to better develop and deploy their applications codes on GPU/CPU systems such as PI at SJTU and Blue Waters at NCSA.


The Global Initiative to Enhance @scale and Distributed Computing and Analysis Technologies (GECAT) project is part of the National Science Foundation’s Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) program and is an extension of the NSF-funded Blue Waters project, which provides access to one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers and enables investigators to conduct breakthrough computational and big data research. GECAT is led by William Kramer, Blue Waters project director, and a research professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and John Towns, NCSA’s executive director for science and technology, is a co-principal investigator and will help connect GECAT to the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project.

This GECAT supports International Virtual Research Organizations (IVROs) that promote and enable efficient collaboration and cooperation of researchers and developers in multiple countries by seeding the development of new, innovative cyberinfrastructure features enabling international scientific collaboration for scientific advances. The project directly supports the participation of multiple U.S. participants (senior and junior faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students) in workshops, and to interact, communicate, and collaborate in small research and development “seed” projects with international partners from multiple countries in Europe and Asia. The GECAT budget allows for small awardsto US investigators initially for one year with possible extensions for additional years to be made for collaborative seed projects (travel, salary) who are attempting to create an IVRO. The funding is available to current XSEDE or Blue Waters users/PI’s.

Source: NCSA

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Turnaround Complete, HPE’s Whitman Departs

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 09:53

Having turned around the aircraft carrier the Silicon Valley icon had become, Meg Whitman is leaving the helm of a restructured Hewlett Packard. Her successor, technologist Antonio Neri will now guide what Whitman asserts is a more “nimble” company through the uncharted waters of unrelenting change and hyper-scale disruption.

Whitman, 61, announced Wednesday (Nov. 21) she is resigning as CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. She will remain on HPE’s board of directors. Neri will succeed Whitman early next year.

Meg Whitman

Given Whitman’s recent acknowledgement of interest in heading the ride-sharing outfit Uber, her departure is abrupt but not unexpected.

Acknowledging her abiding interest in “disruptive” startups going back to her days at eBay, Whitman said in September that the timing of the Uber search was off and “in the end that wasn’t the right thing.” (By contrast, Whitman’s timing was perfect: Uber this week admitted it concealed a massive hack exposing the personal data of 57 million riders and drivers.)

“I have dedicated the last six years of my life to this company and there is more work to do and I am here to help make this company successful and I am excited about the new strategy. So, lots more work to do and I actually am not going anywhere,” she said in response to a query from Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein.

In fact, Whitman was contemplating her departure.

As HPE struggles to make the move from traditional IT hardware manufacturer to a provider of hybrid IT such as software-defined datacenters, edge computing and networking equipment (e.g., Internet of Things), Whitman asserted Tuesday, “The next CEO of this company needs to be a deeper technologist, and that’s exactly what Antonio is.” Neri, who currently serves as HPE’s president, will become CEO on Feb. 1.

Antonio Neri

Whitman’s accomplishment was reorienting a conglomerate that was only getting bigger through disastrous moves like its 2011 acquisition U.K. software vendor Autonomy. The result of Whitman’s financial reorganization is a stable IT vendor capable of competing against rivals like Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) that are facing the same competitive pressures.

Whitman took credit this week for making HPE “far more nimble, far more agile.”

Neri, an engineer by training, has been with Hewlett Packard for 22 years. “Antonio is going to lead the next phase of value creation,” Whitman asserted during a conference call with analysts.

Neri has lately assumed a higher profile in spearheading acquisitions and cloud collaborations. For example, he announced a partnership with Rackspace earlier this month to offer an OpenStack private cloud service running on “pay-per-use” infrastructure.

Meanwhile, company watchers reckoned HPE had a decent fourth quarter, expanding at a 5-percent clip. All-flash arrays were up 16 percent and networking equipment sales rose a healthy 21 percent over the same period last year. Server sales continued their steady decline, down 5 percent year-on-year. “HPE has gotten lean and mean and now the company needs to drive growth. This is what everyone is looking for,” noted technology analyst Patrick Moorhead.

HPE’s stock (NYSE: HPE) dropped more than one percent in reaction to Whitman’s departure.

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Inspur Wins Contract for NVLink V100 Based Petascale AI Supercomputer from CCNU

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 08:42

DENVER, Nov. 22, 2017 — On November 16 (US Mountain Time), Inspur announced the news in SC17 that Inspur has been awarded a contract to design and build a Petascale AI Supercomputer based on “NVLink + Volta” for Central China Normal University(CCNU), part of the university’s ongoing research efforts in frontier physics and autonomous driving AI research.

The supercomputer will configure 18 sets of Inspur AGX-2 servers as computing nodes, 144 pieces of the latest Nvidia Volta architecture V100 chips that support NvLink 2.0, and the latest Intel Xeon SP (Skylake) processor. It will run Inspur ClusterEngine, AIStation and other cluster management suites, with high speed interconnection via Mellanox EDR Infiniband . The peak performance of the system will reach 1 PetaFlops. With NVLink2.0 and Tesla V100 GPU, the system will be able to simultaneously support both HPC and AI computing.

Inspur AGX-2 is the world’s first density AI Supercomputer, supporting 8 *NVIDIA® Volta® 100 GPUs with NVLink 2.0 enabled in a 2U form factor. It offers NVLink 2.0 for faster interlink connections between the GPUs with bi-section bandwidth of 300 GB/s. AGX-2 also features great I/O expansion capabilities, supporting 8x NVMe/SAS/SATA hot swap hard drives and up to 4 EDR InfiniBand HCAs. AGX-2 supports both air-cooling and on-chip liquid-cooling to optimize and improve power efficiency and performance.

AGX-2 can significantly improve the computing efficiency of HPC, with 60T double precision flops per server. For VASP software, used extensively in physics and material science, AGX-2’s performance with one P100 GPU equals 8 nodes 2-socket mainstream CPU computing clusters. The Nvlink provided by AGX-2 also features excellent performance in parallel efficiency of multiple GPU cards, with 4x P100 GPU cards in parallel reaching the performance of nearly 20 nodes 2-socket mainstream CPU computing clusters.

For AI computing, the Tesla V100 employed by AGX-2 is equipped with Tensor for deep learning, which will achieve 120 TFLOPS to greatly improve the training performance of deep learning frameworks with NVLink 2.0 enabled.  Based on the Imagenet dataset for deep learning training models, the AGX-2 shows excellent scalability. Configured with 8x V100, the AGX-2 delivers 1898 images/s, which is 7 times faster than a single card and 1.87 times than P100 with the familiar config, when GoogleNet model is trained with TensorFlow.

Central China Normal University plans to further upgrade the AI supercomputer to multi-Peta flops system.

About Inspur

Inspur is a leader in intelligent computing and ranked top four in worldwide server manufacturing. We provide cutting-edge hardware design and deliver extensive AI product solutions. Inspur provides customers with purpose-built servers and AI solutions that are Tier 1 in quality and energy efficiency. Inspur’s products are optimized for applications and workloads built for data center environments. To learn more, http://www.inspursystems.com.

Source: Inspur

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InfiniBand Accelerates the World’s Fastest Supercomputers

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 19:52

BEAVERTON, Ore., Nov. 21, 2017 — The InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA), a global organization dedicated to maintaining and furthering the InfiniBand specification, today highlighted the latest TOP500 List, which reports the world’s first and fourth fastest supercomputers are accelerated by InfiniBand. The results also show that InfiniBand continues to be the most used high-speed interconnect on the TOP500 List, reinforcing its status as the industry’s leading high performance interconnect technology. The updated list reflects continued demand for InfiniBand’s unparalleled combination of network bandwidth, low latency, scalability and efficiency.

InfiniBand connects 77 percent of the new High Performance Computing (HPC) systems added since the June 2017 list, eclipsing the 55 percent gain from the previous six month period. This upward trend indicates increasing InfiniBand usage by HPC system architects designing new clusters to solve larger, more complex issues. Additionally, InfiniBand is the preferred fabric of the leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Deep Learning systems currently featured on the list. As HPC demands continue to evolve, especially in the case of AI and Deep Learning applications, the industry can rely on InfiniBand to meet their rigorous network performance requirements and scalability needs.

The latest TOP500 List also featured positive developments for RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) technology. All 23 systems running Ethernet at 25Gb/s or higher are RoCE capable. We expect the number of RoCE enabled systems on the TOP500 List to rise as more systems look to take advantage of advanced high-speed Ethernet interconnects for further performance and efficiency gains.

“InfiniBand being the preferred interconnect for new HPC systems shows the increasing demand for the performance it can deliver.  Its place at #1 and #4 are excellent examples of that performance,” said Bill Lee, IBTA Marketing Working Group Co-Chair. “Besides of delivering world-leading performance and scalability, InfiniBand guarantees backward and forward compatibility, ensuring users highest return on investment and future proofing their data centers.”

The TOP500 List (www.top500.org) is published twice per year and ranks the top supercomputers worldwide based on the LINPACK benchmark rating system, providing valuable statistics for tracking trends in system performance and architecture.

About the InfiniBand Trade Association

The InfiniBand Trade Association was founded in 1999 and is chartered with maintaining and furthering the InfiniBand and the RoCE specifications. The IBTA is led by a distinguished steering committee that includes Broadcom, Cray, HPE, IBM, Intel, Mellanox Technologies, Microsoft, Oracle and QLogic. Other members of the IBTA represent leading enterprise IT vendors who are actively contributing to the advancement of the InfiniBand and RoCE specifications. The IBTA markets and promotes InfiniBand and RoCE from an industry perspective through online, marketing and public relations engagements, and unites the industry through IBTA-sponsored technical events and resources. For more information on the IBTA, visit www.infinibandta.org.

Source: InfiniBand Trade Association

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Five from ORNL Elected Fellows of American Association for the Advancement of Science

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 16:05

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 21, 2017 — Five researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

AAAS, the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals, honors fellows in recognition of “their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.”

Budhendra Bhaduri, leader of the Geographic Information Science and Technology group in the Computational Sciences and Engineering Division, was elected by the AAAS section on geology and geography for “distinguished contributions to geographic information science, especially for developing novel geocomputational approaches to create high resolution geographic data sets to improve human security.”

Bhaduri’s research focuses on novel implementation of geospatial science and technology, namely the integration of population dynamics, geographic data science and scalable geocomputation to address the modeling and simulation of complex urban systems at the intersection of energy, human dynamics and urban sustainability. He is also the director of ORNL’s Urban Dynamics Institute, a founding member of the DOE’s Geospatial Sciences Steering Committee and was named an ORNL corporate fellow in 2011.

Sheng Dai, leader of the Nanomaterials Chemistry group in the Chemical Sciences Division, was elected by the AAAS section on chemistry for “significant and sustained contribution in pioneering and developing soft template synthesis and ionothermal synthesis approaches to functional nanoporous materials for energy-related applications.”

Dai’s research group synthesizes and characterizes novel functional nanomaterials, ionic liquids and porous materials for applications in catalysis, efficient chemical separation processes and energy storage systems. He is the director of the Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures and Transport (FIRST) Center, a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center, and was named an ORNL corporate fellow in 2011.

Mitchel Doktycz, leader of the Biological and Nanoscale Systems Group in the Biosciences Division, was elected by the AAAS section on biological sciences for “distinguished contributions to the field of biological sciences, particularly advancing the use of nanotechnologies for characterizing and interfacing to biological systems.”

Doktycz is also a researcher at ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences and specializes in the development of analytical technologies for post-genomics studies, molecular and cellular imaging techniques and nanomaterials used to study and mimic biological systems. He holds a joint faculty appointment in the UT-ORNL Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education and the Genome Science and Technology Program at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Bobby G. Sumpter, deputy director of the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS), was elected by the AAAS section on physics for “distinguished contributions to the field of computational and theoretical chemical physics, particularly for developing a multifaceted approach having direct connections to experimental research in nanoscience and soft matter.”

Sumpter’s research combines modern computational capabilities with chemistry, physics and materials science for new innovations in soft matter science, nanomaterials and high-capacity energy storage. He is the leader of both the Computational Chemical and Materials Science Group in the Computational Sciences and Engineering Division and the Nanomaterials Theory Institute at CNMS, which is a DOE Office of Science User Facility. He was named an ORNL corporate fellow in 2013, is chair of the Corporate Fellows Council and holds a joint faculty appointment in the UT-ORNL Bredesen Center.

Robert Wagner, director of the National Transportation Research Center in the Energy and Transportation Science Division, was elected by the AAAS section on engineering for “distinguished contributions to the fields of combustion and fuel science, particularly for seminal research on combustion instabilities and abnormal combustion phenomena.”

Wagner is the lead of the Sustainable Mobility theme for ORNL’s Urban Dynamics Institute and the co-lead of the DOE’s Co-Optimization of Fuels and Engines Initiative, which brings together the unique research and development capabilities of nine national labs and industry partners to accelerate the introduction of efficient, clean, affordable and scalable high-performance fuels and engines. He also holds a joint faculty appointment in the UT-ORNL Bredesen Center and is a fellow of the Society of Automotive Engineers International and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The new fellows will be formally recognized in February at the 2018 AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit http://science.energy.gov/.

Source: ORNL

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HPE Announces Antonio Neri to Succeed Meg Whitman as CEO

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 15:51

PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 21, 2017 — Hewlett Packard Enterprise today announced that, effective February 1, 2018, Antonio Neri, current President of HPE, will become President and Chief Executive Officer, and will join the HPE Board of Directors.  Meg Whitman, current Chief Executive Officer, will remain on the HPE Board of Directors.

“I’m incredibly proud of all we’ve accomplished since I joined HP in 2011.  Today, Hewlett Packard moves forward as four industry-leading companies that are each well positioned to win in their respective markets,” said Meg Whitman, CEO of HPE. “Now is the right time for Antonio and a new generation of leaders to take the reins of HPE. I have tremendous confidence that they will continue to build a great company that will thrive well into the future.”

Meg Whitman was appointed President and CEO of HP in September 2011.  Since then, she has executed against a five-year turnaround strategy that has repositioned the company to better compete and win in today’s environment.  Under her leadership, the company rebuilt its balance sheet, reignited innovation, strengthened operations and improved customer and partner satisfaction.  It also made strategic moves to focus and strengthen its portfolio, most notably its separation from HP Inc., which was the largest corporate separation in history.  She also led the subsequent spin off and mergers of HPE’s Enterprise Services and Software businesses, as well as strategic acquisitions including Aruba, SGI, SimpliVity and Nimble Storage.

Under Whitman’s leadership, significant shareholder value has been created, including nearly $18 billion in share repurchases and dividends.  Since the birth of HPE on November 2, 2015, the company has delivered a total shareholder return of 89 percent, which is more than three times that of the S&P 500.

“During the past six years, Meg has worked tirelessly to bring stability, strength and resiliency back to an iconic company,” said Pat Russo, Chairman of HPE’s Board of Directors. “Antonio is an HPE veteran with a passion for the company’s customers, partners, employees and culture. He has worked at Meg’s side and is the right person to deliver on the vision the company has laid out.”

Neri, 50, joined HP in 1995 as a customer service engineer in the EMEA call center.  He went on to hold various roles in HP’s Printing business and then to run customer service for HP’s Personal Systems unit.  In 2011, Neri began running the company’s Technology Services business, then its Server and Networking business units, before running all of Enterprise Group beginning in 2015.  As the leader for HPE’s largest business segment, comprising server, storage, networking and services solutions, Neri was responsible for setting the R&D agenda, bringing innovations to market, and go-to-market strategy and execution.  Neri was appointed President of HPE in June 2017.  In addition to leading the company’s four primary lines of business, as President, Neri has been responsible for HPE Next, a program to accelerate the company’s core performance and competitiveness.

“The world of technology is changing fast, and we’ve architected HPE to take advantage of where we see the markets heading,” said Antonio Neri, President of HPE. “HPE is in a tremendous position to win, and we remain focused on executing our strategy, driving our innovation agenda, and delivering the next wave of shareholder value.”

HPE’s strategy is based on three pillars.  First, making Hybrid IT simple through its offerings in the traditional data center, software-defined infrastructure, systems software, private cloud and through cloud partnerships.  Second, powering the Intelligent Edge through offerings from Aruba in Campus and Branch networking, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) with products like Edgeline and its Universal IoT software platform. Third, providing the services that are critical to customers today, including Advisory, Professional and Operational Services.

About Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is an industry leading technology company that enables customers to go further, faster. With the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio, spanning the core data center to the cloud to the intelligent edge, our technology and services help customers around the world make IT more efficient, more productive and more secure.

Source: HPE

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Live and in Color, Meet the European Student Cluster Teams

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:56

The SC17 Student Cluster Competition welcomed two teams from Europe, the German team of FAU/TUC and Team Poland, the pride of Warsaw. Let’s get to know them better through the miracle of video…..

Team FAU/TUC is a combined team of Friedrich Alexander University and Technical University of Munich. The team is coming off a LINPACK win at ISC17, but ran into some trouble at SC17. Lots of it was just bad luck and the kind of niggling technical problems that we have all run into with practically every tech project we undertake.

One triumph for the team is their optimization of the Born application onto GPUs. This brought the Born ‘shot’ time down to a mere seven minutes from the three hour CPU-only length. That’s one hell of an optimization.

As you’ll see in the video, the team is taking their bad luck philosophically and plugging ahead in the competition, which is exactly what we love to see.

Team Poland is a mix of students from several Warsaw area universities. We first met them at ASC16 and now, as then, they weren’t camera or microphone shy. A self-admitted emotional team, we heard all about their trials and travails at SC17.

They missed turning in their LINPACK result by a tiny 30 second margin. The team had NVIDIA V100 GPUs and needed to get some missing firmware for the accelerators. Unfortunately for Team Poland, it took them quite a while to acquire said firmware, which caused them to miss the LINPACK time limit.

They’re a fun and enthusiastic team, to say the least, and, again, not camera shy. They lay it all out there in the video posted above.

In our next article, we’ll introduce the Asian cluster competition teams….stay tuned….

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RAIDIX Data Storage Celebrates RAID’s 30th Anniversary

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:18

Nov. 21, 2017 — Data storage software developer RAIDIX celebrates the 30th anniversary of the RAID technology that enables the user to consolidate multiple drives into a logical array for improved redundancy and performance. The concept of RAID (redundant array of independent disks) was first introduced in 1987 by Berkeley University researchers David Patterson, Garth A. Gibson, and Randy Katz.

In June 1988, the scientists presented a paper “A Case for Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID)” at the SIGMOD conference (“inexpensive” was switched for “independent” in later naming). The primary levels of the RAID specification were RAID 1 (a mirror disk array), RAID 2 (reserved for levels with dedicated Hamming-code parity), RAID 3 and 4 (byte- and block-level striping with dedicated parity), and RAID 5 (block-level striping with distributed parity).

Initially, RAID was deemed a hardware technology, by and large. Indeed, a physical RAID controller is capable of supporting multiple arrays of various levels concurrently. However, a more efficient implementation of RAID is available with the use of software components (drivers). The Linux kernel, for instance, enables flexible management of RAID devices. Leveraging the Linux kernel modules and erasure coding technology, the RAIDIX software developers created a building block for high-performance and fault-tolerant data storage systems based on commodity-off-the-shelf hardware.

RAIDIX operates with the RAID 0, RAID 5, RAID 6, and RAID 10 levels. The patented proprietary RAIDIX algorithms include the unique RAID 7.3 and N+M levels.

RAID 7.3 is a sibling of RAID 6 with double parity, yet the former delivers greater reliability. RAID 7.3 is a level of interleaving blocks with triple parity distribution, allowing the system to restore data in case up to 3 drives fail. RAID 7.3 enables high-performance levels without any additional CPU load, and optimally fits large arrays over 32 TB capacity.

Another patented technology RAID N+M is the level of interleaving blocks with flexible parity that allows the user to choose the number of disks for checksum allocation. RAID N+M requires at least 8 disks and can sustain complete failure of up to 64 drives in the same group (depending on the number of parity disks).

Development of new algorithms and cutting-edge technology inspired by artificial intelligence and machine learning is the core competency of the RAIDIX in-house Research Lab. Over the years, RAIDIX has registered 10+ technology patents in the US. The Lab’s key lines of research involve gradual elimination of obsolete write levels and associated latencies, advancement of predictive analytics, configuration of data storage policies on-the-fly, and more.


RAIDIX (www.raidix.com) is a leading solution provider and developer of high-performance data storage systems. The company’s strategic value builds on patented erasure coding methods and innovative technology designed by the in-house research laboratory. The RAIDIX Global Partner Network encompasses system integrators, storage vendors and IT solution providers offering RAIDIX-powered products for professional and enterprise use.

Source: RAIDIX

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SC17 Student Cluster Kick Off – Guts, Glory, Grep

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:16

The SC17 Student Cluster Competition started with a well-orchestrated kick-off emceed by Stephen Harrell, the competition chair.

It began with a welcome from SC17 chair Bernd Mohr, where he lauded the competition for being the most internationally flavored event of the entire SC conference.

Stephen Harrell then took over, introducing his committee members (who are vital to the smooth operation of the competition), then having Andy Howard briefly explain the cloud component of the tourney. After that, we heard Andrea Orton unveil the mystery application (it’s MPass-A, a sophisticated atmospheric modeling app.).

At that point, it was on, and students were a blur of activity as they hurried to their booths to begin work on the applications.

Our video camera puts you right in the middle of the action, as you’ll see in the upcoming articles. Stay tuned…..

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DDN Congratulates Customer JCAHPC for Winning Inaugural IO500 Award

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 10:23

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov. 21, 2017 – DataDirect Networks (DDN) today announced that the Oakforest-PACS system at the Joint Center for Advanced HPC (JCAHPC) in Japan, which uses DDN’s Infinite Memory Engine (IME), has been named the first annual IO500 winner. The award was revealed at the SuperComputing 2017 trade show. The goal of the IO500 (www.vi4io.org/std/io500/start) is to create a suite of I/O benchmarks that allow comparison of storage systems and is similar in concept to the Top500 for computing systems. Storage systems are ranked according to the combination of a set of I/O benchmarks that are designed to represent a mix of applications and real-world workloads.

JCAHPC’s IME deployment now takes the #1 position, ahead of all other filesystem and burst buffer solutions. The secret behind IME’s performance is the ground-up development of a new leaner I/O path that delivers flash performance direct to the applications rather than presenting flash through a file system.

“We are very pleased to finally have a benchmark suite that is accepted industry wide and reflects the kinds of workloads found within our most data-intensive customer environments,” said James Coomer, vice president of product and benchmarking at DDN.  “Even more exciting is the fact that our customer, JCAHPC, achieved this top honor utilizing DDN’s IME flash cache.  This recognition is validation that IME is delivering the type of I/O acceleration gains for which it was designed.”

IME is DDN’s scale-out flash cache that is designed to accelerate applications beyond the capabilities of today’s file systems. IME manages I/O in an innovate way to avoid the bottlenecks and latencies of traditional I/O management and delivers the complete potential of flash all the way to connected applications. IME also features advanced data protection, flexible erasure coding and adaptive I/O routing, which together provide new levels of resilience and performance consistency.

About DDN

DataDirect Networks (DDN) is a leading big data storage supplier to data-intensive, global organizations. For almost 20 years, DDN has designed, developed, deployed and optimized systems, software and storage solutions that enable enterprises, service providers, universities and government agencies to generate more value and to accelerate time to insight from their data and information, on premise and in the cloud. Organizations leverage the power of DDN storage technology and the deep technical expertise of its team to capture, store, process, analyze, collaborate and distribute data, information and content at the largest scale in the most efficient, reliable and cost-effective manner. DDN customers include many of the world’s leading financial services firms and banks, healthcare and life science organizations, manufacturing and energy companies, government and research facilities, and web and cloud service providers. For more information, go to www.ddn.com or call 1-800-837-2298.

Source: DDN

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First-Ever High School Team Squares Off Against Top Universities in Annual Supercomputing Challenge

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:28

Nov. 21, 2017 — Most underdogs don’t take home the trophy. But that didn’t stop the Sudo Wrestlers from competing as the first all-high school team in the 11th annual Student Cluster Competition, held last week at the SC17 supercomputing show, in Denver.

All 16 teams participating in the Student Cluster Competition at SC17 gathered on the steps of the Denver Convention Center for a commemorative shot.

Dozens of undergraduate students in 16 teams from some the world’s most lauded universities joined the high schoolers, all armed with the latest NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU accelerators. Their aim: to create small computing clusters for a non-stop, 48-hour challenge measuring how fast they could complete scientific, high performance computing workloads.

Traveling to the show in Denver from William Henry Harrison High School in West Lafayette, Indiana, the Sudo Wrestlers comprised one senior, four juniors and a sophomore. Their interest in the challenge was inspired by a presentation two Purdue University instructors made last year to their school’s robotics club.

“We’re probably not going to win, but we’re just happy to be here,” said team member Jacob Sharp, as the competition was getting started.

Sharp was charged with ensuring the cluster was up and running smoothly at all times. As a gamer and fan of NVIDIA’s GeForce cards, Sharp said he and his teammates were “psyched” to have access to NVIDIA Volta GPUs to build their cluster.

The competition fosters collaboration not just within teams, but across them. Sharp reported that the other, older teams offered assistance when the Sudo Wrestlers ran into compiling and other technical issues.

Unfortunately, Sharp’s prediction was right. Toward the end of the week, the winner of the Student Cluster Competition was announced. It was not the Sudo Wrestlers.

Instead, the honor went to Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, whose members shattered two benchmark records with a screaming-fast cluster they packed with 16 NVIDIA V100 GPUs.

The NTU team posted a SCC LINPACK score of 51.77 TFlop/s, beating the previous record of 37.05 TFlop/s, held by Germany’s Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat. Then, it captured the competition’s HPCG record — a benchmark meant to mimic modern HPC workloads — with a score of 2,056, easily topping the 1,394 record set by the Purdue/NEU team six months ago at ISC17.

The Sudo Wrestlers posted a LINPACK score of 28.65, landing them in ninth place — an impressive feat for such a young team.

Source: NVIDIA

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