Accelerate Your I/O with Cray DataWarp – A look back at what Cray did in the 80s

Cray XMP

Cray recently introduced the DataWarp™ applications I/O accelerator. The National Nuclear Security Administration will deploy this technology at a large scale in the “Trinity” system next year. This is a remarkable trend in the market, and for Cray it is reinvention of a technology that was deployed 30 years ago. Cray introduced the technology in its supercomputers in the early 1980s. The company offered solid-state storage devices (SSDs) for temporary storage of datasets as an extension to the Cray X-MP, Cray-1 S and Cray-1M systems to significantly increase data transfer rate. This “burst rate” was dependent upon SSD memory size and configuration. The SSD was housed in a stand-alone four-column chassis. All power supplies and cooling … [Read more...]

Supercomputing Matters: SC14 in Retrospect


SC14, the premier event in the HPC industry, has wound to a close in New Orleans. It’s interesting to look back and contemplate the validity of this year’s theme, “HPC Matters,” the success of the conference and the vitality of the industry. Our industry has seen the ebb and flow of the relevance of supercomputing, and the fortunes of Cray have often paralleled those of this event (or visa versa). This year was no exception and SC14 was a resounding success for Cray and for the industry. With more than  10,000 attendees and 356 exhibitors it was a full show and the work never stopped. As I walked the show floor — logging about 5 miles a day — I was struck by the number of Cray customers. They were everywhere, either with booths of their own … [Read more...]

Chapel at SC14: Making Big Easy


It’s been a big year for the Chapel team at Cray. In the past 12 months, we’ve doubled the size of our team, and with that expansion have been able to significantly accelerate the strides we’re taking. Here are a few notable accomplishments that occurred in 2014: Released two new versions of Chapel, the most recent of which, version 1.10, was made available on Oct. 2. Across these two releases, we’ve made significant performance improvements, enhanced our standard modules and I/O support, added initial support for Intel® Xeon® Phi Knights Corner (KNC) and continued refining the language’s productivity-oriented features. Held our first Chapel Implementers and Users Workshop (CHIUW) at IPDPS in May, highlighting work being done in … [Read more...]

Baseball’s Lesson for Analytics


In the immediate aftermath of an enthralling baseball World Series (go Giants!), it’s not surprising that it’s taking a while to get out of baseball mode. I did not have the benefit of growing up with baseball, so my baseball education happened later in life, but I daresay there’s quite a bit of strategy in the game. The value of getting the matchup part of the strategy right is evidenced by the cutting-edge research in this space, but that’s a topic for another day. Another concept brought up at various points in the World Series that I found intriguing was batters “going with the pitch” to increase their chances of a positive result on the play. This means recognizing the pitch and hitting the ball to right or left field depending on … [Read more...]

Pushing the Edge of Big Data at Strata+Hadoop World 2014


Last week I published a blog article about our new Urika-XA™ open platform for extreme analytics. This week, I’d like to tell you about its official launch at the Strata+Hadoop World 2014 conference in the Big Apple. Big data and its entire ecosystem is a dynamic animal and this was evident at Stata+Hadoop World. I’ve attended several of these conferences and other big data events over the years and it’s exciting to see how the user base has changed and grown tremendously. Several of the other vendors I spoke with (who by now are close friends since we always run into each other at conferences) made the same remark. Three years ago, Hadoop World had a smattering of actual users with just a few folks who were at the pilot stage and very … [Read more...]