Behind the Name: Hazel Hen, Hornet and Hermit


How do Cray customers name their systems? A look at the stories behind the names. It all began with “Hermit.” A series of Cray supercomputers at the High-Performance Computing Centre (HLRS) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, have all been given names starting with the letter “H”. HLRS’s rules for system names are: Must start with “H”; Must be an endangered species; and Must be larger than the predecessor. The Cray® XE6™ supercomputer that initiated this name series was “Hermit,” installed in December 2010. According to Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael M. Resch (Director of the HLRS), the name Hermit had a double meaning. “First,” he explains, “it stood for the hermit beetle, which is a symbol for the environmental problems the ... [ Read More ]

Getting Warp Speed for I/O


The humorous statement by computer engineer Ken Batcher that "a supercomputer is a device for turning compute-bound problems into I/O-bound problems" is becoming more genuine, since I/O subsystems are typically slow compared to others parts of a supercomputer. This is mainly due to the well-known performance gap that keeps outspreading between the computing components (focusing more on the speed) and the storage devices (focusing more on the capacity of storage and less on performance). In June 2015, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) put into production “Shaheen II,” a 36-cabinet Cray® XC40™ supercomputer delivering a theoretical peak performance of 7.2 PF, along with a 17 PB Cray® Sonexion® 2000 parallel file ... [ Read More ]

Faster Support and Improved System Uptime – Good for Both Cray and Users


To maintain their competitive advantage, Cray’s customers need to squeeze out every ounce of value from their supercomputing investments.   And to sustain maximum value, even the most resilient systems will undergo a multitude of underlying repairs and upgrades over their life span.  Keeping pace with system changes while meeting the operational uptime requirements of today’s state-of-the-art supercomputers is making advanced system support tools a necessity. To support its customers’ 24/7 operations while keeping users as productive as possible, Cray is launching the first stages of a new support framework.  As part of this framework, Cray will be leveraging decades of field support experience to deliver new and improved system analysis ... [ Read More ]

We think Cray is cray cool!


cray (adj.): crazy, but without that time consuming extra syllable. Cray (n.): A Seattle, WA based manufacturer of awesomely powerful supercomputers for solving the world’s most challenging data-intensive problems! Hot-diggity, “cray” is in the dictionary! Thanks to this amazeballs rise of new terms due to popular culture and technology (special shout out to Jay Z and Kayne West for this one), cray is now an official term in the Oxford English dictionary and that is definitely cray cray. We at Cray have been working on a few cray technologies that we believe have had some small effect on changing our world for the better (humblebrag). Popular “word-technology” should not be an exception to the areas in which we make ... [ Read More ]