Cray’s New Urika-XC Suite: the Convergence of Supercomputing and Analytics

Cray today announced the launch of the Cray® Urika®-XC analytics software suite, which brings graph analytics, deep learning and robust big data analytics tools to the company’s flagship line of Cray® XC supercomputers. The Cray Urika-XC analytics software suite empowers data scientists to make breakthrough discoveries previously hidden within massive datasets, and achieve faster time to insight while leveraging the scale and performance of Cray XC supercomputers.

With the Urika-XC software suite, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) workloads can run alongside scientific modeling and simulations on XC supercomputers, eliminating costly and time-consuming movement of data between systems. Cray XC customers will be able to run converged analytics and simulation workloads that expand the boundaries of discovery across a wide array of scientific and commercial endeavors, such as real-time weather forecasting, predictive maintenance, precision medicine and comprehensive fraud detection.

“The massive growth of data is overpowering the capabilities of commodity clusters and constraining the boundaries of critical research,” said Fred Kohout, Cray’s senior vice president of products and chief marketing officer. “Customers will be able to unlock sophisticated big data analytics at supercomputing speeds with the Urika-XC software suite, and leverage AI toolkits and world-class supercomputing technologies to do what they could never do before.”

The Urika-XC solution is a powerful set of applications and tools optimized to run seamlessly on the XC line of supercomputing systems, and re-engineered to take advantage of the XC systems’ unique scalable architecture, including the Aries™ network interconnect. The software package consists of:

  • Cray Graph Engine
  • Apache® Spark™ analytics environment
  • BigDL distributed deep learning framework for Spark
  • Distributed Dask parallel computing libraries for analytics
  • Widely used languages for analytics including Python, Scala, Java and R

Cray will provide full support for the software suite.

The Urika-XC analytics software suite exemplifies the convergence of high-performance computing and data-intensive computing as core workloads for leadership supercomputers. The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano, Switzerland, is currently using the Urika-XC solution on its Cray XC supercomputer, “Piz Daint,” which is one of the fastest supercomputers in the world.

“CSCS has been responding to the increased needs for data analytics tools and services,” said Prof. Dr. Thomas C. Schulthess, director of CSCS. “We were very fortunate to participate with our Cray supercomputer Piz Daint in the early evaluation phase of the Cray Urika-XC environment. Initial performance results and scaling experiments using a subset of applications including Apache Spark and Python have been very promising. We look forward to exploring future extensions of the Cray Urika-XC analytics software suite.”

The Urika-XC software suite will be available in third quarter of 2017. More information is available at www.cray.com.

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