Top 5 Blog Posts From 2015

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Happy New Year! Check out some of the top blog posts from 2015: Why Do Better Forecasts Matter? Meteorologists have been striving to increase the accuracy of their work since the first weather forecasts were issued in the mid-19th century by pioneers such as Robert FitzRoy. In the 1950s and 1960s, the development of computers and observational technologies enabled forecast generation using the numerical weather prediction theories of Vilhelm Bjerknes and Lewis Fry Richardson. Today the numerical models that support our weather and climate forecasts are true “grand challenge” problems, requiring on the order of 10,000 billion (1016) mathematical operations and the exchange of 150 billion (1.5 x 1014) bytes of information to generate a ... [ Read More ]

Can We Make Petabytes Useful?

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A recent article in Nature, “The Power of Petabytes”, by Michael Eisenstein, reviews how exponentially increasing life science data exceeds our present abilities to process and make sense of it. Even while continuing to grow unbounded, data sets are still often not yet large enough to draw convincing conclusions. Computation is one obvious problem. “The computation scales linearly with respect to the number of people,” says Marylyn Ritchie, a genomics researcher at Pennsylvania State University in State College. “But as you add more variables, it becomes exponential as you start to look at different combinations.” To efficiently harness growing computing resources, researchers will need to leverage scalable algorithmic approaches and ... [ Read More ]

Controlling the Tide of Weather and Climate Data with Tiered Storage

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There’s an old cliché that everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it. While Cray can’t (yet) prevent droughts or cool off hot spells, we can help make the lives of weather professionals easier. An abundance of data riches, but where to store it? Weather and climate modeling centers strive to improve the accuracy of their models by gathering and assimilating more diverse input data and by increasing model resolution and complexity. As a result, these models are ingesting and producing ever-increasing volumes of data. These weather and climate organizations often find themselves challenged by the sheer volume of data, trying to manage various ways it may be used and simply trying to find the resources, ... [ Read More ]

European Researchers Model the Human Brain

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You may have seen recent news items regarding the Human Brain Project (HBP), a ten-year European neuroscience research initiative. Interactive computer simulation of brain models is central to its success. Cray was recently awarded a contract for the third and final phase of an R&D program (known in the European Union as a Pre-Commercial Procurement or PCP) to deliver a pilot system on which interactive simulation and analysis techniques will be developed and tested. The Cray work is being undertaken by the newly launched Cray EMEA Research Lab. This article discusses the ideas being developed and tested, ideas that we expect to be useful to many Cray users. Step one is to manage the computer system in the same way other large pieces ... [ Read More ]

Deepening Cray’s Involvement in Collaborative R&D and Codesign

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Cray recently announced the birth of our new computing research organization for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), the Cray EMEA Research Lab (CERL). Our investment in Europe is not new (the Cray®-1 and every machine since found a European home), but an explicit focus on research is a big and bold move for our company. I am very honored to be leading that change, and I will explain here what you can expect to see from CERL. Recent collaborations in EMEA For our current customers, this move is very welcome, but may not have been a huge surprise. That’s because during the last five years we have become more involved in deep research collaborations in EMEA. Most notably, Centers of Excellence at EPCC, HLRS and recently also at ... [ Read More ]