DataWarp™ I/O Accelerator Speeds Scientific Discovery at NERSC

Scientists and researchers worldwide rely upon the scalability of Cray® XC™ supercomputing systems to solve their problems faster than our competition can. So when the productivity of the highly capable Cray system is throttled by the limited capabilities of the storage system, it has to be aggravating for them to have so much valuable compute power at their fingertips and then have to … wait … for … the …. data …. to … arrive. In a recent podcast led by Addison Snell, CEO of Intersect360 Research, Debbie Bard, a big data analyst at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), talks about the fifth-fastest computing system in the world*, the Cray® XC40™-based “Cori” system at NERSC. Six thousand scientists and ... [ Read More ]

2017 Spark Summit East Reveals Progress but Not Disruption

This was a conference to marvel at — and not just for the lineup. How many gigs start with a New England Patriots Super Bowl victory parade and end with a quasi-blizzard? Boston’s “ambiance” aside, engaged attendees sunk their teeth into a feast of tech, much of it centered on real-time performance of analytics workflows, especially in the context of the latest buzz — machine and deep learning (ML and DL), along with AI. It’s hard to believe we’re in the third wave of AI! I started contributing during the second wave in the late 1980s, doing research with neural networks and heuristic search algorithms to auto-sort packages for shipping companies. Among the challenges in the latest wave, tech like Apache® Spark™ plays a significant role on ... [ Read More ]

Inventions at Cray: Solving the Hard Problems

In the U.S., Feb. 11 is National Inventor’s Day, timed to coincide with the birthday of Thomas Edison. That’s reason enough to celebrate the inventors among us. The phrase “computer vector register processing” may not sound very inspiring, but that’s what Seymour Cray’s patent for the supercomputer, issued in 1976, was called. Forty years later, his invention still inspires scientists and engineers to change the world. Cray continues to nurture the spirit of invention both internally and among its customers and partners. For his part, Seymour Cray obtained numerous patents throughout his career, but it was U.S. Patent No. 4,128,880 (“Computer vector register processing”) that got him inducted into the National Inventors Hall ... [ Read More ]

Remote Visualization Supports the Global Workforce: Let’s Move Pixels Rather Than Data

Do you have larger and larger datasets, widely dispersed users, ever-shrinking IT support? If your answer to any of these is yes, have you tried remote visualization? Remote visualization moves pixels, not data, leaving the data safely in the datacenter; frees up network bandwidth; and typically improves performance with the application and the data co-located. HPC users want much more from the jobs they run: printouts from simulations, tests and analyses are no longer satisfying. Users want to see visual representations, and until recently "“fat” workstations on their desktops were the only option. Today, the most common approach is to provide CPU/GPU power when the user wants it — but as dataset size increases, there can be delays ... [ Read More ]

Chapel Completes First “Summer of Code”

The Chapel team recently concluded our first Google Summer of Code (GSoC), which we introduced in our spring blog post. GSoC is a program in which Google funds students around the world to spend their summers working on open-source projects. The process began with Chapel applying and being accepted as a mentor organization back in February. After mentor organizations were announced, students began working with the accepted organizations to lay the groundwork for their project proposals, which were submitted in March. Google provided Chapel with two student slots, a typical number for a first-year mentor organization. This made choosing students among the pool of 46 applicants challenging, as there were well over a dozen highly impressive ... [ Read More ]