Scratching an Itch: Mitigating HPC Scratch Bottlenecks

“I have a simple philosophy. Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. And scratch where it itches.” - Alice Roosevelt Longworth When one orchestrates HPC operations, scratch space often comes to the fore as a limiting factor that is often too small, big or slow. Many types of jobs — seismic, life sciences, financial services, etc. — don’t do all their work purely in memory. Each of many workers loads an initial configuration and reads/writes many intermediate points to scratch storage — often shared — before the total job completes. What can easily happen is that huge I/O problems replace huge computational problems as bottlenecks shift, and scratch management is a common issue. Traditional HPC systems often have local storage on each ... [ Read More ]

Controlling the Tide of Weather and Climate Data with Tiered Storage

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 ]

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

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 ]

Algorithmic Trading: Faster Execution or Smarter Strategies?

The short answer is: You need both. Since the advent of the first high-frequency trading (HFT) firm, the quest for low-latency trading has been paramount. Strategies that were profitable before HFT are now obsolete. Among those strategies with questionable profitability today are: Arbitrage: Markets move too quickly to allow time for arbitrage. Market making: HFT imposes excessive risks on those traders. Event trading: Competing against HFT in terms of speed of response to scheduled economic reports and conventional news is impossible, since HFT systems can process and react to the information quicker. Faster execution is necessary to take advantage of short-term opportunities. Profitability is directly correlated to volume ... [ Read More ]

OpenSFS and Cray Offer a New-Member Discount

Cray has been involved with Lustre® since its deployment with the groundbreaking Cray supercomputer “Red Storm,” at Sandia National Laboratories. Since then, a lot has happened throughout the Lustre community. One of the major milestones was the formation of the Open Scalable File Systems (OpenSFS) consortium in 2010. As a founding member of OpenSFS, Cray is committed to its success — and to the future of Lustre. OpenSFS is the source for technical information on Lustre and the Lustre user community. OpenSFS is the key vendor-neutral organization whose simple charter is to move Lustre forward.  OpenSFS has been responsible for advancing Lustre through both feature enhancements in new releases and through exhaustive, real-world testing, ... [ Read More ]