How the Met Office Solved a Weather Forecasting Runtime Scare

When the Met Office chose Cray to supply three large XC40 supercomputers, Cray’s CEO, Peter Ungaro, made a bold statement. He said, "You will be installing the largest operational systems in the world. There will be problems at scale that you won't have anticipated. Partnership with Cray will allow you to access our deep expertise and solve these problems." Recent ambitious upgrades to the Met Office's forecasting codes have meant we have been able to test this claim. Operational weather forecasting is unlike many other areas of science because it is critical that the computer models run to a strict time schedule. A forecast that takes too long to run isn’t available in time for customers to make decisions, and so is worthless. The Met ... [ Read More ]

Deep Learning at Scale with NERSC’s “Cori” Supercomputer

Cray is synonymous with large-scale computing. While this is by no means all we do, the research that leverages these large systems is interesting to examine as leading indicators of things to come in the broader community. This has been true for a long time in modeling and simulation, and we’re now beginning to see the same advances in the area of deep learning. For example, the Cray® XC™ “Cori” supercomputer at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is an amazing system, sitting at #8 on the most recent Top500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. Of course, it’s the organization that surrounds Cori that enables the use of such technology. To this end and to help further the use of Cori for ... [ Read More ]

SeisSpace and Parallel File Systems: What are You Using?

Here’s a few questions for all you SeisSpace® doodlebuggers out there. What parallel file system are you using for your secondary storage requirements? Have you ever thought about using a different file system? Have you ever wondered if you could combine both your primary and secondary storage requirements on the same parallel file system — and if you did, what would happen? Well, stop wondering. Over the last several months, Cray invested the expertise of its oil & gas performance engineering team in testing those questions, along with a few others that you may be interested in. Cray’s team, along with Dan Grygier, CTO of Taming Traces Consulting, used Cray’s CS400™ cluster supercomputer (which we qualified for SeisSpace last ... [ Read More ]

Australian CIO Honored for Deployment of Cray System

Putting a 1.6 PF supercomputer into production on time and on budget with no interruptions to one of the world’s top meteorological agencies: amazing. And it brought well-earned kudos to Dr. Lesley Seebeck, the chief information officer for Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), who was named the 2017 Australian CIO of the year for the federal government sector. iTnews, a publisher of IT-related news and research, presented the award to Dr. Seebeck at its annual awards event in February. According to iTnews, “Seebeck's team correctly predicted several years ago that the agency's high performance computing system would no longer be up to the task of processing BoM's complex climate modelling by 2016. The switch to a new Cray XC40 ... [ Read More ]

Top 5 Blog Posts From 2015

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 ]