An Insider Look at the Cray Programming Environment

In this edition of our software-focused blog series, we’ll take a look at what makes a Cray system different from the rest of the high-performance computing systems in today’s market. What makes Cray different from other HPC systems? That is a question many people have asked during my time at Cray, and my answer is always the same: “I am sorry, I am not allowed to tell you.” Joking aside, as a software product manager at Cray, I believe that the “secret sauce” lives in our software stack. The way we integrate and optimize hardware and software, ensuring our customers can run applications to solve the most complex and performance-intensive codes, is a task that Crayons take seriously — because, put simply, thanks to many of those ... [ Read More ]

8 Letters to HPC Success – SOFTWARE

These days, more and more organizations are using high-performance computing systems to seek out answers to big questions. From detecting fraud in financial transactions within milliseconds, to scouring the universe for life, to working toward a cure for cancer, the applications working on these questions require an infrastructure that allows for numerous cores, large swaths of data, and rapid results. These systems are carefully designed to optimize application performance at scale. Processors, memory, storage, networking — all carefully selected and implemented to drive optimal performance. However, far too many vendors ignore the impact of another key area of the infrastructure stack ... the SOFTWARE. Software is a key ... [ Read More ]

What’s Hiding in Your Performance Toolkit?

Similar to the old adage “you cannot judge a book by its cover,” estimating the performance of an application on thousands of nodes of a massively parallel computer cannot be done by investigating the performance on a single node or, for that matter, 100 nodes. For example, the performance of an application is dependent upon disjointed operations, some that scale and others that don’t. As an experiment, let’s say one operation takes 99% of the time when running 32 MPI tasks on one node and it scales as the number of MPI tasks increases. Another operation takes 1% of the time on one node; however, it doesn’t scale at all. On 1,000 nodes of 320,000 MPI tasks the first operation would take .000099% of the time and the second operation ... [ Read More ]

Altair Receives Cray’s 2017 Supplier of the Year Award

This Tuesday at SC17, we announced the recipient of our Supplier of the Year award. The honor goes to Altair, a testament to its continued collaboration with Cray — a relationship that goes back over 15 years — and its commitment to integrating PBS Professional®, Altair’s market-leading HPC software solution, with Cray supercomputers to optimize performance for compute-intensive environments. Altair is the first software provider to receive the award. “We’re excited to honor Altair as an outstanding supplier,” said Cray CFO Brian Henry. “This award represents excellence in the supercomputing industry and Altair has demonstrated their commitment to providing leading solutions to the HPC industry.” Altair’s PBS Professional is an ... [ Read More ]

How to Program a Supercomputer

We felt that it was necessary to write a book reintroducing programming techniques that should be used by application developers targeting the current and future generation supercomputers. While the techniques have been around for a long time, many of today’s developers are not aware of them. Let us explain. The supercomputer has been a shifting target for application programmers ever since its inception in the form of Seymour Cray’s CDC 6600 in the early 1970s, forcing developers to adapt to new approaches along with the ever-changing hardware and software systems. This necessity of developer adaptation is especially conspicuous in the field of high-performance computing (HPC), where developers typically optimize for the target node ... [ Read More ]