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 ]

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 ]

Exascale Can’t Wait: Cray for Oil & Gas in the Microsoft Azure Cloud

A path to exascale in upstream oil and gas processing with Cray in the Microsoft Azure cloud At the 11th annual Rice Oil and Gas HPC Conference (March 12-13), a premier industry event, many presentations will address the (mostly US) exascale roadmap with emphasis on algorithm development and applications enablement to make this program especially relevant in oil and gas. This author has long stated how “a perfect storm in seismic processing requirements is ensuring that the O&G industry will be an early adopter of exascale computing technologies.” That was in 2014, before the great oil crash. For a long while this author feared he was going to have to eat crow. After all, how much supercomputing power is needed to run a shale play? ... [ Read More ]

The Exascale Computing Race Isn’t About Bragging Rights

Computing technology has had a large and growing impact on society over the past 50-80 years, and it’s poised to have a much greater and more transformative impact in the future. Forward-looking leaders around the world have recognized the critical importance of computing and are investing large amounts of money to strive for leadership in HPC. Much of the focus and discussion over the past decade has been around “exascale” computing (achieving 10^18 operations per second), but of course there’s nothing magical about exascale; it’s just one point along a continuum. Nor is the quest for greater computing performance about bragging rights (though there will certainly be plenty of that as we cross the exascale boundary); it’s about ... [ Read More ]