Feeds

Student Cluster Competition: The runners and riders

Checking out the form book

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Florida A&M Rattlers

Compu-Rattlers and cluster battlers

For your listening pleasure while reading this story, here is a YouTube video of the FAMU marching band.

Florida A&M logoAnother newcomer to the competition this year is a team from Florida A&M. Located in Tallahassee, Florida Aamp;M has an enrollment of 10,200 students, and their mascot is the Rattler -a rattlesnake. This will be the first time the Compu-Rattlers (going to go ahead and coin that nickname for them) will be competing in the SCC.

The Compu-Rattler team is composed of junior and senior computer science students who have a burning (well, maybe not burning) desire to learn about HPC. While they know computing, they don’t have a lot of experience with the care and feeding of clusters.

To help make up for this, they have prepared for the competition since January (longer than many teams). Their training regimen included early experience clustering together Mac Minis and older Power-based Apple servers. The school recently introduced a parallel scientific computing course, complete with its own 26-node cluster for departmental use.

What really comes through with the Compu-Rattlers is their enthusiasm for HPC and the competition. They’ve met weekly since January to work on cluster building and to learn how to use cluster tools so that it will become second nature by competition time. It’s also clear that they are approaching the SCC with the mindset that they aren’t just happy to be there -they want to win.

So will their drive and enthusiasm be enough to top the more experienced competitors? We’ll find out soon enough, as the inexorable march of time takes us ever closer to the crucible that is the SCC.


NTHU

Real world, not book learnin’

The musical selection for this story is the national anthem for the Republic of China (Taiwan). It takes a while to build but finishes quite nicely.

NTHU logoOne quote jumped out at me in the Student Cluster Competition application for the National Tsing Hua University Computer Science (NTHUCS) team team.

In the first paragraph they say: "During the past 2-3 years, we have learned some background knowledge from textbooks. However, instead of sticking our noses on text books, we believe that we should have some experiences on real world applications or implementations." They’ve chosen SC10 and the SCC as their proving ground.

The university competed in the SCC in 2007 and 2008, winning the LINPACK crown in 2007. But the 2010 team doesn’t include any of the students from those teams. Also, as they note in their application, no one on their team has any experience with HPC or clusters. They do have two former competitors to advise and train them during the run-up to the show.

Everyone on their current roster is deep in programming, and one member of is the systems administrator for all of the servers in their department. This could turn out to be a key position, given that teams have been derailed by hardware problems in the past.

Each benchmark has been assigned to primary and secondary application managers, who are responsible for understanding the app inside and out. With this knowledge, they can optimize their schedule to maximize throughput during the marathon 46-hour competition.

With HP as their major sponsor, we can assume that they’ll bring some blade-y type gear to the competition. Their location in Taiwan might be helpful as so much hardware manufacturing is located there; they might be able to snag some advanced parts right off the production lines. The major vendors, including HP, all have research outposts in Taiwan -experts who could help them squeeze every last bit of performance out of the hardware and software.

NTHU has fielded competitive SCC teams in the past and they’re certainly due for a win- but HPC and clustering is a new world to this 2010 team. Have they learned enough over the last 10 months to make 2010 the year they bring the SCC crown to Taiwan? (There isn’t an actual crown, but probably should be.) We’ll soon know. Here are some more details about NTHU’s team and goals for SCC.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
Official: European members prefer to fondle Apple iPads
Only 7 of 50 parliamentarians plump for Samsung Galaxy S
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.