Dan Olds is a partner at OrionX, a strategy and research firm based in the US.

Gung-ho Guangzhou college kids smash LINPACK cluster record

HPC blog It was the plucky home team from the capital of Guangdong which grabbed the crown and cash at this year's Asian Supercomputer Conference (ASC) Student Challenge. The students from Guangzhou’s Sun Yat-sen University screamed happily when they saw the results from the LINPACK portion of the ASC’14 Student Supercomputer Challenge …
In China, presumably they call cables noodles, not spaghetti

High power computing and awesome Chinese food? Sign me up!

HPC blog Have a look at the last of the 16 teams that competed at the ASC14 Student Cluster Competition in Guangzhou, China. Team Korea (Ulan Institute of Science & Technology) is a second time competitor at ASC. As you’d expect, the first student I talk to from the team is, of course, Spanish. I was wondering if he was actually with …

Young cluster wrestlers find 'hidden' sweet spot

HPC Blog Cluster-wrestling kids are still battling it out at the Asia Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC) and Team Shanghai (from Shanghai Jiao Tong University) is hoping to get lucky their second time around. In their first outing, the team did OK, but wasn’t a big winner. However, that same team has travelled to Guangzhou and they …

Video: Whatever you do, DON'T BREAK Tianhe-2

HPC Blog It's mostly cluster-building, processor-fumbling fun, but there will also be a few tenser moments for the teams of students attending the ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge. First, there's the competitive aspect... and then there's the fact that they'll be expected to run code on the 33,862.7 TFlop/s Tianhe-2 supercomputer: …

Brazilian whacks fast pipes on racks – and more in our student video special

HPC Blog ASC14 logo Welcome to the second batch of video profiles of the sixteen university teams competing for supercomputing glory at the ASC14 student cluster-building competition. China’s NUDT (National University of Defense Technology) is another team that could take home the ASC14 cluster crown and cash. (There’s no real crown, …

Find a partner? Nah, these students ALL play with same tools in giant CLUSTER-SHUCK

HPC blog One of the major differences between the recently completed Asia Student Supercomputer Challenge and the other major international competitions is the way the students get their clustering gear. In the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) and the SC competitions, part of the task for students is to find a vendor …

Experienced HPC compo kids welcome eager Brazilians to cluster-wrestling match

HPC blog In our last story, we looked at the local Chinese undergrads who are competing for cluster-building glory at the Asian Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC14) in Guangzhou, but there are plenty of competitors who are keen to grab the title and take it home – to the United States, steamy Brazil or even to the slopes of the Urals …

Junior gurus go gung-ho in Guangzhou: Meet the students putting a boot in clusters' thrusters

HPC Blog That question everyone is asking: who are the undergrads competing for cluster-building glory at the Asian Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC14) in Guangzhou this week? It’s a mixed slate of former cluster competition champions, wannabes, and newbies from almost every continent on Earth. First, make sure you're up to speed …

Sixteen hot students, 3 kilowatts, $29k in CASH: It's cluster combat, China style

HPC Blog We're in Guangzhou, China, for the final round of the largest student cluster competition in the world. And to make it even more tense, there's nearly $28k up for grabs... The third annual Asian Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC14) features sixteen university-backed teams from around the globe, competing to see which team …
T Platforms GPU Blade

Sod Bitcoin - solving graph problems is the new GPU-flogger

HPC blog These GTC conferences, the annual GPU-fest sponsored by NVIDIA, are my favorite events of the year. Why? It’s how the event is organized. At GTC, real-world researchers, analysts, and other customers present the vast majority of sessions, not corporate mouthpieces. They talk about their projects, the challenges they’ve dealt …

Need a refresher on virtualisation?

HPC Blog This year at GTC, NVIDIA was pushing its Kepler-based GRID GPU tech to virtualise desktops, enabling a “anything, anywhere, anytime, on any device” usage model, but as a side effect delivered lots of guidance for VDI and virtualisation newbies. GRID was one of the big announcements at GTC12, with demonstrations of the tech's …
WASP-12b getting devoured by its sun

Sun-seeking NASA boffins steer FLEETS of satellites... BY HAND

HPC blog Looking for something to test your Star Wars video game skills? How about this: launch four satellites and fly them in eccentric orbits around the Earth. Each satellite is 1km apart from its neighbour, which sounds like a lot of space until you consider that they’re travelling at several kilometres per second during the …

HPC boffins: Our HOT MODELS will help you cope with DISASTER

HPC Blog What’s the most common and costly type of natural disaster? If you answered "floods and tsunamis” you’d be right on the money. Economic damages caused by large and small flooding events – either caused by storms, storm surges or earthquakes, in the case of tsunamis – are truly massive, running into the billions or tens of …

Get ready for software-defined RADAR: Jam, eavesdrop, talk and target ... simultaneously

HPC blog With a big RF transmitter and enough fast computing power, you have the ability to do a lot of different things, as evidenced by a General Electric presentation on "software-defined radar" at the GPU conference this year. At GTC 13 last year, GE gave a standing-room-only presentation about how it's using RDMA (Remote Direct …
REM's Shiny, Happy People

VDI a 'delightful' experience... Really?

GPU Technology Conference The VDI talk was the kind of GTC session I love. It’s where a real-world expert talks about how a difficult task is actually accomplished. Not the theory, not how it should work on paper, but what it takes to actually move a project from Point “A” to Point “We’re done with this”. Ken Fingerlos from Lewan Technology delivered …
Samsung 500GB SpinPoint 2.5in HDD

Traditional RAID is outdated and dying on its feet

HPC blog The video below is an interview I did with IBM storage guru Robert Murphy at SC13 in Denver. I’m still in catch-up mode after my recent near-disastrous rootkit episode. Youtube Video In the video, Robert and I talk about how today’s typical RAID mechanisms (1, 5, 6, 10) just aren’t up to the job of protecting data against …
Cray Mongolian cluster

Supercomputer maker Cray: Jobs for HPC kids? There might be some going

HPC blog There are some teens and kids in their twenties who skip out on university courses for a trip abroad with their friends, where they spend days and nights chugging down (caffeine) brew, losing sleep and wrestling with, er, clusters. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing... In fact, it could mean that they'll one day work at …

Reg HPC man relives 0-day rootkit GROUNDHOG DAY

HPC blog This is a difficult article to write, and I’ve put it off for way too long. But it’s time to bite the bullet and make an embarrassing admission to the Register audience. I’ve been hacked and hacked hard. Admitting this publicly to Reg readers is like chumming shark-infested waters with my own blood. Or like telling people that …
Windows 9x BSOD

How NOT to evaluate hard disk reliability: Backblaze vs world+dog

HPC blog A few months ago, Brian Beach, a distinguished engineer at cloud backup joint Backblaze, published a set of study-like blog postings relating to his firm's experiences with hard drive lifespan in its 25,000+ spindle environment. The blogs garnered quite a bit of interest due to the subject matter, and provocative titles like: …

My other supercomputer is a Lenovo: What IBM System x sale means for HPC

HPC blog Back in May 2013, when IBM was first rumoured to be selling part of its System x division to Lenovo, I wrote a story looking at how this might impact IBM’s position in the HPC market. It’s a good time to revisit that analysis and see what the picture looks like now. As I noted in the prior story, it’s damned hard to get solid …
IBM open reel tape and 3480 cartridge compared

Lenovo and IBM's System x biz: It'll be just like 2005's PC buyout

Analysis It was only eight months ago when the industry was rife with rumours that IBM was selling all or part of their x86 business to Lenovo. It took a while, but the deal has gone down and it’s now up to the lawyers and accountants to finalize the paperwork. This deal has turned out to be (way) more comprehensive than anticipated. …

There can be only one SC13 student cluster champion team. And it is...

HPC blog Team Longhorn from the University of Texas won the Overall Championship Award in the Big Iron division of the SC13 student cluster-constructing competition in Denver. Now that the dust has settled on the contest – which challenges undergraduates to build and benchmark HPC rigs against the clock – here's the lowdown on the …

What happens when you give undergrads $2,500 to build a HPC rig out of commodity parts? This...

HPC Blog The team from Bentley University and Northeastern University took the first ever Commodity Track Overall Championship award at the recently concluded SC13 Student Cluster Competition. In this competition, student teams had to build a true HPC cluster (at least two nodes), while spending a maximum of $2,500. After building and …

China's supercomputing whizzkids: Busting out a 8.224 teraflops cluster? Guilty as charged

HPC blog China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) grabbed the LINPACK award at the recently concluded SC13 Student Cluster Competition. NUDT topped all other competitors with a score of 8.224 TFLOP/s. NUDT’s LINPACK win isn’t a surprise to competition observers, the team hails from the home of Tianhe-1 and Tianhe-2, …

Asleep on the job: Students dream of GROPING RACKS after darkness falls

HPC blog Student Cluster competitions at the annual Supercomputing Conference in Denver, Colorado, are marathons. The students who work their magic on the big iron get a set of scientific applications and some data sets, but they have only 48 hours to submit their best results – all while keeping their self-designed clusters under the 26 …