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The more ya node: Asia cluster romp's a picture of supercomputer trends

HPC Blog More than 230 university teams vied for only 20 slots in the 2017 Asian Student Cluster Competition (ASC) finals being held this week in Wuxi, China. At 20 teams, this is the largest cluster competition the world has ever seen. Really, it is. Each team consists of five undergrads and a coach, who is usually a faculty advisor. …
Dan Olds, 26 Apr 2017

Filer startup Qumulo chosen to help tame the DreamWorks dragon

Case study HPE has enabled DreamWorks Animation to replace legacy storage systems by having Qumulo software running on its Apollo servers. HPE is a long-time supplier of workstations, servers and storage to DreamWorks Animation SKG. The company's CG-animated productions include Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Monsters vs. Aliens and …
Chris Mellor, 25 Apr 2017

HPC kids battle each other... oh, and tussle with the world's fastest supercomputer

HPC Blog This year's edition of the Asian Student Cluster Competition (ASC) is the largest competition of its kind in the world, with 20 teams of university undergrads battling each other, themselves, and the world’s fastest supercomputer, Sunway TaihuLight, to win the Asian Cluster Crown*. But more than just bragging rights are at …
Dan Olds, 24 Apr 2017
Intel's email announcing the death of its lustre distro

Intel loses its Lustre – Chipzilla bins own-brand HPC file system

Intel's decided to stop offering its own version of the Lustre file system – the code beloved of high-performance computing types because it's handy for managing exabyte-scale storage spanning colossal Linux clusters. Trish Damkroger, an Intel veep and general manager for technical computing initiatives – that's HPC in Intel- …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Apr 2017

Microsoft and Rambus will get schwifty in quantum-cum-cryogenic computation collab

Microsoft and Rambus have announced "an expanded collaboration" to develop prototype systems that can optimise memory performance at cryogenic temperatures. The pair first joined forces back in 2015 to investigate new computer architectures in anticipation of the Moore's Law apocalypse. The concern is that demand for realtime …

Ah, breathe that fresh alpine air. And look over there, a majestic HPC Advisory Council

HPC Blog Looking to find out about the latest cutting-edge research and the best way to utilise HPC gear? Or would you just like to hang out with your HPC homies on the Piazza della Riforma in the brisk night air? Either way, you'll want to be in Lugano, Switzerland, next week because the HPC Advisory Council is coming to town. The HPC …
Dan Olds, 06 Apr 2017

Your chance to become a supercomputer superuser – for free

HPC Blog The upcoming HPC Advisory Council conference in Lugano will be much more than just a bunch of smart folks presenting PowerPoints to a crowd. It will feature a number of sessions designed to teach HPCers how to better use their gear, do better science, and generally humble all those around you with your vast knowledge and …
Dan Olds, 05 Apr 2017
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, credit: Brunel Museum

UK splurges £20m on six regional HPC centres

A UK government research council is spending £20m to build six regional high-performance computing (HPC) centres. The Engineering and Physics Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) oversees a three-tier HPC structure and is building out the second tier. The top and most powerful tier is the ARCHER supercomputer, a Cray XC30 …
Chris Mellor, 03 Apr 2017
Amazon Web Services

AWS emits EnginFrame 2017 for cloudy HPC

Amazon Web Services' 2016 acquisition of NICE Systems is bearing fruit, with AWS lifting the lid on the next iteration of a high performance computing service called EnginFrame. EnginFrame 2017 is designed to run on top of the AWS cloud, and make it simpler to deploy a Linux-based HPC cluster “in less than an hour”, AWS says …

IBM has cloud access to quantum computer 400 times smaller than D-Wave system

IBM says it will build commercially available quantum computing systems accessed through its cloud platform, but D-Wave has a claimed quantum computer 400 times bigger. Quantum computing has the promise of outperforming today's computers to an extraordinary degree at certain tasks such as factoring very large numbers. It uses …
Chris Mellor, 06 Mar 2017
QXS_5600_bezel

Quantum takes on GPFS and Lustre in commercial HPC market

Analysis The entertainment and media market has not been typically seen as a part of the high-performance computing (HPC) market, with the associated massively parallel file access and data set management. In the HPC world file access software such as Lustre and GPFS, now renamed Spectrum Scale are often seen. HPC was an academic and …
Chris Mellor, 01 Mar 2017
CSIRO's PAF being hoisted into position at Parkes

Interview: AARNet's Peter Elford on Australia's national research infrastructure

Australia is re-crafting the roadmap that guides its national research infrastructure, a task that covers everything from the network to the nation's high performance computing systems. The roadmap from the Office of the Chief Scientist was offered for public comment late last year. Guided by the hand of chief scientist Alan …
First XC40, photo: Met Office

OK, 2016 wasn't the best, but look for a buyer? That's Cray

+Comment A poor year for Cray was rescued by its fourth 2017 quarter’s results.   Q4 2016 Q4 2015 Change Full 2016 Year Full 2015 Year Change Revenues $346,600,000 $267,500,000 29.6% $629,800,000 $724,700,000 13.1%   $51,800,000 $20,300,000 155.2% $10,600,000 $27,500,000 61.5% Full 2016 year revenues went down 13 per …
Chris Mellor, 09 Feb 2017
Folk dancers in china

Chinese investors gobble up owner of PCWorld, Macworld etc

Two Chinese investors are buying the owner of PCWorld magazine and the IDC market research outfit International Data Group (IDG) – but IDC’s high-performance computing research businesses are not included in the sale. The two Chinese investors are China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co, Ltd and the confusingly named IDG Capital. …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jan 2017

Inspur inspires DDN to be its HPC reseller

DDN has signed a deal for Inspur to sell tested and configured systems to worldwide HPC customers, using DDN storage alongside Inspur servers, networking, software and services. Inspur is the third of three main Chinese server and systems suppliers, the others being Huawei and Lenovo. It quotes Gartner stats to say it was the …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jan 2017
First XC40, photo: Met Office

UK, you Cray. Boffins flex ARM in 'first-of-its-kind' bonkers HPC rig

A fellowship of four UK universities, along with HPC veteran Cray and the Met Office, have been handed £3m to build a 10,000+ ARM core supercomputer. The project could settle whether ARM-based supercomputers can beat Xeon ones on cost while offering the right performance. The scheme is called Isambard, after 19th century Brit …
Chris Mellor, 18 Jan 2017

Exascale HPC project pours Euro gravy into Mont-Blanc

The European Commission's multi-phase, super-dupe-compute project Mont-Blanc is pouring more euro gravy into developing an army of ARM SoC compute nodes. It has picked Atos's Bull organisation to build an exascale-class compute node using Cavium's Thunder X2 64-bit ARMv8-A server processor SoC (System-on-Chip). The Mont-Blanc …
Chris Mellor, 16 Jan 2017
13 inch telescope Spaceguard Center, photo: Spaceguard Center

HPE bucks trend to retain high-end server crown

IDC bean-counters saw strong high-end server revenue growth in the third quarter high-performance technical computing market but revenue falls in low-end sysyems. HPC server sales growth contrasts with the decline in the overall world-wide server market, which IDC says shrank by 7 per cent to $12.5 Bn in the year since the …
Chris Mellor, 30 Dec 2016
Tasmania

Huawei very happy to be on Map Of Tasmania

Huawei's scored a nice HPC win in Australia, with the University of Tasmania selecting it to provide a 7,000-cores-plus machine. The University’s Sandy Bay Campus will house the AU$5m (US$3.6m, £2.95m) machine, which will be put to work on “urgent scientific problems in existing strengths, including climate and ocean sciences …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2016
Bicep icon

ARM buys HPC software specialist Allinea to help devs code good

ARM has splashed an unspecified quantity of cash on Allinea Software, the maker of tools that developers can use to get the most out of high performance computing (HPC) rigs. Javier Orensanz, general manager of ARM's Development Solutions Group, says the company “will use its newly acquired capabilities to accelerate its …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Dec 2016
bomb

So, who is the cluster bomb? Student results sliced, diced, analysed

HPC Blog It's time to close the books on another highly successful SC Student Cluster Competition. This year was special in a number of ways. First, it was the event's 10th anniversary. At 14 teams, it was also the largest SC competition ever – a far cry from the original five. SC16 was also noteworthy in terms of the performance …
Dan Olds, 07 Dec 2016

DDN claims burst buffer bashes 'past 1TB/sec bandwidth'

This is a we-can-pee-up-the-wall-higher-than-anyone-else story – one which we'd normally give a miss - only the numbers are past 1TB/sec – head-scratchingly high. The Oakforest-PACS T2K massively parallel 25 petaflop superdupercomputer machine is number 6 in the TOP500 list at SC16 in Salt Lake City. It's operated by the Joint …
Chris Mellor, 05 Dec 2016
big dog little dog, image Shutterstock

NVMe too brigade update: DDN sees limited appeal in NVMe fabrics

Interview How does HPC array vendor DataDirect Networks view NVMe drives and NVMe over Fabrics? We are running a series of interviews with vendors as NVMeF is looking increasingly likely to be the future way to access Fibre Channel SAN storage, replacing the current Fibre Channel implementations, either the hardware or the HBA software …
Chris Mellor, 01 Dec 2016
Star Wars rebel pilot

Student clusterers blow off steam with VR space shooter at SUSE booth

HPC Blog There was some time for fun at the recently concluded SC16 Student Cluster Competition. Fortunately for us, right next to where the competition was held stood the SUSE booth, which was equipped with a great VR "space pirate" shooter. This, of course, captured our students' attention – particularly one from Team Munich. He went …
Dan Olds, 29 Nov 2016
Girl and computer, photo via Shutterstock

Build-a-cluster students conjugate gradients for science and glory

HPC Blog Student teams at SC16 were faced with a new(ish) benchmark during their 48-hour marathon run for the Student Cluster Competition Cup (there is no actual cup). The teams have always run the HPL (LINPACK) program, which is used to rank the TOP500 supercomputers in the world. But this year, they're also running the "book-end" HPCG …
Dan Olds, 25 Nov 2016
Broken record, image via Shutterstock

Half of all kids suddenly break LINPACK record in supercomputing compo

HPC Blog SMERSH! That was the sound of the Student Cluster Competition LINPACK record being shattered – in a huge way. How huge? Really huge. As in more than doubled. China's University of Science & Technology posted an amazing 31.15 Tflop/s – topping the previous record of 12.57 Tflop/s set at ISC16. In fact, more than half of the …
Dan Olds, 24 Nov 2016

Meet the beautiful minds vying to be crowned the Student Cluster champs

HPC Blog So who are the kids competing in the SC16 Student Cluster Competition this year? What are their hopes, their dreams – what makes them tick? Why did they travel all the way to Salt Lake City to chase the Cluster Crown? (There is no actual crown, but there should be, right?) In these videos, we get to know the kids and get a …
Dan Olds, 24 Nov 2016

Bulldozers, sportsters, bangers: Rack your brains, HPC kids

HPC Blog This is the most widely varied and exciting set of student cluster competition systems I've seen since the competition began ten years ago. We have fourteen different teams and fourteen different takes on which system configuration is best suited to take on the applications in this year's competition. We're seeing some changes …
Dan Olds, 21 Nov 2016
1980 olympics weight-lifting champs. By RIA Novosti archive, image #484445 / Dmitryi Donskoy / CC-BY-SA 3.0

HPE is creaming Dell in HPC

HPE is making almost twice as much revenue from shipping servers into the supercomputer market as Dell EMC. According to our sister publication The Next Platform, “Servers are the key component of HPC systems, and so sales of servers into the HPC space is a good proxy for the overall health of the HPC sector. “In the first …
Chris Mellor, 18 Nov 2016

Dell EMC cranks Xeon servers into ludicrous mode with Tesla GPUs

Dell EMC is adding a Xeon Phi server and Tesla GPU acceleration to its PowerEdge high-performance computing (HPC) server line-up The new PowerEdge HPC servers look like this: C6320p with Intel's Xeon Phi processor C4130 now comes with Nvidia Tesla P100 GPU accelerator R730 also gets Tesla P100 GPU acceleration The …
Chris Mellor, 16 Nov 2016
Baby on a computer. Photo by Shutterstock

Boffins of the future gear up to build their own beastmode rigs

HPC Blog The tenth annual Student Cluster Competition kicked off Monday at the SC16 conference here in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is a competition for the ages, with some wildly divergent hardware configurations, more teams than ever before at a SC competition (14), plus some special features that are sure to throw the budding HPCers for …
Dan Olds, 15 Nov 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Reg inquiry sees CSIRO clarify supercomputer tender

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has clarified its requirements for a new supercomputer, after an inquiry from The Register pointed out an inconsistency in its tender. As we reported yesterday, CSIRO's tender called for Windows compatibility and either Intel x86 or IBM Power CPUs …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2016
Button image via Shutterstock

OpenStack brings cloud at the press of a button

HPC Blog Eddy Shvartsman, self-described head nerd of the IBM OpenStack Toolkit for OpenPOWER, outlined the newest version of the toolkit at the recent OpenPOWER European Summit in Barcelona. He characterised it as a one-button cloud configuration that includes hardware, management software stack and operations management software. …
Dan Olds, 14 Nov 2016

European Commission dangles €374m for low-power exascale research

Europe is trying to plant a flag in future chip development, slinging money towards low-power server silicon. Through its Horizon 2020 research collaboration, the European Commission pus published a solicitation for the project. There's nearly €375m on offer for the project, which looks to push more digitisation “outside the …
Lisa Harvey-Smith at ASKAP

Australia teases binning x86 for Power CPUs in new supercomputer

Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has issued a (regwalled) tender for a new petaflop-class supercomputer that can run either x86 or Power systems silicon. But those keen to declare Intel's high-end reign is coming to an end should not get too excited: the tender may mention Power …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2016

Terror plot spy project helps Kinetica crank up database speed

HPC blog Kinetica presented its in-memory database solution at the recent OpenPOWER European Summit in Barcelona, and served up some benchmark results. You can see the entire presentation in the video below, but here are a few highlights. First, for those of you unfamiliar with Kinetica, the company came out of a US military research …
Dan Olds, 10 Nov 2016

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