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Posts Tagged ‘HPC’

Is Your HPC System Fully Optimized? + Live Chat

June 11, 2018 Leave a comment

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This is a duplicate of a high-performance computing blog I authored for Cray, originally published at the Cray Blog Site.

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Let’s talk operating systems…

Take a step back and look at the systems you have in place to run applications and workloads that require high core counts to get the job done. (You know, jobs like fraud detection, seismic analysis, cancer research, patient data analysis, weather prediction, and more — jobs that can really take your organization to the next level, trying to solve seriously tough challenges.)

You’re likely running a cutting-edge processor, looking to take advantage of the latest and greatest innovations in compute processing and floating-point calculations. The models you’re running are complex, pushing the bounds of math and science, so you want the best you can get when it comes to processor power.

You’re probably looking at a high-performance file system to ensure that your gigantic swaths of data can be accessed, processed, and stored so your outcomes tell the full story.

You’re most likely using a network interconnect that can really move so that your system can hum, connecting data and processing in a seamless manner, with limited performance hit.

We can go on and on, in terms of drive types, memory choices, and even cabling decisions. The more optimized your system can be for a high-performance workload, the faster and better your results will be.

But what about your software stack, starting with your operating system?

Live tweet chat

Join us for a live online chat at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 19 — “Do you need an HPC-optimized OS?” — to learn about optimizing your HPC workloads with an improved OS. You can participate using a Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook account and the hashtag #GetHPCOS.

Sunny Sundstrom and I will discuss what tools to use to customize the environment for your user base, whether there’s value in packaging things together, and what the underlying OS really means for you.

Bring your questions or offer your own expertise.

Moment of truth time

Are you optimizing your system at the operating environment level, like you are across the rest of your system? Are you squeezing every bit of performance benefit out of your system, even when it comes to the OS?

Think about it — if you’re searching for an additional area to drive a performance edge, the operating system could be just the place to look:

  • There are methods to allocate jobs to run on specific nodes tuned for specific workloads — driven at the OS level.
  • You can deploy a lighter-weight OS instance on your working compute node to avoid unnecessarily bringing down the performance of the job, while ensuring your service nodes can adequately run and manage your system.
  • You can decrease jitter of the overall system by using the OS as your control point.

All of this at the OS level.

Take a deeper look at your overall system, including the software stack, and specifically your operating system and operating environment.

You may be pleasantly surprised to find that you can drive even more performance in a seemingly unexpected place.

Until next time,

JBG
@jbgeorge

Add our 6/19 tweet chat to your calendar for further discussion.

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8 Letters to HPC Success – SOFTWARE

March 26, 2018 Leave a comment

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This is a duplicate of a high-performance computing blog I authored for Cray, originally published at the Cray Blog Site.

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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 component and a remarkable enabler for gleaning optimal performance from an application and a system. And that means getting that much more performance out of your system, getting you to insights and answers faster.

Along with fine-tuning your hardware infrastructure, imagine the impacts of an HPC-optimized software OS and operating environment. You could witness the impact of lower jitter, more focused intelligence built into to the various levels of the hardware system, and greater levels of job deployment flexibility.

Or think of the impact of a unified, cross-processor programming environment, designed to help your application developers get the most of their HPC applications — a programming interface that gives them broad control and flexibility when it comes to porting, compiling, debugging and optimizing the applications that get you results.

These software applications are the reality for today’s Cray customers.

From the Cray Linux® Environment to the Cray Programming Environment, from powerful systems management to amazing storage telemetry, and from emerging cloud capabilities to effective analytics packages, we enable our customers to take performance to the next level with our comprehensive software portfolio.

Here at Cray, we understand the power of the software stack and have been committed to building the best for several decades. In addition to our work with our ecosystem of software partners and open source communities, we remain big believers in rolling up our sleeves and getting into the code. Our software engineering teams work hand in hand with our system hardware teams to ensure Cray systems are optimized at all levels, and find ways to extend the reach of our partners and open-source projects.

And there’s no slowing down in sight.

It’s time you leveraged the power of HPC-optimized software to answer the big questions you have in your business.

In the coming weeks we’ll bring you a more in-depth look at Cray’s HPC-optimized software stack with blogs, videos, webinars and other helpful tools so that you can maximize the performance of your Cray systems and applications.

Learn more about Cray software.

HPC: Enabling Fraud Detection, Keeping Drivers Safe, Helping Cure Disease, and So Much More

November 14, 2016 Leave a comment

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This is a duplicate of a blog I authored for SUSE, originally published at the SUSE Blog Site.

Ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, and you will often hear aspirations like:

  • “I want to be an astronaut, and go to outer space!”
  • “I want to be a policeman / policewoman, and keep people safe!”
  • “I want to be a doctor – I could find a cure for cancer!”
  • “I want to build cars / planes / rocket ships / buildings / etc – the best ones in the world!”
  • “I want to be an engineer in a high performance computing department!”

OK, that last one rarely comes up.

Actually, I’ve NEVER heard it come up.

But here’s the irony of it all…

That last item is often a major enabler for all the other items.

Surprised?  A number of people are.

For many, “high performance computing” – or “HPC” for short – often has a reputation for being a largely academic engineering model, reserved for university PhDs seeking to prove out futuristic theories.

The reality is the high performance computing has influenced a number of things we take for granted on a daily basis, across a number of industries, from healthcare to finance to energy and more.

medicalHPC has been an engineering staple in a number of industries for many years, and has enabled a number of the innovations we all enjoy on a daily basis. And it’s a critical function of how we will function as a society going forward.

Here are a few examples:

  • Do you enjoy driving a car or other vehicle?  Thank an HPC department at the auto manufacturer. There’s a good chance that an HPC effort was behind modeling the safety hazards that you may encounter as a driver.  Unexpected road obstacles, component failure, wear and tear of parts after thousands of miles, and even human driver behavior and error.
  • Have you fueled your car with gas recently?  Thank an HPC department at the energy / oil & gas company.  While there is innovation around electric vehicles, many of us still use gasoline to ensure we can get around.  Exploring for, and finding, oil can be an arduous, time-consuming, expensive effort.  With HPC modeling, energy companies can find pockets of resources sooner, limiting the amount of exploratory drilling, and get fuel for your car to you more efficiently.
  • Have you been treated for illnesses with medical innovation?  Thank an HPC department at the pharmaceutical firm and associated research hospitals.  Progress in the treatment of health ailments can trace innovation to HPC teams working in partnership with health care professionals.  In fact, much of the research done today to cure some of the world’s diseases and genomics are done on HPC clusters.
  • Have you ever been proactively contacted by your bank on suspected fraud on your account?  Thank an HPC department at the financial institution.  Often times, banking companies will use HPC cluster to run millions of “monte carlo simulations” to model out financial fraud and intrusive hacks.  The amount of models required and the depth at which they analyze requires a significant amount of processing power, requiring a stronger-than-normal computing structure.

And the list goes on and on.

  • Security enablementspace
  • Banking risk analysis
  • Space exploration
  • Aircraft safety
  • Forecasting natural disasters
  • So much more…

If it’s a tough problem to solve, more likely than not, HPC is involved.

And that’s what’s so galvanizing about HPC. It is a computing model that enables us to do so many of the things we take for granted today, but is also on the forefront of new innovation coming from multiple industries in the future.

HPC is also a place where emerging technologies get early adoption, mainly because experts in HPC require new tech to get even deeper into their trade.  Open source is a major staple of this group of users, especially with deep adoption of Linux.

You also see early adoption of open source cloud tech like OpenStack (to help institutions share compute power and storage to collaborate) and of open source distributed storage tech like Ceph (to connect highly performant file systems to colder, back up storage, often holding “large data.”)  I anticipate we will see this space be among the first to broadly adopt tech in Internet-of-Things (IoT), blockchain, and more.

Business CommunicationHPC has been important enough that the governments around the world have funded multiple initiatives to drive more innovation using the model.  Here are a few examples:

This week, there is a large gathering of HPC experts in Salt Lake City (SuperComputing16) for engineers and researchers to meet / discuss / collaborate on enabling HPC more.  From implementing tech like cloud and distributed storage, to best practices in modeling and infrastructure, and driving progress more in medicine, energy, finance, security, and manufacturing, this should be a stellar week of some of the best minds around.  (SUSE is out here as well – David has a great blog here on everything that we’re doing at the event.)

High performance computing: take a second look – it may be much more than you originally thought.

And maybe it can help revolutionize YOUR industry.

Until next time,

JOSEPH
@jbgeorge

Thoughts on the Spring 2012 OpenStack Design Summit

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The Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution - sweet!It’s been a couple of weeks since the OpenStack summit took place in San Francisco.  It was a great one, and I’m finally getting some time to put down a few thoughts about this year’s show. 

The company I work for, Dell, chose to sponsor again, which was great.  That would make five OpenStack conferences in a row, including the first one in Austin before OpenStack was announced.

It was great to see all the familiar faces, some with new companies.  And there was a number of new faces, which is a great indicator of the progress the OpenStack movement is making.  In fact, in the first keynote delivered by Jonathan Bryce, he asked for a show of hands of those who had never been to an OpenStack Summit before – I ballparked it at about 25% of the room as new! 

Some interesting takeaways from the conference:

  • The user community showed up A nice OpenStack crowd!
      
    The topic of users has been coming up at our local Austin OpenStack meetup often, and I was glad to see a number of inquisitive users come to the show to learn about using OpenStack in operation.  Users are an important part of our communit’y’s evolution, and it was good to see that group out in force to have their voices heard.
      
  • HPC as a cloud use case
      
    In a number of user sessions, high performance computing came up as a use case on OpenStack.  This has not been a space where I would have expected HPC to come up as a technology, but in thinking about it, it makes sense.  Similar to other spaces, the HPC communities are looking for more flexible, extensible platforms to build their systems on.
      
  • More user adoption of Crowbar
      
    Dell has been at the forefront of bare metal provisioning of multi-node OpenStack clouds since the advent of OpenStack, and every conference featured Dell doing bare metal deployments live.   It was great to hear about a number of methods of deployment that users were using, but also enlightening to know about all the users using Crowbar that we weren”t even aware of.  (It’s an open source community so that happens. 🙂 )   We’re commited to continuing to drive Crowbar as a deployment / mgmt / configuration framework, and it’s good to see the community adopting it as a platform.
      
  • www.Dell.com/OpenStackContinuing interest in the Dell OpenStack-Powered Cloud Solution.
      
    Lots of good work is being done all over the community – software, services, and public cloud featuring OpenStack.  But I was happy that Dell was still clearly focused on being a central provider of OpenStack as an on-premise, cloud solution, whether private cloud for IT, or a public cloud option for service providers to offer.   Along with the announcement of the Emerging Solutions Ecosystem, which features a number of Dell partners like Canonical, enStratus, and Mirantis, there were a number of great discussions on how customers could get going on OpenStack asap.
      

And there’s a ton more that I’m not covering – the foundation, user group formation, hypervisor talk, etc, etc, etc – I’ll let you do that.

Drop me a comment about some of the things that you took away from the summit.  There was a lot to be excited about.

Already looking forward to the next summit in the fall.

Until next time,

JBGeorge
@jbgeorge

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