Co-founder and co-editor Nicole Hemsoth brings insight from the world of high performance computing hardware and software as well as data-intensive systems and frameworks. Hemsoth is former Editor in Chief of long-standing supercomputing magazine, HPCwire. She was founding editor and conceptual creator of the data-intensive computing magazine Datanami, as well as the conceptual creator and founding Senior Editor for the large-scale infrastructure focused EnterpriseTech.
June 23, 2017 Nicole Hemsoth
All the compute power in the world is useless against code that cannot scale. And neither compute or code can be useful if growing data for simulations cannot be collected and managed.
But ultimately, none of this is useful at all if the industry that needs these HPC resources is having more trouble than ever acquiring them. It comes as no surprise that the national labs and major research centers will be the first to get exaflop-capable systems, but in a normal market (like the one oil and gas knew not long ago) these machines would be relatively quickly followed …Read more
June 22, 2017 Nicole Hemsoth
For years, the pace of change in large-scale supercomputing neatly tracked with the curve of Moore’s Law. As that swell flattens, and as the competitive pressure ticks up to build productive exascale supercomputers in the next few years, HPC has been scrambling to find the silver bullet architecture to reach sustained exascale performance. And as it turns out, there isn’t one.
But there is something else—something few saw coming three years ago, has less to do with hardware than it does a shift in how we approach massive-scale simulations, and is happening so fast that too-far-ahead-of-time procurements are …Read more
June 19, 2017 Nicole Hemsoth
It is a time of interesting architectural shifts in the world of supercomputing but one would be hard-pressed to prove that using the mid-year list of the top 500 HPC systems in the world. We are still very much in an X86 dominated world with the relatively stable number of accelerated systems to spice the numbers, but there are big changes afoot—as we described in depth when the rankings were released this morning.
This year, the list began to lose one of its designees in the list of “accelerator/offload” architectures as the Xeon Phi moves from offload model to host …Read more
June 18, 2017 Nicole Hemsoth
The exascale effort in the U.S. got a fresh injection with R&D funding set to course through six HPC vendors to develop scalable, reliable, and efficient architectures and components for new systems in the post-2020 timeframe.
However, this investment, coming rather late in the game for machines that need hit sustained exaflop performance in a 20-30 megawatt envelope in less than five years, raises a few questions about potential shifts in what the Department of Energy (DoE) is looking for in next-generation architectures. From changes in the exascale timeline and new focal points on “novel architectures” to solve exascale challenges, …Read more
June 16, 2017 Robin Birtstone
Cloud computing isn’t just for running office productivity software or realising your startup idea. It can support high-performance computing (HPC) applications that crunch through large amounts of data to produce actionable results.
Using elastic cloud resources to process data in this way can have a real business impact. What might one of these applications look like, and how could the cloud support it?
Let’s take buildings as an example. London’s ‘Walkie Talkie’ skyscraper has suffered from a bad rap of late. First it gave the term ‘hot wheels’ a whole new meaning, melting cars by inadvertently focusing the sun’s rays …Read more
June 15, 2017 Nicole Hemsoth
The US Department of Energy – and the hardware vendors it partners with – are set to enliven the exascale effort with nearly a half billion dollars in research, development, and deployment investments. The push is led by the DoE’s Exascale Computing Project and its extended PathForward program, which was announced today.
The future of exascale computing in the United States has been subjected to several changes—some public, some still in question (although we received a bit more clarification and we will get to in a moment). The timeline for delivering an exascale capability system has also shifted, with most …Read more
June 14, 2017 Nicole Hemsoth
IPOs and major investments in storage startups are one thing, but when it comes to a safe tech company investment, all bets are still on tape.
The rumors of tape’s death are greatly exaggerated, but there have been some changes to the market. While the number of installed sites might be shrinking for long-time tape storage maker, SpectraLogic, the installation sizes of its remaining customers keeps growing, which produces a nice uptick in revenue for the company, according to its CTO, Matt Starr.
This makes sense since the relatively smaller backups and archives make better performance sense on disk—and many …Read more
June 13, 2017 Nicole Hemsoth
Astronomy is the oldest research arena, but the technologies required to process the massive amount of data created from radio telescope arrays represents some of the most bleeding-edge research in modern computer science.
With an exabyte of data expected to stream off the Square Kilometer Array (SKA), teams from both the front and back ends of the project have major challenges ahead. One “small” part of that larger picture of seeing farther into the universe than ever before is moving the data from the various distributed telescopes into a single unified platform and data format. This means transferring data from …Read more
June 13, 2017 John Kirkley
Despite the best efforts of leading cosmologists, the nature of dark energy and dark matter – which comprise approximately 95% of the total mass-energy content of the universe – is still a mystery.
Dark matter remains undetected even with all the different methods that have been employed so far to directly find it. The origin of dark energy is one of the greatest puzzles in physics. Cosmologist Katrin Heitmann, PI of an Aurora Early Science Program effort at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) and her team are conducting research to shed some light on the dark universe.
“The reach …Read more
June 12, 2017 Nicole Hemsoth
We are heading into International Supercomputing Conference week (ISC) and as such, there are several new items of interest from the HPC side of the house.
As far as supercomputer architectures go for mid-2017, we can expect to see a lot of new machines with Intel’s Knights Landing architecture, perhaps a scattered few finally adding Nvidia K80 GPUs as an upgrade from older generation accelerators (for those who are not holding out for Volta with NVlink ala the Summit supercomputer), and of course, it all remains to be seen what happens with the Tianhe-2 and Sunway machines in China in …Read more