HPC systems running massively parallel jobs need a fairly static software operating environment running on bare metal hardware, a high speed interconnect to reach their full potential, and offer linear performance scaling for cleverly designed applications. Cloud computing, on the other hand, offers flexible virtual environments and can be used for pleasingly parallel workloads.
A visit to the University of Canterbury was conducted on Feburary 16, 2007. Like the University of Canterbury, Otago University now almost entirely has outsourced its HPC facilities to the NESI national facilities, although there is (small, aging) departmental clusters, an argument for local installations for real-time processing of streaming-data.
A visit to the University of Canterbury was conducted on February 15, 2017. The University of Canterbury used to have its own impressive collection of HPC facilities. Alas, much of that has now been decommissioned (although Popper is still operational) with users largely moved to the national facilties, coordinated by NESI and hosted at NIWA and the University of Auckland respectively.
The Centro Nacional de Supercomputacion (BSC/CNS) is the peak national HPC facility in Spain and is home to MareNostrum (1.1 Pflops, 48,896 Intel Sandy Bridge processors in 3,056 nodes, including 84 Xeon Phi 5110P in 42 nodes, and 2 PB of storage; 29th system in the top500 in June 2013). They also have Mino Tauro, a heterogeneous GPGPU cluster. MareNostrum is not the most powerful system in the world, but it is the most beautiful. It is housed in the Chapel Torre Girona, a 19th century (deconsecrated) church.
Several members of the Research Platforms team, as well as members of the NeCTAR Reseach Cloud, attended the OpenStack Summit in Barcelona from Sunday October 23 to Friday October 28th. OpenStack is big enough to have major conferences, "summits", twice year since 2010, correlating with an OpenStack software release.
The 6th Multicore World will be held on Monday 20th to Wednesday 22nd of February 2017 at Shed 6 on the Wellington (NZ) waterfront. Nicolás Erdödy (Open Parallel) has once again done an amazing job at finding some the significant speakers in the world in parallel programming and multicore systems to attend. Although a short - and not an enormous conference - the technical quality is always extremely high, dealing with some of the most fundamental problems and recent experiences in these fields.
Presentation to Linux Users of Victoria, 7th February, 2017
An overview of cloud computing platforms in general, and OpenStack in particular, is provided introduces this presentation. Cloud computing is one of the most significant changes to IT infrastructure and employment in the past decade, with major corporate services (Amazon, Microsoft) gaining particular significance in the late 2000s. In mid-2010, Rackspace Hosting and NASA jointly launched an open-source cloud-software initiative known as OpenStack, with initial code coming from NASA's Nebula project and Rackspace's Cloud Files project, and soon gained prominence as the largest open-source cloud platform. Although a cross-platform service, it was quickly available on various Linux distributions including Debian, Ubuntu, SuSE (2011), and Red Hat (2012).
OpenStack is governed by the OpenStack Foundation, a non-profit corporate entity established in September 2012. Correlating with the release cycle of the product, OpenStack Summits are held every six months for developers, users and managers. The most recent Summit was held in Barcelona in late October 2016, with over 5000 attendees, almost 1000 organisations and companies, and 500 sessions, spread out over three days, plus one day of "Upstream University" prior to the main schedule, plus one day after the main schedule for contributor working parties. The presentation will cover the major announcements of the conference as well as a brief overview of the major streams, as well the direction of OpenStack as the November Sydney Summit approaches.
Had a friendly meeting a few days ago with a young person debating their future career path. They had a very good IT-orientated resume (give this person a job, seriously) but were debating whether they should go down the path of a Business Analyst. It was fairly clear that they lived and breathed IT, whereas the BA choice was one of some indifference. In reverse, there was a situation when VPAC had a year of summer school graduates where it became quickly obvious that none of them had any passion for IT.