An visit to the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg was taken on the 19th of October, which is is home for an HPC centre which specializes in Neuroscience, Elementary Particle Physics and Microsystems Engineering giving the name to the system: NEMO. NEMO is a CentOS 7 cluster with has 756 compute nodes (plus a few others) using Intel Broadwell for a total of 526 TFlops of performance and OmniPath interconnect, and is a Top500 system.
The visit to the University of Stuttgart was carried out on the 17th and 18th of October, 2016. The High Performance Computing Center of Stuttgart University (HLRS) is Germany's first national HPC centre, established in 1996.
When installing a new system (whether HPC, cloud, or just a bunch of servers, disks, etc), they must be housed. Certainly this can be without any specialist environment, especially if one is building a small test cluster; for example with half-a-dozen old but homogeneous systems, each connected with 100BASE-TX ethernet to a switch etc.
By default, EasyBuild will delete the build directory of an successful installation and will save failures of attempted installs for diagnostic purposes. In some cases however, one may want to save the build directory. This can be useful, for example, for diagnosis of *successful* builds. Another example is the installation of plugins for applications such as Paraview, which *require* access to the the successful buildir.
Recently, the University of Melbourne is ranked #1 in Australia and #33 in the world, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings of 2015-2016 . The rankings are based on a balanced metric between citations, industry income, international outlook, research, and teaching.
There is a wonderful Spanish idiom, "Cada loco con su tema" which is sometimes massacred as the English idiom "To each their own". In Spanish of course it is more accurately transliterated as "Each madman with their topic" which in familiar conversation means the same, has a slightly different and is a more illustrative angle on the subject. With the in mind, which path to insanity does one take with R libraries and EasyBuild? A similar question can also be raised with other languages that have extensions, e.g., Python and Perl.
The visit to Center for Scientific Computing (CSC) was carried out on October 14, 2016. Based at the Riedberg campus of the Goethe University Frankfurt the centre currently operates two Linux-based computer clusters FUCHS, and LOEWE-CSC. FUCHS has 14 air-cooled and 5 water-cooled racks using AMD Opteron (Istanbul and Magny-Cours) with 39956 cores total, mixed 4X DDR-QDR InfiniBand fabric and, a parallel scratch file system with an aggregated bandwidth of 6 GB/s and a capacity of 600 TB. 41 TFlops peak perfomance.
Following the acceptance of the University of Melbourne's paper to the OpenStack Barcelona summit in late October for their new HPC-cloud hybrid system, Spartan, an opportunity presented itself to visit other HPC centres and review their architecture and training programmes.
For about two weeks prior and a week after presenting at the OpenStack Summit in Barcelona I had the opportunity to visit several of Europe's major high performance computing facilities, giving each a bit of a standard pitch for the HPC-Cloud hybrid system we had developed at the University of Melbourne.
The somewhat nebulous term "supercomputer" has a long history. Although first coined in the 1920s to refer to IBMs tabulators, in electronic computing the most important initial contribution was the CDC6600 in the 1960s, due to its advanced performance over competitors. Over time major technological advancements included vector processing, cluster architecture, massive processors counts, GPGPU technologies, multidimensional torus architectures for interconnect.