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High Performance Computing

High Performance Computing
A discussion venue for all things high performance computing (HPC), supercomputing, and the technologies that enables scientific research and discovery.
Results for HPCC
  • 6-02-2008 - Whither Virtualization in HPCC - Comments

    Wither Virtualization in HPCC I think it’s very interesting that when a new technology comes out, people immediately assume it’s a solution for all problems. The phrase that comes to mind is, “When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” In some ways, I think Virtualization...
  • 7-06-2008 - Cloud Computing and HPCC

    Cloud Computing and HPCC There has been a huge amount of buzz about Cloud Computing and how it is changing everything in the computing world. We’re seeing signs that yes indeed, the cloud is changing computing. But as I mentioned in one of my previous blogs (insert link), sometimes when a new technology...
  • HPC Overview

    Cluster Computing has revolutionized High Performance Computing (HPC). Prior to clusters, HPC was dominated by large centralized systems with names such as CDC , Cray , SGI , and IBM . All of the users shared these machines as centralized resources, reducing costs by centralizing expense resources. However...
  • HPC Cluster Nodes

    The heart and the brains of a cluster run on servers (in the HPCC world people call them nodes). In general, there are two major types of nodes: master/login nodes and compute nodes. Let’s go over the basic functions of HPCC nodes and what general options are available. Master/Login Node ...
  • HPC Cluster Networks

    One of the things that make a cluster, a cluster, is the network. It allows the nodes to send data to each other as part of a parallel application (upcoming link to article about how parallel programs work), it is the vehicle for reading and writing data, and for monitoring and controlling the cluster...
  • HPC Cluster Storage

    For many years people viewed storage as kind of an afterthought in the design of clusters. But over time as HPCC has grown and taken on an increasingly important role in companies' overall strategy, storage has become much more important and is usually designed into the cluster from the beginning...
  • HPC Cluster Software

    Software is one of the most important aspects of a cluster. The reason is that not only is the generic title “software” mean the applications but it also refers to the software that takes the separate pieces of the cluster (i.e. the nodes) and makes them work together as a single unit. It...
  • 12-01-2008 - 10GigE in HPCC

    One of the common questions I see people asking is, “what about 10 Gigabit Ethernet in HPC?” I’ve been seeing lots and lots of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) floating around about 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GigE). So I decided to write this blog to start talking about 10GigE and hopefully...
  • 02-19-2009 - File System Aging – What you Don’t Know

    We all get old and as a result we slow down. What many people don’t know is that as file systems age, they get slower as well. Just as people are different, so are file systems. Some age gracefully and still perform well, while others age quickly and performance tanks very fast. This applies to...
  • HPCC Blog - The Dell TechCenter - Archive

    2008 Blogs
  • HPCC Blogs - 2008

    10GigE in HPCC One of the common questions I see people asking is, “what about 10 Gigabit Ethernet in HPC?” I’ve been seeing lots and lots of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) floating around about 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GigE). So I decided to write this blog to start talking about...
  • 04-06-2009 - Introduction to Nehalem-EP

    I think you’ve heard by now that Intel has released a new processor, the Xeon 5500 (code-named Nehalem-EP). While the consumer version of this processor has been released as the Core i7, this is server version of the processor. It is a sea change for Intel processors for a number of reasons that...
  • Memory Wall -- HPBD 070809

    In 1994, Wulf and McKee predicted that computer performance improvement would soon cease. They reasoned that CPUs were becoming too fast for their own good. CPUs would soon become so much faster than memory that program execution time would depend entirely on how fast the memory could feed CPUs data...
  • BIOS Optimization for HPC on 11G -- HPBD 082409

    Dell's PowerEdge 11G servers -- based on Intel's Nehalem micro-architecture -- include new features intended to improve performance and energy efficiency across a wide range of server workloads. Dell's HPCC engineering team recently published a whitepaper that describes optimal BIOS settings...
  • HPCC in Paradise -- HPBD 082609

    In Polynesian culture, mana means life force or power. To say that someone has mana means that they have influence or authority. The Maui High Performance Computing Cente r increased its mana with a new 1,152 node cluster of PowerEdge 11G servers . The compute nodes are M610 blades connected together...
  • iSCSI for HPC -- HPBD 090809

    Last week the Dell HPC engineering team presented a poster at the IEEE Cluster 2009 conference in New Orleans describing iSCSI I/O subsystems for HPC. Commonly used in Enterprise computing, the HPC community has been slow to adopt iSCSI storage for clusters. This paper describes two use cases for iSCSI...
  • Impact of C1E on PowerEdge 11G Servers -- HPBD 100909

    C1E (Enhanced halt state) is a new BIOS option which is added to 11G Servers with the latest BIOS version 1.2.6. Since all other BIOS options (Turbo mode, C-states and various power management profiles) are already covered in the whitepaper “ Optimal BIOS Settings for High Performance Computing...
  • HPC: the next 20 years -- HPBD 102609

    The Coalition for Academic Supercomputing (CASC) is an educational nonprofit dedicated to advocating the use of advanced computing technology to accelerate scientific discovery. Last September, CASC had its 20th anniversary meeting . Academic and industry leaders gathered in Washington DC to discuss...
  • A Comparison of Ext2, Ext3 and Ext4 Performance

    The goal of this post is to study the sequential read and write performance that one can get from a RAID array using various local file systems available in Linux, specifically the ext2, ext3 and ext4 file systems. Ext3 file system adds journal feature to ext2 for better reliability. Ext4 is an incremental...
  • Comparing Different PV MD1200 Connection Topologies

    The Dell PowerVault MD1200/1220 arrays provide a convenient way to expand the PowerEdge servers to gain access to more drives. The MD1200 and MD1220 models use the 6Gb SAS technology, and they can be daisy chained up to 4 units. This allows a maximum of 8 arrays to be connected to a single adapter since...
  • 9-20-2008 - Do You Know What’s Going On with Your IO? - Comments

    It’s been a few months since I posted some blogs about how to use strace to get an understanding of the IO pattern of you codes (serial and parallel). These first few blogs were actually re-prints of some articles I wrote for Linux Magazine way back at the beginning of the year. So I thought I...
  • 8-20-2008 - Are SATA Disks Really Less Reliable than FC disks?

    I’ve seen many, many people say that Fibre Channel (FC) disks are much better than SATA drives. Of course saying “better” doesn’t mean a whole lot unless you define the parameters of “better”. One of the most common phrases I hear is, “FC disks have a higher...
  • 11th-generation – As Good As Advertised? HPBD 070209

    Last March, Dell released the 11th-generation Dell™ PowerEdge™ servers based on the Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series (Nehalem) micro-architecture. In my 10 years at Dell I can’t remember a product launch accompanied with such high expectations. Some of the performance projections...