ISC HPC Blog

Running a railway - what are the lessons for supercomputing?


Tom Wilkie
Tom Wilkie

At the beginning of this month, a thousand-strong ‘orange army’ – so called because of the distinctive colour of their weather-proof safety clothing – has successfully repaired and re-opened the train line that hugs the Devon coast at Dawlish, portions of which had been washed into the sea by the devastation of the great storms that hit the UK early in February. They had been working night and day, sometimes in atrocious conditions, to repair what is one of the most beautiful stretches of railway line in the world, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1846. But the motivation was not just aesthetic, this mainline track connects London and the far south-west of Britain and, more than a century and a half after its creation, remains an artery vital to the economic health of the nation.

 

The UberCloud Earns 2013 HPCwire Readers Choice Award

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Wolfgang Gentzsch

At the Supercomputing Conference and Exhibition in Denver last month, the UberCloud HPC Experiment received the 2013 HPCwire Readers Choice Award for the “Best Cloud Implementation.” The UberCloud, which was featured at this year’s International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Leipzig and ISC Cloud in Heidelberg, was founded in mid-2012 to provide a platform for engineers and scientists to explore using cloud computing for their HPC workloads, as well as to study and resolve the major roadblocks. So far, over 700 organizations from 60 countries have joined UberCloud, and more than 120 teams have been built around applications from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). 

 

Breaking The Law

As a theoretical physicist, I am fascinated by “fundamental” laws of physics describing basic phenomena of nature. Many of these laws are tested through numerous experiments and are “valid” within the constraints defined by these experiments. In this sense we “believe”, for example, in Newton's law of gravity.

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How Not to Do Science

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Michael Feldman

If some proposed legislation in the US becomes the law of the land, supercomputers funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) might have a rather different set of workloads in the not-too-distant future. In fact, there might be less need for these supercomputers, altogether.

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Is comparing HPC to Formula1 a bad idea?

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones

I missed the Formula1 Malaysian Grand Prix recently as I was travelling to the USA at the time. Apparently I missed a highly interesting race – lots of good racing, Alonso out early, an embarrassing mistake by Hamilton, and some poorly judged behaviour by Vettel. However, it got me thinking about the way in the HPC community, we often make the comparison of supercomputing being like Formula1.

 

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