Looking for job security? Consider becoming a HPC performance tool developer

Bernd Mohr

When I started to work on performance tools for parallel computers 25 years ago, I wasn’t sure how long I would be able to work in this interesting and exciting area of high performance computing.  Performance was always in the center of HPC, so anyone helping application developers to optimize and tune their codes were in high demand. But parallel computing and HPC became “mainstream” with the new millennium: Cluster systems made HPC affordable also for smaller universities and enterprises, and with the Message Passing Interface (MPI) there was a portable and well-recognized standard for programming these systems. I imagined that over time, parallel programming would become easy and everyone would be able to write portable, efficient and high-performance codes. Boy was I wrong!


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

Vorname Name
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

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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