Archives for category: Linux

LSUindustrypanelI’ve been invited to represent Dell and speak at LSU’s upcoming HPC Industry Panel.  It’s exciting to go back to my alma mater!  Students from across LSU’s summer research programs will be in attendance.

It’s just too bad this didn’t happen a month later so I could catch an LSU football game in Death Valley!  At least I will get a chance to see SuperMike-II which I had a considerable role in designing.

UPDATE:  LSU published a nice recap of the session.  Below are a few of my quotes:

“I decided to co-op in college, and it was the best decision I ever made,” said Blake Gonzales, high performance computing scientist at Dell Inc. “What you can actually do will make the world of difference, not your GPA or where you went to school,” he added.

“I had a low GPA at one point as an undergraduate student, but received 13 job offers. So if you don’t have a job yet, walk out of this room after our meeting and find one!” he said.

“Learning is very important for me, too, and while designing supercomputers at Dell, I spend a lot of time reading and writing papers,” said Gonzales.

“Teach them how to work in groups more effectively,” Gonzales suggested. “The hardest part is not the actual assignment, but dealing with people. And that’s what real life is all about.”

When talking about job opportunities at Dell, Gonzales pointed out that there are many open positions in the area of high performance computing (HPC).  “HPC is infiltrating every part of society, every manufacturing process, every biological process, and it is becoming a very exciting field to work in,” he said.

Gonzales mentioned a project recently implemented by Dell that involved the top cancer that strikes children. After the little patients are diagnosed, it takes several weeks to start treatment, because doctors first must complete DNA sequencing that requires a lot of computation. Dell’s specialists in HPC were able to cut down the time from several weeks to four hours. This can literally save lives, as children will be getting their treatment sooner now.

 

Dell has leapfrogged HP to capture the #2 top HPC vendor crown!

IBM, followed by Dell, was the top named [HPC] vendor for number of nodes installed when outliers (i.e., systems with 2,000 or more nodes) were excluded.  Click for full article

I’m sure that most users reading this are using HPC systems with less than 2000 nodes.  It’s the core of the HPC market and Dell has captured a very large portion of it.

Our goal in this report was to discover system-level trends within the HPC user communities by examining supplier penetration, architecture trends, and node configurations.  As with previous years, we surveyed a broad range of users about their current computer system installations, storage systems, networks, middleware, and the applications software supporting these installations.

I wanted to point you to some interesting things going on at SC10 and also some content I’ve contributed to this week in New Orleans.  I’ll be updating this post occasionally.

HPCatDell
SC10 SCC Shows Excitement & Sense of Community!
Can the Flux Capacitor & Dellorean Power Univ of Texas to the Top?
SCC … Flashback to SC09 … Fast Forward to SC10
Insight & thoughts about Clayton Christensen’s Keynote Address
Supercomputing 2010 – Preview, Thoughts, Trends

insideHPC
TACC’s Student Cluster Challenge Team Wins Highest Linpack Award

Video: SC10 Recap: Student Cluster Competition Awards

The Register
SCC after dark: Clustering all night long

HPC clustering: A new spectator sport in the Lone Star state?

TACC – TACC’s Student Cluster Challenge Team Wins Highest Linpack

SCC Competition Site – SC10 SCC Results

Twitter – HPCatDell SC10

One of my Dell HPC colleagues, Dr. Jeff Layton, has put together a great guide for getting started with Logical Volume Management on Linux.  LVM on UNIX based platforms has been around for a long time, but is relatively new (and now stable) on Linux within the last few years.

Over the years, I’ve used GUI volume managers on Solaris (Veritas), AIX (LVM), and HP-UX (SAM), but they were proprietary and expensive.  LVM on Linux is a great solution.  You may balk at using a GUI, but when you have your companies’ critical data on the line, there is nothing like “seeing” your volumes before you manipulate them.  For me, storage management was probably the most stressful part of UNIX/Linux system administration, because if you screwed up, you could lose data.  It is worthwhile to use all the tools at your disposal (even a GUI!) to make sure you aren’t, for instance, removing the wrong disk from the wrong logical volume.

File systems on your HPC cluster provide data storage to individual nodes, and entire subsets of nodes.  This is the home for your data and results, so lets keep it safe!  It is important to configure journaling, multiple data stores, and of course RAID.  Take a look at my tips for correctly configuring file systems on your cluster. Feel free to share your thoughts as well.

%d bloggers like this: