Virtualization Meets HPC at Oak Ridge

As reported at InsideHPC, Sun’s Josh Simons has posted an interesting report on the state of Virtualization for HPC:
“Resiliency isn’t something the HPC community has traditionally cared much about. Nodes were thin and cheap. If a node crashed, restart the job, replace the node, use checkpoint-restart if you can. Move on; life on the edge is hard. But the world is changing. Nodes are getting fatter again–more cores, more memory, more IO. Big SMPs in tiny packages with totally different economics from traditional large SMPs. Suddenly there is enough persistent state on a node that people start to care how long their nodes stay up. Capabilities like Fault Management start to look really interesting, especially if you are a commercial HPC customer using HPC in production.” Full Story

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Roland Piquepaille Dies


Update: ZDNet has published more details of Roland’s death.
I’m sad to report that longtime HPC technology pundit Roland Piquepaille died this past Tuesday. Many of you may know of him through his blog, his writings at ZDNet and Slashdot, and his many years of software visualization work at SGI and Cray Research.
I worked with Roland 20 years ago at Cray, where we both wrote tech stories for the company newsletter. With his focus on how new technologies modify our way of life, Roland was really doing Slashdot-type reporting before there was even a world wide web. You can read his brief ZDNet bio here.
Rest in peace, Roland. You will be missed.

Sun acquires cloud virtual data center company

Sun has acquired Q-layer, a Belgian vendor of software for automating the management of computing clouds. The acquisition provides a clue as to how Sun plans to go about delivering on the cloud computing strategy it outlined last month.
“The founders’ idea was to provide a virtual data centre for cloud-based computing services offered by both external and internal (inside an enterprise) data centre service suppliers. The server, storage and network facilities of a commodity-based physical data centre would be abstracted into a DAL, a database abstraction layer, and a language invented to instantiate and operate a virtual private data centre (VPDC) in a cloud. Q-layer’s NephOS software operates through existing virtualisation hypervisor technologies such as those from MIcrosoft, Sun, VMware and Xen.” Full Story

The Fastest Computers are Going Hybrid

Automobiles aren’t the only machines taking a hybrid approach. Judging by the recent SC08 conference in Austin, Texas, the future of supercomputer design seems to be heading toward using multiple types of processors in a single system. That approach is a significant change in the supercomputing field, and like any major shift in technology, it comes with hidden problems. Full Story

Grid Applications: A New Way To Do Business

Grid technology developed by European researchers offers a new way to do business, with partners working simply, seamlessly and ‘virtually’ around a common goal. It is already having a big impact, in a variety of applications. GlaxoSmithKline can now link up with product partners in days or weeks rather than months. Meteorologists will soon access libraries of weather data from across the globe through their browser in seconds. The aerospace and automotive industries can quickly deploy widespread teams to tackle complex problems. Full Story

More Pics Posted from SC08


I wonder if our old friend Henry Fong got one of those OpenSolaris tats?
If you’ve been looking for your picture on the JavaChopper, the Sun booth photo gallery has been updated with a new set of shots from Carl Wimmi. Thanks to Josh Simons, Deirdre Straughan, and everyone else who contributed. SC08 Photo Gallery

Sun Recognized for 20 Years of SC Participation


At SC08, Sun was recognized for two decades of SC participation and support. Here’s to another 20 years. Then maybe I can retire.
At right, John Fowler receives the award from SC07 and SC08 General Chairs Becky Verastegui and Pat Teller.