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HPC 2012 Contents Contents Welcome


Welcome to the first edition of our high-performance computing yearbook, HPC 2012. As the team behind Scientific Computing World, we have the privilege of reporting on the technological advances that change the face of HPC, as they happen. Many of these changes have a profound impact on science and engineering, as well as society more widely, and with that in mind we hope that this annual publication will offer a distinctive view of the industry, providing insight into today’s, and a guide to tomorrow’s, achievements. We begin by taking a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges


HPC facilities


The challenges that come with running a world-class HPC centre


Infrastructure


How to ensure that the right HPC infrastructure is in place


Integration


Integration in high-performance computing environments


Memory


A look at whether memory is being taken for granted


Networking Exploring the vital role of interconnects Processing


Enabling software to achieve maximum performance from hardware resources


IDC analysis


An IDC report on the use of high-end high-performance computing


Storage The storage landscape in 2012 and beyond Workload management


Why workload management has become an essential tool for the HPC administrator


Show and tell 28 Technology highlights from the year’s most important exhibitions 24 20 18 16 14


EDITORIAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM Editor: Beth Harlen (editor.scw@europascience.com) Feature Writer:Warren Clark Publisher: Dr Tom Wilkie Circulation/readership enquiries: Pete Vine (subs@europascience.com)


ADVERTISING TEAM Advertising Sales Manager: Darren Ebbs (darren.ebbs@europascience.com) Tel: +44 (0)1223 275 465 Fax +44 (0)1223 213385 Business Development: Sarah Ellis-Miller (sarah.ellis.miller@europascience.com) Tel: +44 (0)1223 275 466 Fax +44 (0)1223 213385 Advertising Production: David Houghton (david.houghton@europascience.com) Tel: +44 (0)1223 275 474 Fax +44 (0)1223 213385


CORPORATE TEAM Publishing Director: Warren Clark Chairman: Dr Tom Wilkie Web: www.scientific-computing.com


SUBSCRIPTIONS: HPC 2012 is published by Europa Science Ltd, which also publishes Scientific Computing World. Free registration is available to qualifying individuals (register online at www.scientific-computing.com). Subscriptions £100 a year for six issues to readers outside registration requirements. Single issue £20. Orders to ESL, SCW Circulation, 9 Clifton Court, Cambridge CB1 7BN, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1223 211170. Fax: +44 (0)1223 213385. ©2012 Europa Science Ltd. Whilst every care has been taken in the compilation of this magazine, errors or omissions are not the responsibility of the publishers or of the editorial staff. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publishers or editorial staff. All rights reserved. Unless specifically stated, goods or services mentioned are not formally endorsed by Europa Science Ltd, which does not guarantee or endorse or accept any liability for any goods and/or services featured in this publication.


US copies: Scientific Computing World (ISSN 1356-7853/USPS No 018-753) is published bi-monthly for £100 per year by Europa Science Ltd, and distributed in the USA by DSW, 75 Aberdeen Rd, Emigsville PA 17318-0437. Periodicals postage paid at Emigsville PA. Postmaster: Send address corrections to Scientific Computing World PO Box 437, Emigsville, PA 17318-0437.


Cover: Shutterstock.com 3 11 8 6 4


of running a world-class high-performance computing facility, before turning our attention to the critical topics of infrastructure and integration. Further feature topics include memory, networking, processing, storage and workload management – all of which come together to provide an overview of HPC. Completing the yearbook are an IDC report on use of high- end HPC, and a show special that highlights some of this year’s notable product developments.


Beth Harlen, Editor


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