high-performance computing Te combination of the new memory,

increased performance, and increased data bandwidth will help CSCS users deliver larger simulations in a shorter timeframe. But, in addition to increasing performance, the centre will focus its attention on data analytics with the use of the increased bandwidth and the Data Warp technology. DataWarp features a ‘Burst Buffer’ mode

that can quadruple the effective bandwidth for long-term storage. Tis allows the system to move data in and out of storage and compute resources much faster. It therefore enables the Swiss centre to accelerate data analytics or data science projects which require the analysis of millions of small, unstructured files.

Implementing a platform for application development While GPUs have been steadily increasing in popularity over the last five to 10 years, Schulthess stressed that the decision to adopt new technology was not taken lightly, as it requires a considerable amount of application development to rework or optimise codes so they can be used efficiently on accelerators, such as GPUs. Te original introduction of GPUs at

CSCS came in 2013 aſter a ‘multiyear study of applications and different node configurations, said Schulthess. Schulthess explained that the decision was

made because it was the best compromise between providing CPU/GPU performance and the increased memory bandwidth. However, he also said another driving force behind the upgrade was giving motivation to application developers to do the right things with their applications: ‘I think that is one of our key values in Switzerland – we invest heavily in application development.’ He stressed that while hardware oſten

steals the headlines, the most important aspect of HPC is application development. As early as 2009, while the Swiss centre was still using its previous supercomputer, called Monte Rosa, Schulthess and his colleagues saw the importance of application development, investing heavily to optimise codes for multicore architectures and then GPU accelerated architectures as they were introduced. While the limitations of transistor

technology and energy efficiency will continue to challenge HPC developers in the coming years, they are not the only major challenges facing HPC users. A rise in accelerators and

increases in memory bandwidth – enabling a convergence of data intensive applications and HPC – will test the limitations of traditional HPC technology. More and more users will require data

intensive compute infrastructures that can keep pace with the demands of tomorrow’s HPC users. Although the technology is in place to meet these challenges – it not only requires that the community spends money on hardware – but also that it invests time to update applications and workflows to make the best use of the data that is being created. ‘I see Europe’s opportunity in this whole

business in soſtware and application development affirmed Schultless. ‘In Switzerland, Germany and Britain we have a lot of experience in soſtware development and I think that is where Europe should invest. We can stay ahead of the game there and we are doing it already in Switzerland.’ Te investment for the upgrade comes

from ETH Zurich university, which invested 40 million Swiss Francs (£27 million). Te centre was awarded the funding by the ETH Board as part of its dispatch on the promotion of education, research and innovation (ERI Dispatch). Te upgrade is expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2016. l

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