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HPC System Performance Monitoring: Beyond the Basics

By in System Administration on November 9, 2016

Figure 4: IOR Benchmark detailing individual disk I/O showing diverging performance of Zpool disks

There’s a big difference between basic system monitoring and performance monitoring. In the world of HPC, this distinction is greatly magnified. In the former case, monitoring often boils down to checking binary indicators to make sure system components are up or down, on or off, available or not. Red light/green light monitoring is certainly a […]

Combining MPI and OpenMP For Leveraging Accelerators

By in Application Engineering on October 27, 2016

Combining MPI and OpenMP For Leveraging Accelerators

As HPC architectures continue to evolve and offer ever-increasing performance, it has become imperative to adapt existing software in order to fully harness that power. As discussed in an earlier post, the architectural approach to parallelism has come full circle in many ways. Nonetheless, MPI remains a fixture in HPC software design, and finding ways […]

Change Management in HPC: Full Compliance Required

By in Operations & Maintenance on September 29, 2016

Change Management in HPC: Full Compliance Required

In HPC, dealing with change-related problems is inevitable. But dealing with unauthorized change is unacceptable. Here’s why.

Using TAU to Profile and Identify HPC Bottlenecks

By in Application Engineering on September 21, 2016

Using TAU to Profile and Identify HPC Bottlenecks

For high-performance computing professionals, a deep understanding of how programs execute is vital. Often, that knowledge can spell the difference between making proper use of computing resources and meeting deadlines – or not. Keys to optimizing HPC resources include profiling program elements such as functions or subroutines and identifying and alleviating potential bottlenecks. Profiling refers […]

Baselining, Benchmarking for Optimal HPC Performance: Part 2

By in System Administration on August 31, 2016

Baselining, Benchmarking for Optimal HPC Performance: Part 2

We’ve been talking about how baselining and benchmarking helps optimize performance of your HPC system. Last time, we discussed the importance of maintaining a set of consistent benchmarks so you can analyze the performance of your HPC system throughout its lifetime. In this post, we’ll cover some specific baselining tips. Baselining should always start with […]

How Code Optimization Benefits HPC Productivity

By in Application Engineering on August 24, 2016

How Code Optimization Benefits HPC Productivity

As a professional with access to a high performance computing environment, you already know it represents a scarce, precious, and expensive resource. You may have to schedule time in advance, and only get to work with the cluster for a limited period of time. You want to make the best possible use of HPC when […]

Vectors: How the Old Became New Again in Supercomputing

By in Industry Trends on August 17, 2016

Vectors: How the Old Became New Again in Supercomputing

Vector instructions, once a powerful performance innovation of supercomputing in the 1970s and 1980s became an obsolete technology in the 1990s. But like the mythical phoenix bird, vector instructions have arisen from the ashes. Here is the history of a technology that went from new to old then back to new. But first, a few […]

Baselining, Benchmarking for Optimal HPC Performance: Part 1

By in System Administration on August 10, 2016

Baselining and Benchmarking Part 1

HPC Systems are frustratingly complex beasts to tame. Competing interests from hardware and software support teams, coupled with demands from IT security compliance, can make having “consistency” in a cluster tough to achieve. Baselining is the natural answer. With baselining, we set a series of “custom” benchmarks. By custom, I mean they are a given […]

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