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Primeur weekly 2017-06-12

Focus

Exciting times for the European citizen: EuroHPC plans two exascale machines by 2024-2025 ...

Focus on Europe

Belgium joins EuroHPC. the European initiative for supercomputers ...

ISC High Performance names Erich Strohmaier and Yutong Lu as Conference Fellows ...

ISC High Performance focuses on the most crucial HPC topics in 2018 ...

Exciting times for the European citizen: EuroHPC plans two exascale machines by 2024-2025 ...

Researchers compute their way toward cleaner coal plants ...

Hardware

Leidos and Cray announce strategic alliance to offer multi-level security solutions ...

Asperitas opens showcase location for Immersed Computing at atom86 data centre ...

SDSC names Christopher Irving Manager of HPC Systems ...

Charliecloud simplifies Big Data supercomputing ...

IBM selected as Red Hat Global Strategic Partner of the Year ...

Applications

IBM announces partnership with Baheal Group to bring Watson for Oncology to China ...

SDSC's Gordon simulations paint bleak picture of sleep-deprivation by century's end ...

Singularity allows scientists to use "containers" in high-performance computing ...

Study proves viability of quantum satellite communications ...

Ohio Supercomputer Center runs largest scale calculation ever ...

Mining cancer data for treatment clues ...

Simulations pinpoint atomic-level defects in solar cell nanostructures ...

UTSA to develop artificial neural network to detect computer system faults ...

Harnessing computational intelligence to improve the management of health emergencies ...

The Cloud

IBM wins VMware 2016 Global Partner Innovation Award for "Integrate Public Clouds" ...

Charliecloud simplifies Big Data supercomputing

Streamlined code from Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists Reid Priedhorsky and Tim Randles aims to simplify supercomputer use. Photo courtesy Los Alamos National Laboratory.7 Jun 2017 Los Alamos - At Los Alamos National Laboratory, home to more than 100 supercomputers since the dawn of the computing era, elegance and simplicity of programming are highly valued but not always achieved. In the case of a new product, dubbed "Charliecloud", a crisp 800-line code helps supercomputer users operate in the high-performance world of Big Data without burdening computer centre staff with the peculiarities of their particular software needs.

"Charliecloud lets users easily run crazy new things on our supercomputers", stated lead developer Reid Priedhorsky of the High Performance Computing Division at Los Alamos. "Los Alamos has lots of supercomputing power, and we do lots of simulations that are well supported here. But we've found that Big Data analysis projects need to use different frameworks, which often have dependencies that differ from what we have already on the supercomputer. So, we've developed a lightweight 'container' approach that lets users package their own user defined software stack in isolation from the host operating system."

To build container images, Charliecloud sits atop the open-source Docker product that users install on their own system to customize the software choices as they wish. Users then import the image to the designated supercomputer and execute their application with the Charliecloud runtime, which is independent of Docker. This maintains a "convenience bubble" of administrative freedom while protecting the security of the larger system. "This is the easiest container solution for both system administrators and users to deal with", stated Tim Randles, co-developer of Charliecloud, also of the High Performance Computing Division. "It's not rocket science; it's a matter of putting the pieces together in the right way. Once we did that, a simple and straightforward solution fell right out."

The open-source product is currently being used on two supercomputers at Los Alamos, Woodchuck and Darwin, and at-scale evaluation on dozens of nodes shows the same operational performance as programmes running natively on the machines without a container. "Not only is Charliecloud efficient in compute time, it's efficient in human time", stated Reid Priedhorsky. "What costs the most money is people thinking and doing. So we developed simple yet functional software that’s easy to understand and costs less to maintain."

Charliecloud is very small, only 800 lines of code, and built following two bedrock principles of computing, that of least privilege and the Unix philosophy to "make each program do one thing well". Competing products range from 4,000 to over 100,000 lines of code. Charliecloud is described in detail in a technical report online.

Los Alamos National Laboratory and supercomputing have a long, entwined history. Los Alamos holds many "firsts", from bringing the first problem to the nation's first computer to building the first machine to break the petaflop barrier. Supercomputers are integral to stockpile stewardship and the national security science mission at Los Alamos.
Source: Los Alamos National Laboratory

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2017-06-12

Focus

Exciting times for the European citizen: EuroHPC plans two exascale machines by 2024-2025 ...

Focus on Europe

Belgium joins EuroHPC. the European initiative for supercomputers ...

ISC High Performance names Erich Strohmaier and Yutong Lu as Conference Fellows ...

ISC High Performance focuses on the most crucial HPC topics in 2018 ...

Exciting times for the European citizen: EuroHPC plans two exascale machines by 2024-2025 ...

Researchers compute their way toward cleaner coal plants ...

Hardware

Leidos and Cray announce strategic alliance to offer multi-level security solutions ...

Asperitas opens showcase location for Immersed Computing at atom86 data centre ...

SDSC names Christopher Irving Manager of HPC Systems ...

Charliecloud simplifies Big Data supercomputing ...

IBM selected as Red Hat Global Strategic Partner of the Year ...

Applications

IBM announces partnership with Baheal Group to bring Watson for Oncology to China ...

SDSC's Gordon simulations paint bleak picture of sleep-deprivation by century's end ...

Singularity allows scientists to use "containers" in high-performance computing ...

Study proves viability of quantum satellite communications ...

Ohio Supercomputer Center runs largest scale calculation ever ...

Mining cancer data for treatment clues ...

Simulations pinpoint atomic-level defects in solar cell nanostructures ...

UTSA to develop artificial neural network to detect computer system faults ...

Harnessing computational intelligence to improve the management of health emergencies ...

The Cloud

IBM wins VMware 2016 Global Partner Innovation Award for "Integrate Public Clouds" ...