“Any software used in the computational sciences needs to excel in the area of high performance computing (HPC).”
The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) General Notation System (CGNS) is an effort to standardize CFD input and output data, including grid (both structured and unstructured), flow solution, connectivity, boundary conditions, and auxiliary information. It provides a general, portable, and extensible standard for the storage and retrieval of CFD analysis data. The system consists of two parts: (1) a standard format for recording the data, and (2) software that reads, writes, and modifies data in that format. Continue reading →
What costs applications a lot of time and resources rather than doing actual computation? Slow I/O. It is well known that I/O subsystems are very slow compared to other parts of a computing system. Applications use I/O to store simulation output for future use by analysis applications, to checkpoint application memory to guard against system failure, to exercise out-of-core techniques for data that does not fit in a processor’s memory, and so on. I/O middleware libraries, such as HDF5, provide application users with a rich interface for I/O access to organize their data and store it efficiently. A lot of effort is invested by such I/O libraries to reduce or completely hide the cost of I/O from applications.
Parallel I/O is one technique used to access data on disk simultaneously from different application processes to maximize bandwidth and speed things up. There are several ways to do parallel I/O, and I will highlight the most popular methods that are in use today.
First, to leverage parallel I/O, it is very important that you have a parallel file system; Continue reading →
Perhaps the original producers of “big data,” the oil & gas (O&G) industryheld its eighth annualHigh-Performance Computing (HPC) workshop in early March. Hosted by Rice University, the workshop brings in attendees from both the HPC and petroleum industries. Jan Odegard, the workshop organizer, invited me to the workshop to give a tutorial and short update on HDF5.
The workshop (#oghpc) has grown a great deal during the last few years and now has more than 500 people attending, with preliminary attendance numbers for this year’s workshop over 575 people (even in a “down” year for the industry). In fact, Jan’s pushing it to a “conference” next year, saying, “any workshop with more attendees than Congress is really a conference.” But it’s still a small enough crowd and venue that most people know each other well, both on the Oil & Gas and HPC sides.
The workshop program had two main tracks, one on HPC-oriented technologies that support the industry, and one on oil & gas technologies and how they can leverage HPC. The HPC track is interesting, but mostly “practical” and not research-oriented, unlike, for example, the SC technical track. The oil & gas track seems more research-focused, in ways that can enable the industry to be more productive.