Supercomputing News from ISC HPC 2018

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Supercomputing News from ISC HPC Frankfurt ImageISC High Performance (ISC) 2018 took place earlier this week in beautiful Frankfurt, Germany. One of my favorites, the event brought together an impressive 3,500 attendees, 450 speakers and 150 exhibits. Addressing supercomputing, networking and storage, the conference showcased expert speakers, tutorials, workshops, and exhibits targeted at the global HPC community. Between customer meetings, conference sessions, and catching up with industry peers, we gathered our favorite moments and reflections on the show below.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how to integrate cloud technologies with HPC were overarching themes for the event, and these topics were addressed in many sessions. Conference keynote speaker Dr. Maria Girone, CERN openlab CTO, was an absolute favorite of the week. Dr. Girone discussed the unique needs and future challenges of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and data center. Because of the wide breadth of variables they measure – conditions in the LHC range from millions of times hotter than the sun to almost absolute zero – they collect 1 PB of data per second that has to be filtered and then reconstructed in real time during LHC experiments. Over the next decade, CERN estimates that it will increase compute capacity demand by 50 to 100 times as they prepare to build the next particle accelerator, the “High-Luminosity” Large Hadron Collider.

To make things even more exciting, the new TOP500 list of Supercomputer sites was published at ISC. Oak Ridge National Laboratory displaced China’s Sunway TaihuLight to take the number one spot in the world. Oak Ridge’s new supercomputer, named Summit, boasts 122.30 petaflops!

Discussing the Large Hadron Collider at the Spectra Booth

The Spectra Booth in action at ISC Germany High Performance 2018.

Spectra was fully booked with briefings throughout the week, and meetings ranged from HPC partners like HPSS, HPE/DMF to end users from some of the largest supercomputing sites across the globe. Customers who visited our booth got to hear first-hand about in-progress projects that have yet to be announced to the public in NDA briefings. Most HPC customers that we talked to were very tape savvy and expressed positive feedback regarding Spectra’s new performance enhancements for tape and developments for HPC-specific applications, such as HPSS and Lustre. If you missed us at ISC High Performance and would like a briefing, contact us.

Want more supercomputing-related blog posts? Read “The Role of Multi-Tier Storage in High Performance Computing Environments”.