In this special feature, our own MichaelS reports on his SC16 meeting with Engility, a premier provider of integrated services for the U.S. government.
Complex High Performance Computing (HPC) environments require careful planning, deep investigation into the technologies available and the ability to bring on-line a large system. Engility is uniquely positioned to work with demanding customers that require close collaboration in order to bring on-line state-of-the-art systems.
The lifecycle of a large HPC installation starts well before the first flop is executed. The requirements for application performance requires a deep understanding of the science that will be simulated as well as a technological understanding of the underlying hardware and software systems. Just purchasing the latest hardware from a systems manufacturer will usually result in good but not great performance. Engility has the expertise to work with a wide variety of computational scientists and engineers to determine the most optimized architecture for a given domain and works with vendors to deliver entire systems that meet their customers’ requirements.
Some of the most demanding customers in the world are government agencies that require an optimized, very high performance system. Engility’s customers have included the Department of Defense (DoD), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States Army and the United States Air Force. Together, these agencies and armed services have asked for and received expert help in determining the HPC systems that are necessary as well as consulting with the customer to develop new and optimized algorithms for faster computation. This is extremely important today with the addition of accelerators as a main stream computational resource.
There are a number of areas where Engility works with the most demanding customers to bring innovative solutions to production. These include:
- Apply New Innovations to difficult problems. By working with many universities and employing experts in a number of fields, Engility is able to bring new technologies into a production environment, on time and within the expected budget.
- Minimizing Time to Results – Engility has the expertise and works with clients to ensure that the latest software technologies are used to take advantage of the latest underlying hardware. This includes working with and training clients to better understand the science behind the programming.
- Securing Data – Although HPC installations may not be as concerned about cybersecurity as other industries, the threat is real. Engility can bring its expertise in cybersecurity to HPC organizations that are dealing with sensitive material, and can integrate these processes and technologies into various workflows.
- Refreshing Technology – With the constant advance of CPU, storage and networking technology, it is important to understand which parts of a complex HPC system can be upgraded at a given time. It is not always necessary to upgrade the entire system when certain sub-systems can be refreshed.
- Code Optimization – with computing architectures always evolving, expertise in using this underlying hardware to its maximum is important to get the highest performance at a given price. Engility has the experts to take advantage of always changing architectures to improve performance of both legacy codes and new ones being developed.
- Infrastructure Decisions – With a number of choices for CPUs, accelerators, networking, storage and the entire power and cooling system, a well understood process for determining the best choices should be executed. Understanding the underlying science and algorithms will lead to the best and most optimal decisions for what to architect and eventually purchase.’
Engility has the experience to work with the most demanding customers that require the most innovative approaches to the HPC installation lifecycle. By partnering with experts in HPC, in hardware, software and acquisition, new as well as existing installations can be more successful and lead to better use of purchased systems.
Check out Engility today.