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Technology Predictions for ISC 2018

In this special guest post, Dr. Rosemary Francis looks forward to the ISC 2018 conference, which starts next week in Frankfurt, Germany. “We recently saw the launch of Summit, the first 200 petaflop system – who will unveil the next giant machine? The race for exascale will certainly to continue to be a topic at ISC and we will be asking the vendors how their plans are progressing.”

New Whitepaper on Meltdown and Spectre fixes for HPC

Can you afford to lose a third of your compute real estate? If not, you need to pre-empt the impact of Meltdown and Spectre. “Meltdown and Spectre are quickly becoming household names and not just in the HPC space. The severe design flaws in Intel microprocessors that could allow sensitive data to be stolen and the fixes are likely to be bad news for any I/O intensive applications such as those often used in HPC. Ellexus Ltd, the I/O profiling company, has released a white paper: How the Meltdown and Spectre bugs work and what you can do to prevent a performance plummet.”

Slidecast: HPC and the Cloud – Announcing the Ellexus Container Checker

In this slidecast, Dr. Rosemary Francis describes the new Ellexus Container Checker, a pioneering cloud-based tool that provides visibility into the inner workings of Docker containers. “Container Checker will help people using cloud platforms to quickly detect problems within their containers before they are let loose on the cloud to potentially waste time and compute spend. Estimates suggest that up to 45% of cloud spend is wasted due in part to unknown application activity and unsuitable storage decisions, which is what we want to help businesses tackle.”

Ellexus Container Checker looks to Revolutionize Cloud Container Use

Ellexus has launched Container Checker on Amazon Web Services’ Marketplace, a pioneering cloud-based tool that provides visibility into the inner workings of Docker containers. “Container Checker will help people using cloud platforms to quickly detect problems within their containers before they are let loose on the cloud to potentially waste time and compute spend. Estimates suggest that up to 45% of cloud spend is wasted due in part to unknown application activity and unsuitable storage decisions, which is what we want to help businesses tackle.”

How Can We Bring Apps to Racks?

In this special guest feature, Rosemary Dr Rosemary Francis from Ellexus describes why the customized nature of HPC is not a sustainable path forward for the next generation. “The downside is that many of our systems and tools are inaccessible to non-expert users. For example, deep learning is bringing more and more scientists closer towards HPC, but while they bring their knowledge, they also bring their high expectations for what they believe IT can do and not necessarily an understanding of how it works.”

Will the Cloud steal my job?

In this special guest feature, Dr Rosemary Francis from Ellexus describes why the HPC Community has little to fear from the rise of Cloud Computing. “AWS alone has eight different types of storage that vary hugely in terms of storage size, bandwidth, peak performance and other more complex metrics. It’s not a ‘one set-up’ solution. If you’ve spent time optimizing your on-prem cluster for each different run or set of user expectations, you’re just going to have to do the same in the cloud.”

Video: Profiling Genome Pipeline I/O with DDN and the Sanger Institute

“The data that I presented from the Sanger Institute is typical of the profiles that we come across: a mix of good streaming IO (ie the larger reads), but unexpectedly high numbers of small reads and writes. These small reads and writes are potentially harmful to the file system. We’ve profiled HPC applications in various different life sciences organizations, not just the Sanger Institute, and we’ve found these IO patterns throughout. We’ve also seen similar IO patterns in EDA and oil and gas applications.”

Ellexus Launches Mistral Software for Balancing Shared Storage across HPC Clusters

Today Ellexus in the UK announced the release of Mistral, a “ground breaking” product for balancing shared storage across a high performance computing cluster. Developed in collaboration with ARM’s IT department, Mistral monitors application IO and cluster performance so that jobs exceeding the expected IO thresholds can be automatically identified and slowed down through IO throttling.