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Podcast: Spack Helps Automate Deployment of Supercomputer Software

In this Let’s Talk Exascale podcast, Todd Gamblin from LLNL describes how the Spack flexible package manager helps automate the deployment of software on supercomputer systems. “After many hours building software on Lawrence Livermore’s supercomputers, in 2013 Todd Gamblin created the first prototype of a package manager he named Spack (Supercomputer PACKage manager). The tool caught on, and development became a grassroots effort as colleagues began to use the tool.”

Podcast: ZFP Project looks to Reduce Memory Footprint and Data Movement on Exascale Systems

In this Let’s Talk Exascale podcast, Peter Lindstrom from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory describes how the ZFP project will help reduce the memory footrprint and data movement in Exascale systems. “To perfom those computations, we oftentimes need random access to individual array elements,” Lindstrom said. “Doing that, coupled with data compression, is extremely challenging.”

Podcast: Accelerating the Adoption of Container Technologies for Exascale Computing

In this Let’s Talk Exascale podcast, Andrew Younge from Sandia National Laboratories describes the new SuperContainers project, which aims to deliver containers and virtualization technologies for productivity, portability, and performance on the first exascale computing machines are planned for 2021. “Essentially, containers allow you to encompass your entire environment in a simple and reproducible way,” says Younge. “So not only do I have my container image that has my application and my entire software stack with it, I also have a manifest for how I got there. That’s a really important notion for many people.”

Podcast: How Community Collaboration Drives Compiler Technology at the LLVM Project

In this Let’s Talk Exascale podcast, Hal Finkel of Argonne National Laboratory describes how community collaboration is driving compiler infrastructure at the LLVM project. “LLVM is important to a wide swath of technology professionals. Contributions shaping its development have come from individuals, academia, DOE and other government entities, and industry, including some of the most prominent tech companies in the world, both inside and outside of the traditional high-performance computing space.”

Podcast: Earth and Space Science for Exascale

In this podcast, Anshu Dubey of Argonne National Laboratory describes the Earth and Space Science application portfolio in the Exascale Computing Project (ECP). “By and large, these applications are solving partial differential equations, and so there is that generality,” Dubey said. “Most times, the range of scales is so huge that you cannot resolve every scale, so then you have to do something called subgrid models, which can be very boutique.”

Podcast: Software Deployment and Continuous Integration for Exascale

In this Let’s Talk Exascale podcast,  Ryan Adamson from Oak Ridge National Laboratory describes how his role at the Exascale Computing Project revolves around software deployment and continuous integration at DOE facilities. “Each of the scientific applications that we have depends on libraries and underlying vendor software,” Adamson said. “So managing dependencies and versions of all of these different components can be a nightmare.”

Podcast: Optimizing Math Libraries to Prepare Applications for Exascale

In this episode of Let’s Talk Exascale, Ulrike Meier Yang of LLNL describes the xSDK4ECP and hypre projects within the Exascale Computing Project. The increased number of libraries that exascale will need presents challenges. “The libraries are harder to build in combination, involving many variations of compilers and architectures, and require a lot of testing for new xSDK releases.”

Podcast: UnifyFS Software Project steps up to Exascale

In this Let’s Talk Exascale podcast, Kathryn Mohror LLNL and Sarp Oral of ORNL provide an update ECP’s ExaIO project and UnifyFS. “UnifyFS can provide ECP applications performance-portable I/O across changing storage system architectures, including the upcoming Aurora, Frontier, and El Capitan exascale machines. “It is critically important that we provide this portability so that application developers don’t need to spend their time changing their I/O code for every system.”

Podcast: SCR Scalable Checkpoint/Restart Paves the Way for Exascale

A software product called the Scalable Checkpoint/Restart (SCR) Framework 2.0 recently won an R&D 100 Award. In this episode, Elsa Gonsiorowski and Kathryn Mohror of LLNL discuss what SCR does, the challenges involved in creating it, and the impact it is expected to have in HPC. “SCR enables HPC simulations to take advantage of hierarchical storage systems, without complex code modifications. With SCR, the input/output (I/O) performance of scientific simulations can be improved by orders of magnitude.”

Podcast: How the EZ Project is Providing Exascale with Lossy Compression for Scientific Data

In this podcast, Franck Cappello from Argonne describes EZ, an effort to effort to compress and reduce the enormous scientific data sets that some of the ECP applications are producing. “There are different approaches to solving the problem. One is called lossless compression, a data-reduction technique that doesn’t lose any information or introduce any noise. The drawback with lossless compression, however, is that user-entry floating-point values are very difficult to compress: the best effort reduces data by a factor of two. In contrast, ECP applications seek a data reduction factor of 10, 30, or even more.”