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Radio Free HPC Looks at the European Union’s Big Investment in Exascale

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at European Commission’s recent move to fund exascale development with 1 Billion Euros. “While Europe already had a number of exascale initiatives under way, this is a major step forward in that it puts up the money. Under a new legal and funding structure, the Commission’s contribution will be $486 million, or roughly half of the projected EUR 1 Billion total.”

Impact of Meltdown and Spectre Vulnerabilities on HPC

“Performance is important in high performance computing. A performance impact on HPC use can be more than a simple annoyance. Because of the high investment cost and energy usage of HPC systems, a performance impact can have a signi cant effect on price per compute job. As we have discussed in the previous sections, the “page table isolation” workarounds have an overhead on entering and leaving the kernel. Luck happens that in HPC, computers spend most of their time in user space, doing computations. Low-latency networks such as In niband allow HPC systems to perform network communication without involving the kernel. Therefore during HPC computations, the Linux kernel might not be actively involved and the CPUs are running at full power.”

ClusterVision White Paper Looks at HPC Performance Impact of Spectre and Meltdown

While various kernel patches are already out for the Spectre and Meltdown, the performance impact of these patches on HPC performance has been a big question. Now ClusterVision has published a timely white paper on this important topic. “These vulnerabilities have only been discovered recently, so information is still developing. Therefore, this document should not be interpreted as a complete overview of the situation but as an informative view of the potential impact on HPC.”

NVIDIA races to patch GPU Drivers for Spectre and Meltdown

A new security bulletin from NVIDIA reveals that its GPU drivers are not immune to the Spectre and Meltdown exploits that affect nearly every modern CPU. This is bad news for HPC, where the company’s Tesla GPUs are widely deployed to accelerate applications. “Most of the updates are available now, although Tesla and GRID users will have to wait until late January.”

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.”

Radio Free HPC Looks at Spectre and Meltdown Exploits

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at the performance ramifications of the Spectre and Meltdown exploits that affect processors from Intel, AMD, and many others. While patches are on the way, the performance hit from these patches could be as high as twenty or thirty percent in some cases.