A Podcast for HPC Folk

A Podcast for HPC Folk

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RCE 101: Conduit

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Cyrus Harrison about the Conduit an open source project from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It provides an intuitive model for describing hierarchical scientific data in C++, C, Fortran, and Python and is used for data coupling between packages in-core, serialization, and I/O tasks.

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Cyrus is a computer scientist and group leader in the Applications, Simulations, and Quality (ASQ) division of LLNL's Computation directorate. He is the software architect of the VisIt open source visualization tool and leads major aspects of the technical direction of the project. Cyrus also provides custom data analysis solutions for large scale scientific simulations in WCI's WSC and WPD programs.

RCE 100: Fasterdata

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Eli Dart about the Fasterdata effort to document ways to make better use of networks for scientific uses.

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The Fasterdata Knowledge Base provides proven, operationally sound methods for troubleshooting and solving performance issues. For over 25 years, ESnet has operated an advanced research network with the goal of enabling the highest levels of performance for the Department of Energy (DOE) scientific community. During this time, our engineers have identified a common set of issues that hinder performance and we would like to share our experiences and findings in this knowledge base.

Eli Dart is a network engineer in the ESnet Science Engagement Group, which seeks to use advanced networking to improve scientific productivity and science outcomes for the DOE science facilities, their users, and their collaborators. Eli is a primary advocate for the Science DMZ design pattern, and works with facilities, laboratories, universities, science collaborations, and science programs to deploy data-intensive science infrastructure based on the Science DMZ model. Eli also runs the ESnet network requirements program, which collects, synthesizes, and aggregates the networking needs of the science programs ESnet serves.

Eli has over 15 years of experience in network architecture, design, engineering, performance, and security in scientific and research environments. His primary professional interests are high-performance architectures and effective operational models for networks that support scientific missions, and building collaborations to bring about the effective use of high-performance networks by science projects.

As a member of ESnet's Network Engineering Group, Eli was a primary contributor to the design and deployment of two iterations of the ESnet backbone network - ESnet4 and ESnet5. Prior to ESnet Eli was a lead network engineer at NERSC, DOE's primary supercomputing facility, where he co-led a complete redesign and several years of successful operation of the high-performance network infrastructure there. In addition, Eli spent 14 years as a member of SCinet, the group of volunteers that builds and operates the network for the annual IEEE/ACM Supercomputing conference series, from 1997 through 2010. He served as Network Security Chair for SCinet for the 2000 and 2001 conferences and was a member of the SCinet routing group from 2001 through 2010. Eli holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the Oregon State University College of Engineering.

RCE 99: perfSONAR

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Jason Zurawski about perfSONAR, a network measurement toolkit designed to provide federated coverage of paths, and help to establish end-to-end usage expectations.

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Jason Zurawski is a Science Engagement Engineer at the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) in the Scientific Networking Division of the Computing Sciences Directorate of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. ESnet is the high performance networking facility of the US Department of Energy Office of Science. ESnet''s mission is to enable those aspects of the DOE Office of Science research mission that depend on high performance networking for success.

Jason's primary responsibilities include working with members of the research community to identify the roll of networking in scientific workflows, evaluate current requirements, and suggest improvements for future innovations. Jason's professional interests include network monitoring and performance measurement, high performance computing, grid computing, and application development. He is a founding member of several open source R&E software developments, including perfSONAR, OWAMP, BWCTL, NDT, and OSCARS.

Jason has worked in computing and networking since 2007, and has a B.S. in Computer Science & Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University earned in 2002, and an M.S. in Computer and Information Science from The University of Delaware earned in 2007. He has previously worked for the University of Delaware and Internet2. Jason resides and works in the Washington DC metro area, and may be reached via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

RCE 98: Spark

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Matei Zaharia about Apache Spark, a fast and general engine for large-scale data processing.

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Matei Zaharia is an assistant professor of computer science at MIT and CTO of Databricks, the company commercializing Apache Spark. He begun the Spark project at UC Berkeley and continues to do research in big data processing and computer systems. Apart from Spark, he has contributed to other open source projects including Apache Mesos, the SNAP sequence aligner, and Apache Hadoop.

RCE 97: Jonathan Dursi

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Jonathan Dursi about his recent article HPC is dying, and MPI is killing it an article that spawned a lot of attention in good discussion for our community.

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Jonathan Dursi has worked in large-scale technical computing for nearly 20 years. He has worked at the DOE ASCI Flash Centre at the University of Chicago, where he was part of the team that won a 2000 Gordon Bell Award; the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, where he collaborated Canadian astronomy community as the co-author of a long-range plan white paper, to design a decadal plan for computing in this data-intensive field; SciNet, Canada’s largest academic supercomputing centre; Compute Canada; and most recently at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, in the Department of Informatics and Bio-computing. He has taught classes in HPC and technical computing techniques in three countries, to students in many disciplines.

RCE 96: Salt Stack

Salt Stack
Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Mike Place about Salt Stack, a fast and scalable systems and configuration management software for predictive orchestration, cloud and data center automation, server provisioning, application deployment and more..

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Mike Place is a software engineer on the core development team at SaltStack. His background is in Linux systems engineering and open-source software development. Mike enjoys working on the internals of the SaltStack configuration management and orchestration platform.

A good place to direct folks to learn more about SaltStack would be this blog post www.saltstack.com/saltconf15-video which includes video from about 60 talks we recorded from our recent SaltConf15 user conference. Alternatively our website is www.saltstack.com and our docs are located at docs.saltstack.com.

RCE 95: Open Compute Project

Open Compute Project
Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Thomas Sohmers about Open Compute.

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Thomas Sohmers is the founder and CEO of REX Computing, a High Performance Computing startup that is focusing on developing a new processor architecture targeted at performance, energy efficiency, and scalability for modern HPC and supercomputing workloads. His experience includes working at the MIT Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies for 3 years as both an end user of HPC systems, and later transitioning into designing and building them at the lab. This experience led to starting REX Computing in 2013 as a recipient of the Peter Thiel '20 under 20' Fellowship, where he leads the architectural design and business operations.

RCE 94: Libfabric

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Sean Hefty about Libfabric a software implementation of Open Fabrics Interfaces (OFI). Libfabric is designed to minimize the impedance mismatch between applications, including middleware such as MPI, SHMEM, and PGAS, and fabric communication hardware. Its interfaces target high-bandwidth, low-latency NICs, with a goal to scale to tens of thousands of nodes.

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Sean has been working on high-performance network software since the late 90s. He participated in the development of the original InfiniBand specification and has been an active member of OpenFabrics since its inception. He is a sub-maintainer of the Linux RDMA software tree, and is the major contributor to the RDMA CM, IB ACM, and rsockets. His current focus is on the design and development of libfabrics.

RCE 93: Shodor

Brock Palen and Jeff Squyres speak with Bob Panoff and Scott Lathrop about Shodor a national resource for computational science education.

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Dr. Robert M. Panoff is founder and Executive Director of Shodor, a non-profit education and research corporation in Durham, NC, dedicated to reform and improvement of mathematics and science education through appropriate computational and communication technologies. Dr Panoff is the 2014 recipient of the SIGCSE Outstanding Contribution to Computer Science Education Award. As PI on several National Science Foundation (NSF) and US Department of Education grants that explore interactions between technology and education, he develops interactive simulation modules that combine standards, curriculum, supercomputing resources and desktop computers. In recognition of Dr. Panoff's efforts in college faculty enhancement and curriculum development, Shodor was named as a NSF Foundation Partner for the revitalization of undergraduate education. In 1998, Shodor established the Shodor Computational Science Institute, which was expanded with NSF funding in 2001 to become the National Computational Science Institute (NCSI). Shodor’s Computational Science Education Reference Desk (CSERD) serves more than 4 million webviews per month as a Pathway portal of the National Science Digital Library. Dr. Panoff consults at several national laboratories and is a frequent presenter at NSF workshops on visualization, supercomputing, and networking. Dr. Panoff received his M.A. and Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Washington University in St. Louis, with both pre- and postdoctoral work at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. Dr. Panoff received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Wofford College in 2005 in recognition of his leadership in computational science education.

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