Picking Faves …

The official countdown on the Student Cluster Competition  (SCC) site ticks down the few remaining hours, minutes and seconds from tomorrow’s kick-off!

If you’re attending the ISC High Performance 2016 conference and exhibition at Messe Frankfurt join us at the HPCAC booth (#1442) for the Monday kick-off at 15:00 which starts with the traditional T-shirt scramble.

This year marks a milestone ~ Five years of SCC!

I’m guessing the big match is between the Tsinghua University and Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) teams as they battle it out in the two time champion tie-breaker.

There’s also the two ASC winners, HUST and SJTU returning to SCC after a two year hiatus. And SCC veterans like USTC, UPC, Tartu and the Purdue University, University of Colorado, Boulder combo. All solid, experienced contenders! There’s the new entrants, like Nanyang, NERSC and the Green Team. And of course local favorite University of Hamburg. It’s anyone’s competition (and guess)!

One of the major elements ISC attendees can directly influence is to vote for your favorite team! Stop by and meet these teams, learn their stories, impart some of your own wisdom and vote!

The competition ends with the Wednesday award ceremony – now at 17:15 in Panorama 2. Awards go to the team to receive the most unique votes in the “Fan Favorite” category, the team to achieve the highest score for the LINPACK award and three awards for “Overall” to the top three teams with the best combined scores for applications, benchmarks and team interviews.

While the competition only runs for three days it has been ongoing for the last seven months and last 48 months or so before that … all thanks to one super human Pak Lui! Mentor, Master of Competition… and just about everything else. Always with a smile. He is amazing!

Twelve teams, somewhere over seventy students. Include the advisors and that’s north of one hundred individuals taking part in the 2016 competition. Thank you Pak! Thank you teams and team advisors too!

My thanks also to the exceptional team at the ISC Group and all of the teams that have helped put this conference and competition together, to David, Tong and our team judges and to Kim McMahon of McMahon Consulting and Dan Olds of Gabriele Consulting along with a host of others and of course to the teams sponsors for their support of the SCC and students. Thank you all! So much!

As I became more familiar with this awesome event it occurred to me that picking a favorite would be more a challenge than I thought … so instead (and since I am not eligible to vote) I pick … all of the above! All my faves for so many reasons! Thank you gang and good luck!

If you can’t make it to ISC watch your social feeds and  visit the Student Cluster Competition site! And share!

It’s been great leading in to this competition and while ISC promises a busy week for all I hope you’ll have some time for the teams! Look forward to seeing you here or the next!

The immediate event horizon & HPCAC happenings across the world.

Six months into my role with the HPC Advisory Council and … I am ‘lovin it’. Great to love what you do, it’s why you do it .

The first two annual conferences in partnership with Steve Jones and the Stanford High Performance Computing Center and Hussein Harake and the Centro Svizzero di Calcolo Scientifico (CSCS) were exceptional! That’s from feedback received from hundreds of attendees not just anecdotal from me. Success is thanks to our generous member sponsors, gracious hosts, exceptional experts and awesome attendees! In fact we’ve already set the 2017 schedule for both – so mark your diaries!

On the more immediate event horizon there’s a ton going on – across the world.

Our STEM student competitions are growing – in participation and awareness! It’s pretty amazing to be part of a program squarely focused on the future and our future workforce, underscoring our primary education and outreach mission and that is in fact making a profound difference. Worldwide.

On the home front Pak Lui is gearing up for Germany and the fifth Student Cluster Competition (SCC). SCC has become a key part of the annual ISC – The HPC Event – thanks to the ISC Group and another truly collaborative partnership! And thanks to Pak’s leadership! His commitment to teams over the last eight plus months and dedication to the competition throughout the last five years has challenged students to learn – plus they learn from a master! In just over a week 12 international teams congregate at this worldwide championship where he’ll challenge their capabilities and award their accomplishments. It’s a model that works so well it inspired follow-on competitions. Come meet Pak and the teams, experience the competition and spend some time with us during ISC! And it’s never too late to consider partnering with us to help sponsor our future!

Speaking of student competitions, we also recently announced the kick-off of this year’s RDMA Programming Competition being held in China through October. Now in its third year, our own Tong Liu, Director of the HPC Advisory Council Asia, leads the RDMA competition he started in 2013 with just over 20 teams. Last year more than 50 teams participated from different universities and colleges throughout China. With the 2016 competition underway it promises even greater interest and participation given the focus on deep learning and the attention it’s garnered from some major deep thinkers and doers! Check it out!

As for the more immediate event calendar and your radar.

Beyond ISC I am still determining the possibility of an alternate plan to the annual Brazil conference held each August. Returning as initially planned was its own challenge on top of competing with the Summer Olympics. August is now so near … time flies! If I can determine a ‘plan b’ I’ll let you know.

What I am happy to share is the official call for contributed talks for the 5th Annual BSC/ HPCAC Spain Conference in September. This year’s conference will take place in León in the Northwest of Spain at Parador San Marcos on 21 Septiembre – following the 10th Annual RES conference. More information and agenda will be posted over the coming months. For now … submit a session proposal, become a sponsor , you can even register! Just get ready to explore HPC and experience history – simultaneously!

Capping our collaborative event calendar, as you read in the RDMA Programming Competition announcement, we plan to host our China 2016 conference in Xi’an in October. Please add that to your schedules as well! I am excited to experience the conference, the competition – and China! I am certain to learn a lot from the competitions impressive list of expert advisors, HPCAC peers and members on the other side of the pond. Several firsts for me and very amazing!

So that’s a recap of where we’ve been, are and where we’re headed! Before you head out for ISC and summer holiday I wanted to give you a heads-up for planning – and welcome our newest and thank all of our HPCAC members! It’s pretty staggering to be sitting in this seat … it’s an impressive group doing amazing things! Truly my honor!

Thanks to all of you for your support and for everything you do!

Til the next …

Emerging Technology ~ ‘EMiT’ 2016 ~ Register Today!

Explore the cutting edge of computing at EMiT 2016 being hosted 02-03 June, 2016 at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center.

Along with a great line-up of invited talks, registration includes a visit to the Torre Girona Chapel and conference dinner at the city harbor.

HPCAC member High End Compute (HEC) in the UK and their 2016 EMiT chair Michael Bayne invite you to meet with key figures in the emerging computing communities. Discuss cutting edge advancements in technologies and techniques. Topics will explore the latest trends in hardware development for novel computing; how to exploit emerging tech for application development and focus on new techniques, their development and how to transfer to new areas. And much more.

Additional information, agenda and registration is available at the EMiT website: www.emit.tech

Hurry and register today ~ before registration closes ~ Thursday 26 May, 2016!


Intersect360 Research Presents HPC & Hyperscale Trends @ Stanford Conference 2016 – 24-25 February

Guest post by:  Addison Snell, Intersect360 Research


By now it’s well-established that we have entered a new era for high performance computing. The industry is in a state of flux, evolving around new markets, new users, new applications, and new technologies. As these new demands affect product directions and the real-life problems they aim to address, there is an increasing need to compare outlooks and evaluations, with an eye to the future of hyperscale and HPC.


The HPC Advisory Council has taken the lead in bringing together gatherings across the international HPC community, and Intersect360 Research has partnered with the organization to link our ongoing research to this burgeoning conference series. At the next HPCAC workshop, taking place at Stanford University, February 24-25, 2016, I will present an overview of some of our newest research on the trends and dynamics changing our industry.


Of particular importance is the evolution of the hyperscale market, and its influence on HPC. Intersect360 Research has tracked “ultrascale internet” as an HPC segment since 2007, looking at the consumption of scalable technologies by companies like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. Today many other companies are involved, including Chinese giants like Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and Qihoo, but beyond that, hundreds of other companies are part of this growing market. Going forward, we are tracking hyperscale as the deployment of web-scale application infrastructures that are independent from normal enterprise operations, with examples in social media, retail, telecom, transaction processing, and more.


There is still significant influence between HPC and hyperscale, in both directions, most notably in the areas of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence, where research at some of the top hyperscale companies leads the field. Standards like Open Compute Project, OpenStack, and Beiji/Scorpio also can drive acquisition decisions at traditional HPC-using organizations. Big data and analytics also transcend both HPC and hyperscale, driving I/O scalability in both markets. These trends are all included in the new hyperscale advisory service from Intersect360 Research.


Of course, there are also significant changes transpiring in HPC aside from hyperscale. Most notably, users are evaluating a wide range of processing technologies, including Xeon, Xeon Phi, GPU, POWER, FPGAs, ARM, and more. We have conducted a new study that dives deep into the usage and evaluation of these myriad options, along with related interconnect technologies like CAPI, NVlink, InfiniBand, and OmniPath. We’re also continuing to track changes in budget allocations, the growth of commercial uses of HPC, and the evolution of cloud computing in HPC.


All of these topics will be explored at the Stanford Conference, not only in my presentation but across the arc of the two-day event. View the agenda and register for the conference:  http://www.hpcadvisorycouncil.com/events/2016/stanford-workshop. I hope to see you there and at other HPCAC events in the near future!

Addison Snell

Data Science Summit 2016: Call for Participation


Join us July 12-13, 2016 in SF for the 5th annual Data Science Summit. The Summit brings together 1400 developers and data scientists for talks and tutorials by the top minds in industry and research. Learn to leverage the best new advances in data science and applied machine learning, and discover how industry greats are building the next generation of data products and intelligent applications.


This non-profit event is organized jointly by Intel, Dato and O’Reilly. The conference agenda has been co-created with Dr. Ben Lorica, Chief Scientist of O’Reilly Media who serves as the content manager of the O’Reilly Strata Conferences.


Preliminary speakers, more coming soon…


  • Alex Smola – Carnegie Mellon University & Marianas Labs
  • Xavier Amatriain – Quora
  • Carlos Guestrin – Dato & University of Washington
  • Wes McKinney – Cloudera
  • Magdalena Balazinska – University of Washington
  • Anthony Goldbloom – CEO Kaggle
  • Mike Jordan – UC Berkeley
  • Kevin Novak – Uber
  • Chris Re – Stanford University


We invite all related companies and research labs to submit talks about novel case studies, algorithms and applications.  There are flexible sponsorship options for companies who want to get involved.


Expected audience: 1400 data scientists, developers, researchers, CTOs, VPs of Engineering and Product, VPs of data analytics, professors and students.


Date & Location: July 12-13, 2016 at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel


Registration is open – please use this 20% off discount code when registering: hpccouncil20.

ISC 2015 event

The Top 10 Things I Liked about ISC15

Hello all!  My long over-due post on the Top 10 Things I liked about ISC15. Work, life, and health got in the way after the conference. I am caught up and ready to remember the good times in Frankfurt by listing my Top 10.


1. Women in HPC Workshop on Thursday afternoon
Now it’s not just because I was on one of the panels. It was a really good workshop! The technical presentations were very interesting. The lively discussion on diversity in HPC not only opened my eyes, but it also has opened up a lot of questions. I look forward to the continued discussion!


2. Catching up
I didn’t know Terry worked for HP now (great to see you!). Or that Paul was changing jobs, or that Mark was now at Dot Hill. I guess LinkedIn updates are not keeping me up to date. Great to see you all!


3. New friends
I know I am at risk for missing someone, but I will still name a few names: Toni, Alison, Nages, Anna, Patricia, Wendy, Brian. We had talked via email, but hadn’t gotten to know each other face-to-face. We had some great conversations and laughs at the Executive Lounge in the Marriott!


4. Technologies
I didn’t have much time to see booths other than my customer’s booths, so my opinion here may be a little skewed. But did you see the Smart City demo in Numascale’s booth? Great use of Big Data and compute power. NICE Software always shows great demos of modeling and simulation in the cloud – yes you can collaborate remotely in real-time!


5. Attendees
Congratulations ISC on breaking a record on the number of attendees!


6. Presentations
I was actively tweeting from Analyst Crossfire and Vendor Showdown. Lots of great sound bites. One of my favorites from Barry Bolding – “Everyone needs a Cray”. (Maybe you had to be there…)


7. Parties
I was a party-pooper this year opting for visiting with old and new friends. But there is one that I didn’t miss – its great at every ISC and SC – Beers-on-Bright.


8. My Roomie
As many of you know Lara and I are great friends, colleagues, partners, and marketers for this industry. After a long day of meetings, networking, and working, we still have the energy to chat and catch up. It’s a great way to end the day!


9. Germany – Did not Disappoint!
The food, old town, the weather, walking around. It was very nice.


10. On beyond Germany.
I visited Paris, Milan, and London before coming home. Great times, lots of pictures, and great food and wine!


As always, I want to hear your favorites. Feel free to add a comment on this post, on my website, or Twitter.

See you all in Austin!


Student Cluster Competition ISC’15 – the Results

It was a great competition. Universities from all around the world competing on building the best HPC system under the power limitation of 3000 Watts.

The results:

Fan Favorite award went to Purdue University & Universidad EAFIT

The highest Linpack score, and actually setting a new record of 10.7 Teraflop – Jamia Millia Islamia University


Overall competition 3rd place  – University of Science and Technology of China


Overall competition 2nd place – the defending champions of 2014, Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC)


And the Grand Champion – Tsinghua University


I want to congratulate all teams – by getting to ISC’15 after months of hard work and preparations, they already won. Now it is the time to start working on the 2016 competition. We plan to put out the call for participation by Aug.


2015 HPCAC-ISC Student Cluster Competition

2015 hero-banner-blank
The 4th annual HPCAC-ISC Student Cluster Competition (SCC) is a joint event hosted by the HPC Advisory Council (HPCAC) and the organizers of the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC). It is an excellent opportunity to showcase students’ HPC expertise in a friendly yet spirited competition. The SCC event will be held during the ISC’15 Conference and Exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany from July 13 to 15, 2015.

The competition will feature small teams that compete to demonstrate the incredible capabilities of state-of-the-art high-performance cluster hardware and software. In a real-time challenge, it will feature 11 teams of six undergraduate students from around the world to showcase the small clusters of their own design on the ISC’15 exhibit floor. In this three-day event, the university teams will race to demonstrate the greatest performance across a range of HPC benchmarks and applications. The participating teams for this year’s competition at ISC’15 are:

  1. Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC), South Africa
  2. Purdue University and Universidad EAFIT, United States and Colombia
  3. Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany
  4. University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), China
  5. University of São Paulo (USP), Brazil
  6. University of Hamburg, Germany
  7. Jamia Millia Islamia University (JMI), India
  8. University of Tartu, Estonia
  9. Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya (UPC), Spain
  10. Tsinghua University, China
  11. National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), China


The students will have a unique opportunity to learn, experience and demonstrate how HPC can influence our world and day-to-day learning. This experience will help them enhance their knowledge and will become useful for their professional careers. The selected applications for the competition come from different areas of sciences that use HPC:


  • LAMMPS is a classical molecular dynamics code, and an acronym for Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator. LAMMPS has potentials for solid-state materials (metals, semiconductors) and soft matter (biomolecules, polymers) and coarse-grained or meso-scopic systems. It can be used to model atoms or, more generically, as a parallel particle simulator at the atomic, meso, or continuum scale. LAMMPS runs on single processors or in parallel using message-passing techniques and a spatial-decomposition of the simulation domain. LAMMPS is distributed as an open source code under the terms of the GPL.


  • PyFR is an open-source Python based framework for solving advection-diffusion type problems on streaming architectures using the Flux Reconstruction approach of Huynh. The framework is designed to solve a range of governing systems on mixed unstructured grids containing various element types. It is also designed to target a range of hardware platforms via use of an in-built domain specific language derived from the Mako templating engine.


  • Octopus is a scientific program aimed at the ab initio virtual experimentation on a hopefully ever-increasing range of system types. Electrons are described quantum-mechanically within density-functional theory (DFT), in its time-dependent form (TDDFT) when doing simulations in time. Nuclei are described classically as point particles. Electron-nucleus interaction is described within the pseudo potential approximation.


There will be secret applications announced on each day of the competition. The intent is to present challenging problems for the teams, thus good teamwork within members of each team is required to analyze and solve the unfamiliar workload.




The teams will have a constraint of power limited to 3 kW on their cluster configuration. The power draw from their compute cluster will have to stay under the 3 KW power limit. Aside from that, it is up for the team to use any of the hardware they can get from their equipment sponsors on the hardware side, as well as any compilers, software and operating systems level tuning they may deploy on the software stack to achieve the best application performance.


It all concludes with a ceremony on the main conference keynote stage to award and recognize all student participants in front of thousands of HPC luminaries. In the end, there will be five awards given:

  • Highest LINPACK, for the highest score received for the LINPACK benchmark under the power budget.
  • Fan Favorite, to be given to the team which receives the most unique votes from ISC participants during the Student Cluster Competition.
  • 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Overall Winners, for the 3 overall winner awards given to the teams that are determined by the scoring of all the chosen HPC applications, benchmarks, as well as judging by the panel of HPC experts during the interview sessions.


For more information, please visit: http://hpcadvisorycouncil.com/events/2015/isc15-student-cluster-competition

Final Conference of 2014 – HPCAC South Africa Conference

Held in the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa, the last HPC Advisory Council conference for 2014. Many thanks to Brian Sparks for managing the event, as well as to Prof. Dhabaleswar K. Panda (Ohio State University), Hussein Harake (Swiss Supercomputing Centre), Dr. Robert Sinkovits (San Diego Supercomputing Center) and Addison Snell (Intersect360) for their presentations. 2015, here we go…



ISC Big data logo

ISC Big Data 2014: From Data to Knowledge

The ISC Big Data Conference will be held this fall in Heidelberg, Germany, October 1-2, 2014.  This second annual big data conference will present attendees with the latest developments in data-centric computing from both industry players and researchers. The conference will explore all aspects of that data-to-knowledge path.

The conference will kick off on Wednesday, October 1, with a keynote entitled “The Internet of Things,” presented by Dirk Slama of Bosch Software Innovations. The second conference keynoter, Stefan Wrobel of the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis will talk about “Big Data – Successes and Challenges beyond the Hype.”

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