• August 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « May    

UT Austin’s New Supercomputer Stampede2 Storms Out of the Corral in Support of U.S. Scientists

UT News
Faith Singer-Villalobos
July 28, 2017

The University of Texas at Austin’s (UT Austin) Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has launched Stampede2, the most powerful supercomputer at any U.S. university, which UT Austin president Gregory L. Fenves says will enable researchers “to take on the greatest challenges facing society.” Stampede2 was built with a $30-million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, and its applications will include large-scale models and data analyses using thousands of processors simultaneously, and smaller computations or interactions via Web-based community platforms. TACC executive director Dan Stanzione predicts Stampede2 “will serve as the workhorse for our nation’s scientists and engineers, allowing them to improve our competitiveness and ensure that UT Austin remains a leader in computational research for the national open science community.” Stampede2 will have a peak performance of 18 petaflops while consuming half the power of Stampede1. It will be made available to researchers via NSF’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery


Microsoft Forges Ahead With ‘Prajna’ Big-Data Analytics Framework for Cloud Services

ZDNet (09/15/15) Mary Jo Foley

Microsoft Research’s Cloud Computing and Storage (CCS) group is developing Prajna, an open source distributed analytics platform designed for building distributed cloud services that utilize big-data analytics. “Prajna can be considered as a set of [software development kits] on top of .Net that can assist a developer to quickly prototype cloud service, and write his/her own mobile apps against the cloud service,” according to CCS’ Web page. “It also has interactive, in-memory distributed big-data analytical capability similar to [Apache] Spark.” Microsoft researchers say although Prajna is a distributed functional programming platform, it goes further than Spark by “enabling multi-cluster distributed programming, running both managed code and unmanaged code, in-memory data sharing across jobs, push data flow, etc.” The “functional programming” element of Prajna is associated with the F# .Net functional programming language. “Prajna…offers additional capability to allow programmers to easily build and deploy cloud services, and consume the services in mobile apps, and build distributed application with state [e.g., a distributed in-memory key-value store],” notes the Web posting. Prajna head researcher Jin Li believes the platform has greater flexibility and extensibility than Spark, and could revolutionize the construction of high-performance distributed programs.


Dew Helps Ground Cloud Computing

EurekAlert (09/15/15)

A “cloud-dew” architecture could enable cloud users to maintain access to their data when they lose their Internet connection, says University of Prince Edward Island professor Yingwei Wang. He notes the architecture follows the conventions of cloud architecture, but in addition to the cloud servers there are “dew” servers held on the local system that act as a buffer between the local user and the cloud servers.  Wang says this configuration prevents data from becoming desynchronized, which happens if one reverts back to the old-school approach of holding data only on the local server whether or not it is networked.  “The dew server and its related databases have two functions: first, it provides the client with the same services as the cloud server provides; second, it synchronizes dew server databases with cloud server databases,” Wang notes.  The dew server retains only a copy of the given user’s data, and the lightweight local server makes the data available with or without an Internet connection and synchronizes with the cloud server once the connection is established.  Wang says the architecture could be used to make websites available offline.