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The news in this category has been selected by us because we thought it would be interestingto hard core cluster geeks. Of course, you don't have to be a cluster geek to read the news stories.

Webinar - Cool Crunching: Understanding Green HPC

For all you tree hugger HPC geeks, I'm moderating a webinar called:

Cool Crunching: Understanding Green HPC

on Wednesday (December 3, 2008) at 11AM EST. More information and FREE registration click here.

And, I am working on the SC08 stories as well -- stay tuned. I have pictures from the Beowulf Bash -- uh oh.

The HPC Advisory Council Initiative

Where to turn in a time of need. In need of MFLOPS, that is.

Image"The only constant is change" said Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher. This is certainly true when describing the market of high-performance computing (HPC). The HPC market is characterized by a rapid change of architectures, technologies and usage. The only continuously steady characteristic of HPC is the ever-growing demand for performance, showing an increase of 100X every ten years based on the TOP500 list. The HPC market drives the computing technology further and evaluates many leading edge architectures. Proven solutions that have been widely adopted in the HPC are accepted in commercial high-performance computing markets such as automotive, oil and gas, financial, digital media, bio-science and mathematical modeling.

Read more: The HPC Advisory Council Initiative

Summer of Code: Gentoo Cluster Project

Or, How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Recently, I had a chance to talk with Eric Thibodeau about his Google Summer of Code Cluster project. It seems Eric and Donnie Berkholz have been working hard on Using Gentoo, Seed Linux and Catalyst, to provide an easy access to a Beowulf clustering/HPC environment to everyday users. i.e. a live cluster Gentoo CD/DVD. The following is Eric's status report.

Read more: Summer of Code: Gentoo Cluster Project

Back to School (Already!)

Time to buy that new lunch box

The Georgetown University Advanced Research Computing (ARC) has updated the training schedule. In case you hvae not noticed, the ARC division has created a certification program for computer systems administrators wanting to advance in the field of high performance and high throughput computing.

The Systems Administration Certification program consists of two required courses and a series of 1-3 day elective courses. The four-day Introduction to High Performance Computing is the required entry point to the program. Students with strong UNIX/Linux administration skills will complete this course able to plan, design, build, benchmark, and administer a Beowulf cluster. The current schedule is as follows:

Read more: Back to School (Already!)

GPU Processing: What Gives?

I call it a PCU not a GPGPU

In case you have been hard at work on your latest breakthrough, there has been some news on the GPU processing front. What is GPU processing and why should I care you ask? The idea is rather interesting. Drawing pixels on screens is a parallel problem. Video card manufactures have taken advantage of this by placing many parallel graphics processors on their video chips. Current generation video chips now use General Purpose (GP) processors for this task. The "general purpose" feature means that graphics hardware can be now be used for parallel (predictable) computing problems. (i.e. an array multiplication is a predictable operation). You can find more background by consulting the article Pixels to PetaFLOPS: How GPUs are Pushing the HPC Envelope and GPGPU.org (General Purpose Graphical Processing Units). By the way, that is too many G's and P's for me. I like to think of it as heterogeneous computing or simply a Parallel Computing Unit (PCU). As an HPC geek, I like to think of it as PCU that can also do video, but in reality it is the other way around. We have the gamers to thank. So a big thank-you to those useless gamer types that everybody complains about. Keep playing (and buying) games and hardware. You are helping to subsidize the cure for all the ailments you will suffer from not going outside in your youth.

Read more: GPU Processing: What Gives?

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