Commodity supercomputing, was: Re: NDAs Re: [Beowulf] Nvidia, cuda, tesla and... where's my double floating point?

Joe Landman landman at
Mon Jun 30 16:38:10 EDT 2008

Gerry Creager wrote:

> I'm running WRF on ranger, the 580 TF Sun cluster at  I can 
> complete the WRF single domain run, using 384 cores in ~30 min wall 
> clock time.  At the WRF Users Conference last week, the number of folks 
> I talked to running WRF on workstations or "operationally" on 16-64 core 
> clusters was impressive.  I suspect a lot of desktop weather forecasting 
> will, as you suggest, become the norm.  The question, then, is: Are we 
> looking at an enterprise where everyone with a gaming machine thinks 
> they understand the model well enough to try predicting the weather, or 
> are some still in awe of Lorenz' hypothesis about its complexity?

I see a curious phenomenon going on in crash simulation and NVH.  We see 
an increasing "decoupling" if you will, between the detailed issues of 
simulation and coding, and the end user using the simulation system. 
That is, the users may know the engineering side, but don't seem to 
grasp the finer aspects of the simulation ... what to take as reasonably 
accurate, and what to grasp might not be.

I don't see this in chemistry, in large part due to many of the users 
also writing their own software.

I think this "decoupling" where developers and users knowledge starts 
diverging is both simultaneously painful for the "older" crowd of 
developer/users, and opens up interesting opportunities for new users. 
Basically it commoditizes the ability to run the codes.  The question is 
whether or not you can provide better guidance to the users about the 
likelihood of it being a reasonable run, while abstracting away the 
details of the run.


> gerry

Joseph Landman, Ph.D
Founder and CEO
Scalable Informatics LLC,
email: landman at
web  :
phone: +1 734 786 8423
fax  : +1 734 786 8452
cell : +1 734 612 4615

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