Students playing with impressive racks? Yes, it's cluster comp time

The most comprehensive coverage the world has ever seen. Ever

HPC blog This article and the ones following it are the most comprehensive and in-depth analysis of a cluster competition that the world has ever seen. If you can find better coverage, then I'll eat a handful of spider webs.

Let's dive into the results from the benchmark and HPC application portion of the ISC14 Student Cluster Competition....

HPCC: Like “Hotel California” at an Eagles concert, HPCC (HPC Challenge Benchmark Suite) is a staple of student cluster competitions.

The suite is a combination of seven well-known HPC benchmarks including: HPL (LINPACK), STREAM, PTRANS, FFTE, DGEMM, RandomAccess, and b.eff (which isn’t capitalized, I wonder why? Modesty, maybe?)

One of the ISC14 newbie teams, Team USTC, pulled down a perfect 100 per cent maximum score on HPCC, which is a damned good performance. Team sponsor Sugon (also new to the student cluster world) has to be feeling good about backing the USTC kids. The average score for all teams on HPCC was 58%.

Team Hamburg was definitely hitting above their weight with their second place finish. Given their traditional CPU-based cluster and their relative lack of competition experience, they did amazingly well on this benchmark.

South Africa snuck ahead of Mass Green for the Bronze Medal. Mass Green gets an Honorable Mention for driving their quad-socket, fat-node monster cluster into fourth place, topping seven other teams with more conventional clusters.

Quantum ESPRESSO is a set of open source codes that are used to calculate materials modeling at extremely small scale. We’ve seen this app a couple of times in other competitions, and it’s caused some problems for teams in the past.

But this crop of student clusterers seemed to handle it in stride, with almost every team posting a valid score. The average score for all teams on this app was around 50 per cent.

GPU enabled versions of QE are available, which was pretty helpful for those teams driving NVIDIA accelerators.

Once again, Team USTC was a standout; grabbing 93% of the points possible on this app. South Africa was close on their heels, only five points back. Team Tsinghua managed to nab the Bronze Medal, even though they didn’t have any accelerators in their system – meaning they had to optimize the living hell out of the app in order to top the rest of the field.

Home team Chemnitz gets the nod for Honorable Mention, that’s a good score on a tough application.

OpenFOAM is a set of solvers that are often used to model fluid dynamics. You could use it to figure out airflow through a turbine or to model the pressure differential in your lawn sprinkler system.

There are GPU friendly versions of OpenFOAM available. Depending on the problem and solvers being used, GPUs can provide a 50 per cent+ speed-up while using a third less energy – definitely a competitive advantage in student cluster wars.

We saw a wide range of scores on OpenFOAM this year, with the average score at 32%, making OpenFOAM one of the most challenging apps in the ISC14 competition.

Once again, that plucky team from USTC nabs a Gold Medal on this app, topping the ten other competitors by a wide margin.South Africa takes the Silver, with Team Chemnitz finishing with a Bronze Medal. Tsinghua gets Honorable Mention for posting a score competitive with the field, without the benefit of accelerators.

GADGET-3: Like I’ve said many times before, if I were forced to model the universe and could only select one software package, I’d take GADGET-3, hands down.

It’ll do your gravitational force modeling, and will even show you what happens when galaxies collide – which takes a fair amount of computational power.

GADGET-3 was another tough app for the student teams (the average score was 40 per cent). However, all of them turned in a valid result, meaning that they were able to set up and finish at least one run.

Team USTC adds to their Gold Medal count with their field topping 100 per cent score. Team Tsinghua missed grabbing their first Gold Medal by a heartbreaking one percentage point margin, settling for the silver.

Former ISC champion South Africa led the rest of the field and took the bronze with their score of 72%. Home team Chemnitz nails down another Honorable Mention for their fourth place finish on what proved to be a very difficult application.

In the next article, we'll cover results from the dreaded "Mystery Application", the "Secret Mission" task, and the interview components of the competition. And then full coverage of the winners. Stay tuned... ®

Other stories you might like

  • Monero-mining botnet targets Windows, Linux web servers
    Sysrv-K malware infects unpatched tin, Microsoft warns

    The latest variant of the Sysrv botnet malware is menacing Windows and Linux systems with an expanded list of vulnerabilities to exploit, according to Microsoft.

    The strain, which Microsoft's Security Intelligence team calls Sysrv-K, scans the internet for web servers that have security holes, such as path traversal, remote file disclosure, and arbitrary file download bugs, that can be exploited to infect the machines.

    The vulnerabilities, all of which have patches available, include flaws in WordPress plugins such as the recently uncovered remote code execution hole in the Spring Cloud Gateway software tracked as CVE-2022-22947 that Uncle Sam's CISA warned of this week.

    Continue reading
  • Red Hat Kubernetes security report finds people are the problem
    Puny human brains baffled by K8s complexity, leading to blunder fears

    Kubernetes, despite being widely regarded as an important technology by IT leaders, continues to pose problems for those deploying it. And the problem, apparently, is us.

    The open source container orchestration software, being used or evaluated by 96 per cent of organizations surveyed [PDF] last year by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, has a reputation for complexity.

    Witness the sarcasm: "Kubernetes is so easy to use that a company devoted solely to troubleshooting issues with it has raised $67 million," quipped Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at IT consultancy The Duckbill Group, in a Twitter post on Monday referencing investment in a startup called Komodor. And the consequences of the software's complication can be seen in the difficulties reported by those using it.

    Continue reading
  • Infosys skips government meeting - and collecting government taxes
    Tax portal wobbles, again

    Services giant Infosys has had a difficult week, with one of its flagship projects wobbling and India's government continuing to pressure it over labor practices.

    The wobbly projext is India's portal for filing Goods and Services Tax returns. According to India’s Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), the IT services giant reported a “technical glitch” that meant auto-populated forms weren't ready for taxpayers. The company was directed to fix it and CBIC was faced with extending due dates for tax payments.

    Continue reading
  • Google keeps legacy G Suite alive and free for personal use

    Google has quietly dropped its demand that users of its free G Suite legacy edition cough up to continue enjoying custom email domains and cloudy productivity tools.

    This story starts in 2006 with the launch of “Google Apps for Your Domain”, a bundle of services that included email, a calendar, Google Talk, and a website building tool. Beta users were offered the service at no cost, complete with the ability to use a custom domain if users let Google handle their MX record.

    The service evolved over the years and added more services, and in 2020 Google rebranded its online productivity offering as “Workspace”. Beta users got most of the updated offerings at no cost.

    Continue reading
  • GNU Compiler Collection adds support for China's LoongArch CPU family
    MIPS...ish is on the march in the Middle Kingdom

    Version 12.1 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) was released this month, and among its many changes is support for China's LoongArch processor architecture.

    The announcement of the release is here; the LoongArch port was accepted as recently as March.

    China's Academy of Sciences developed a family of MIPS-compatible microprocessors in the early 2000s. In 2010 the tech was spun out into a company callled Loongson Technology which today markets silicon under the brand "Godson". The company bills itself as working to develop technology that secures China and underpins its ability to innovate, a reflection of Beijing's believe that home-grown CPU architectures are critical to the nation's future.

    Continue reading
  • China’s COVID lockdowns bite e-commerce players
    CEO of e-tail market leader JD perhaps boldly points out wider economic impact of zero-virus stance

    The CEO of China’s top e-commerce company, JD, has pointed out the economic impact of China’s current COVID-19 lockdowns - and the news is not good.

    Speaking on the company’s Q1 2022 earnings call, JD Retail CEO Lei Xu said that the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic had brought positive effects for many Chinese e-tailers as buyer behaviour shifted to online purchases.

    But Lei said the current lengthy and strict lockdowns in Shanghai and Beijing, plus shorter restrictions in other large cities, have started to bite all online businesses as well as their real-world counterparts.

    Continue reading
  • Foxconn forms JV to build chip fab in Malaysia
    Can't say when, where, nor price tag. Has promised 40k wafers a month at between 28nm and 40nm

    Taiwanese contract manufacturer to the stars Foxconn is to build a chip fabrication plant in Malaysia.

    The planned factory will emit 12-inch wafers, with process nodes ranging from 28 to 40nm, and will have a capacity of 40,000 wafers a month. By way of comparison, semiconductor-centric analyst house IC Insights rates global wafer capacity at 21 million a month, and Taiwanese TSMC’s four “gigafabs” can each crank out 250,000 wafers a month.

    In terms of production volume and technology, this Malaysian facility will not therefore catapult Foxconn into the ranks of leading chipmakers.

    Continue reading
  • NASA's InSight doomed as Mars dust coats solar panels
    The little lander that couldn't (any longer)

    The Martian InSight lander will no longer be able to function within months as dust continues to pile up on its solar panels, starving it of energy, NASA reported on Tuesday.

    Launched from Earth in 2018, the six-metre-wide machine's mission was sent to study the Red Planet below its surface. InSight is armed with a range of instruments, including a robotic arm, seismometer, and a soil temperature sensor. Astronomers figured the data would help them understand how the rocky cores of planets in the Solar System formed and evolved over time.

    "InSight has transformed our understanding of the interiors of rocky planets and set the stage for future missions," Lori Glaze, director of NASA's Planetary Science Division, said in a statement. "We can apply what we've learned about Mars' inner structure to Earth, the Moon, Venus, and even rocky planets in other solar systems."

    Continue reading
  • The ‘substantial contributions’ Intel has promised to boost RISC-V adoption
    With the benefit of maybe revitalizing the x86 giant’s foundry business

    Analysis Here's something that would have seemed outlandish only a few years ago: to help fuel Intel's future growth, the x86 giant has vowed to do what it can to make the open-source RISC-V ISA worthy of widespread adoption.

    In a presentation, an Intel representative shared some details of how the chipmaker plans to contribute to RISC-V as part of its bet that the instruction set architecture will fuel growth for its revitalized contract chip manufacturing business.

    While Intel invested in RISC-V chip designer SiFive in 2018, the semiconductor titan's intentions with RISC-V evolved last year when it revealed that the contract manufacturing business key to its comeback, Intel Foundry Services, would be willing to make chips compatible with x86, Arm, and RISC-V ISAs. The chipmaker then announced in February it joined RISC-V International, the ISA's governing body, and launched a $1 billion innovation fund that will support chip designers, including those making RISC-V components.

    Continue reading
  • FBI warns of North Korean cyberspies posing as foreign IT workers
    Looking for tech talent? Kim Jong-un's friendly freelancers, at your service

    Pay close attention to that resume before offering that work contract.

    The FBI, in a joint advisory with the US government Departments of State and Treasury, has warned that North Korea's cyberspies are posing as non-North-Korean IT workers to bag Western jobs to advance Kim Jong-un's nefarious pursuits.

    In guidance [PDF] issued this week, the Feds warned that these techies often use fake IDs and other documents to pose as non-North-Korean nationals to gain freelance employment in North America, Europe, and east Asia. Additionally, North Korean IT workers may accept foreign contracts and then outsource those projects to non-North-Korean folks.

    Continue reading
  • Elon Musk says Twitter buy 'cannot move forward' until spam stats spat settled
    A stunning surprise to no one in this Solar System

    Elon Musk said his bid to acquire and privatize Twitter "cannot move forward" until the social network proves its claim that fake bot accounts make up less than five per cent of all users.

    The world's richest meme lord formally launched efforts to take over Twitter last month after buying a 9.2 per cent stake in the biz. He declined an offer to join the board of directors, only to return asking if he could buy the social media platform outright at $54.20 per share. Twitter's board resisted Musk's plans at first, installing a "poison pill" to hamper a hostile takeover before accepting the deal, worth over $44 billion.

    But then it appears Musk spotted something in Twitter's latest filing to America's financial watchdog, the SEC. The paperwork asserted that "fewer than five percent" of Twitter's monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) in the first quarter of 2022 were fake or spammer accounts, which Musk objected to: he felt that figure should be a lot higher. He had earlier proclaimed that ridding Twitter of spam bots was a priority for him, post-takeover.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022