ICCS 2012, Omaha, Nebraska

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Supercomputing Goes Data-Intensive

Michael L. Norman

Traditionally, supercomputers have been designed to simulate natural and engineered systems. Grossly speaking such applications turn a small amount of input data into a large amount of output data (e.g., climate simulations). Data-intensive applications are the other way around: one wants to sift through large amounts of data to find a small amount of data (e.g., database query). In Feb. 2012 SDSC put into production the first supercomputer specifically designed for data-intensive applications. Named Gordon (gordon.sdsc.edu), the system incorporates 300 TB of flash solid state disk memory, giving it unprecedented power for large database and data mining applications. It also features 2 TB virtual shared memory "supernodes" to simplify application development. I will describe some of the science applications running on Gordon and highlight research opportunities. UC academic researchers may request time on Gordon via the NSF XSEDE program (www.xsede.org).


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