Contemporary High Performance Computing: From Petascale toward Exascale, Volume Two, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Contemporary High Performance Computing

From Petascale toward Exascale, Volume Two, 1st Edition

Edited by Jeffrey S. Vetter

Chapman and Hall/CRC

255 pages | 97 B/W Illus.

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HPC is used to solve a number of complex questions in computational and data-intensive sciences. These questions include the simulation and modeling of physical phenomena, such as climate change, energy production, drug design, global security, and materials design; the analysis of large data sets such as those in genome sequencing, astronomical observation, and cybersecurity; and the intricate design of engineered products, such as airplanes and automobiles.

This second volume of Contemporary High Performance Computing: From Petascale toward Exascale continues to document international HPC ecosystems, including the sponsors and sites that host them. Each chapter is punctuated with a site's flagship system and:

  • Presents highlights of applications, workloads, and benchmarks
  • Describes hardware architectures, system software, and programming systems
  • Explores storage, visualization, and analytics
  • Examines the data center/facility as well as system statistics

Featuring pictures of buildings and systems in production, floorplans, and many block diagrams and charts to illustrate system design and performance, Contemporary High Performance Computing: From Petascale toward Exascale, Volume Two delivers a detailed snapshot of the rich history of practice in modern HPC. This book provides a valuable reference for researchers in HPC and computational science.


Praise for the First Volume

"Jeffrey S. Vetter has organized and edited a definitive state-of-the-practice volume on high-end high performance computing (HPC), as it exists right now. What is provided is an insider’s view of major HPC ecosystems, in a world where petascale computing is the reality. … Consistent editing and parallel presentations contribute to the usefulness of this volume. Numerous figures and tables complement the text. … [It is] an important reference for the high-end HPC community."

Computing Reviews, July 2013

Table of Contents


List of Figures

List of Tables

Introduction; Jeffrey S. Vetter

Terascale to Petascale: The Past 17 Years in HPC


ARCHER; Xu Guo, David Henty, Chris Johnson, Alan Simpson, Lorna Smith, and Andre Turner


Sponsor/Program Background


Applications and Workloads

Highlights of Main Applications

System Overview

Hardware Architecture

Compute Node Architecture


Service Node Architecture

External Login Nodes (esLogin)

Pre- and Post-Processing Nodes

Storage Systems

System Software

Operating System

Job Submission System: PBS Pro/ALPS

Programming System

Programming Models

Languages and Compilers

Performance Tools


Long-Term Storage and Data Analytics

UK Research Data Facility Overview

UK-RDF Technical Details

Access to the UK-RDF and Moving Data

Data Analytic Workflows

Data Center/Facility

Location and History


Innovations and Challenges

System Statistics

SAFE: Service Administration from EPCC


Enabling Extreme Scale Science at NERSC; Sudip Dosanjh, Jeff Broughton, Katie Antypas, Brent Draney, Jason Hick, Tina Declerck, and Nicholas Wright

Edison Supercomputer – NERSC-7

User Base and Science Areas

Procurement Strategy

Requirements Gathering

Sustained Performance

Best Value

Overlapping Systems

System Architecture

Processor and Memory


Cabinet and Chassis

Storage and I/O

System Software

Physical Infrastructure

Computational Research and Theory Facility

Cray XC30 Cooling Design

User Services

Early Application Results on Edison

Sequestered C02

Large-Scale Structure of the Universe

Graphene and Carbone Nanotubes

Better Combustion for New Fuels

Exascale Computing and the Future of NERSC

NERSC-8 as a Pre-Exascale System

Application Readiness




HLRN-III at Zuse Institute Berlin; Wolfgang Baumann, Guido Laubender, Matthias Läuter, Alexander Reinefeld, Christian Schimmel, Thomas Steinke, Christian Tuma, and Stefan Wollny


Scientific Computing and Computer Science at ZIB

Supercomputers at ZIB: Past to Present

HLRN Supercomputing Alliance




Benchmarks or How We Found "Mrs. Perfect"

Scientific Domains and Workloads

Research Fields Exploiting the HLRN-III

Chemistry and Material Sciences

Earth Sciences



HLRN-III System Architecture

Hardware Configuration

Software Ecosystem

System Software

Software for Program Development and Optimization

Application Software, Packages and Libraries

Storage Strategy and Pre- and Post-Processing

Data Center Facility

Accounting and User Management: Single System View over Two Sites

Preparing for the Future

Second Phase Installation of HLRN-III

Many-Core in HPC

HLRN-IV and Beyond


The K Computer; Mitsuo Yokokawa, Fumiyoshi Shoji, and Yukihiro Hasegawa


Development Targets and Schedule

Application Software Development Programs

System Overview


System Software

Programming Models


Early Results

Benchmark Results

Gordon Bell Prizes


Early Access prior to Official Operation

Operation Policy after Official Operation

Utilization Statistics

Benchmark Applications

NICAM and Seism3D




Optimized Performance



Lindgren—The Swedish Tier-1 System; Erwin Laure, Daniel Ahlin, Genet Edmondson, Lars Malinowsky, Gert Svensson, and Jonathan Vincent


PDC Center for High-Performance Computing

Why Lindgren Was Needed

Lindgren Project Timeline

Applications and Workloads on Lindgren

Highlights of Lindgren's Main Applications

Overview of the Lindgren System

Lindgren's System Software

Lindgren's Programming System

Storage, Visualization, and Analytics on Lindgren

Data Center Facilities Housing Lindgren

Lindgren System Statistics

Lindgren Heat Re-Use System

The Future after Lindgren

Bibliography 167

Peregrine at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Kevin Regimbal, Ilene Carpenter, Christopher Chang, and Steve Hammond


Design Features, Efficiency & Sustainability Measures

Sponsor/Program Background


Applications and Workloads

Computational Tasks and Domain Examples

Application Highlights

System Overview

Hardware Architecture

System Software

Programming System

Visualization and Analysis

Data Center/Facility

NREL Energy Efficient Data Center

ESIF Data Center Mechanical Infrastructure

ESIF Data Center Electrical Power

Power Interruptions

Fire Suppression

Physical Security

Return on Investment

System Statistics


Yellowstone: A Dedicated Resource for Earth System Science; Dr. Richard Loft, Aaron Andersen, Dr. Frank Bryan, Dr. John M. Dennis, Tom Engel, Pam Gillman, David Hart, Irian Elahi, Siddhartha Ghosh, Rory Kelly, Anke Kamrath, Dr. Gabrielle Pfister, Dr. Matthias Rempel, Dr. Justin Small, Dr. William Skamarock, Dr. Michael Wiltberger, Dr. Bryan Shader, Dr. Po Chen, and Dr. Ben Cash


Science Motivation

Sponsor and Program Background

Project Timeline

NWSC Construction

Yellowstone Procurement

System Overview

Hardware Architecture

Processors and Nodes

Rack-Level Packaging


Storage System

System Software

Operating Systems and System Management

Disk Filesystem and Tape Archive

System Monitoring

Programming Environment

Workload and Application Performance

Application Domain Descriptions

Application Performance

System Statistics

System Usage Patterns

Reliability, Uptime, and Utilization

Early Science Results

The NWSC Facility

Overview and Design

Early Experience in Operation

Future Challenges

Acknowledgments and Contributions


About the Editor

Jeffrey S. Vetter holds a joint appointment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). At ORNL, he is a distinguished R&D staff member and the founding group leader of the Future Technologies Group in the Computer Science and Mathematics Division. At Georgia Tech, Dr. Vetter is a professor in the Computational Science and Engineering School of the College of Computing, the principal investigator for the NSF XSEDE Keeneland GPU Supercomputer, and the director of the NVIDIA CUDA Center of Excellence. He earned his Ph.D in computer science from Georgia Tech. A senior member of the IEEE and a distinguished scientist member of the ACM, Dr. Vetter has published more than 130 peer-reviewed papers and has been a recipient of the ACM Gordon Bell Prize. His current research explores the role of emerging technologies in high performance computing.

About the Series

Chapman & Hall/CRC Computational Science

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Systems Architecture / General
COMPUTERS / Computer Engineering