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The NCHC Exhibits at SC09!

2009/12/01

Ever since the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis (a.k.a. SCXX) began 21 years ago, it has been regarded as the world’s leading conference on HPC. At the conference, the latest and the most advanced HPC technology applications from all over the world are exhibited. This year, SC09 was held in Portland, Oregon, USA, from November 14th~20th. The conference was attended by an estimated 10,000 HPC professionals from around the world.

The conference included discussions on issues from various HPC-related fields. This year’s new Technology Thrust areas included Bio-Computing, Sustainability, and the 3D Internet. The conference also focused on GPU application development, parallel & distributed processing techniques and application development, and Green Computing.

In response to the conference theme, the NCHC sent staff to exhibit technologies including 3D Bio-Imaging, Virtual Working Space, Phantom Cluster, and DRBL/Clonezilla. Also, the NCHC showcased its latest developments in renewable energy, water resources management, and technology for ecological monitoring. Two posters, “NCHC’s Lite Migration for HPC Fault Tolerance with Virtualization” and “ClassCloud: Building an Energy Efficient Experimental Cloud Infrastructure Using DRBL and Xen,” were selected for the conference’s poster session.

Photo of NCHC Booth 

During the opening night of the exhibition, the NCHC pre-arranged 7 themes and 14 exhibitions total. The exhibition began with the NCHC’s most popular SC-related project over the last three years, the DRBL/Clonezilla project. Also, the 3D Drosophila FlyCircuit Bioimage Database project, a NCHC project that is closely related to the SC09 3D Internet theme, was also showcased. For this NCHC exhibit, 3D images that allowed the viewers to probe deeply into the drosophila fruit fly brain were displayed. This project was one of the NCHC’s projects that showcased it contribution to global bio-research. The opening night of the exhibition ended with the Grid Widget demo, during which the NCHC’s developmental achievements in grid technology were demonstrated before a live audience. Many of the NCHC’s SC09 exhibitions, including Phantom Cluster and Virtual Working Space, were displayed publically for the very first time at SC09. These two demos linked four netbook computers and transformed them into a small PC Cluster. The demos aroused a great deal of interest and curiosity.

The SC09 conference is regarded by industry and academia both as an important indicator of the global state of HPC. Also, it is an important assembly point for HPC groups worldwide. With the goal of improving exchange between users and HPC service providers the world over, this year, the NCHC sponsored two of its most important Users in attending SC09. The two Users also attended SC09 in order to observe the current state of applications research and development. Also, because the Users research closely matched the SC09 conference theme, their projects, “Frontier Research in 3D Wavefield Simulation and Inversion in Complex Structure Area” and “Simulation and Prediction of the Seasonal Characteristics of Northwestern Pacific Tropical Cyclone,” were exhibited.

Regarding the NCHC’s international collaborative efforts at SC09, in addition to a jointly-developed networking application demonstration with Northwestern University, the NCHC also hosted the 2009 Pacific Rim Applications and Grid Middleware Assembly (PRAGMA) update. During the update, the 2009 Pacific RIM undergraduate Experience (PRIME) students reported on their summer 2009 internship research results.

The exchange between colleagues and participants is a very important aspect of NCHC’s participation in the exhibition. Many booth visitors asked questions about how the NCHC optimizes its grid computing resource management. Also, several PRAGMA members expressed great interest in the NCHC-developed Grid Widget and suggested applying it to the PRAGMA research organization. The DRBL/Clonezilla project also attracted a great deal of attention. Many participants came to inquire about it and investigate whether it could be applied to the construction of large-scale PC Clusters.

The demonstration of the 3D Drosophila FlyCircuit Bioimage Database project (in cooperation with the National Tsing Hua University), Phantom Cluster, and Virtual Working Place also attracted a great deal of attention. These projects served to greatly increase the visibility of the NCHC throughout the conference and created new opportunities for international cooperation.

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