* Posts by HPCJohn

128 posts • joined 18 Sep 2014

Page:

Lazy parent Intel dumps Lustre assets on HPC storage bods DDN

HPCJohn

Korev, I agree. I was a bit hesitant to say Gridengine there.

But the Univa variety is strongly being developed. I guess that is not Open Source.

I ike SLurm actually.

1
0
HPCJohn

Re: DDN - maybe a good place for Lustre

Indeed. The dual support model is becoming more common.

Look at PBSPro - they opensourced, and have a dual model of

*) you can't justify paying for support or you do not want to? Fine! Use the open source and you will help to keep the community on a wide base and help with enthusiasm on mailing lists (etc)

*) You want a supported product? Well here you are. And here's a number to call when you need us.

Look at Redhat / CentOS also. I don't think that Redhat have lost much if any revenue with CentOS. They have kept many big name institutes 'in the fold' so to speak, whi were never going to spring for thousands of RHEL or Redhat Desktop licenses.

0
0
HPCJohn

> and, at least, this tech. wasn't shelved.

And that's why Open Source.

OK, this deal was for DDN to acquire personnel with skills and maintenance contracts.

But in general having Open Source means that a project can be revived if someone thinks the effort justifies it.

I would also mention Gridengine here.

1
0

Mellanox flushes three directors at behest of activist investor

HPCJohn

ps. I'm no financial expert but I always though Mellanox did pretty well in the market.

Their products are good and thats why people buy them.

3
0
HPCJohn

I have installed and configured Mellanox kit for many years. Excellent company and good guys, both on the sales side and the technical support side.

I really, really hope whitepines is wrong. Todays high performance networking gear thrives on openness. On the Infiniband side Mellanox make improvements to their OFED stack which are available on their website but which also filter down to the OFED components which the Linus distributions use.

3
0

Um, excuse me. Do you have clearance to patch that MRI scanner?

HPCJohn

Re: obvious solution ...

AC, I completely agree. This is a stupid proposal.

0
0
HPCJohn

Re: obvious solution ...

Smooth Newt - are you serious? A huge amount of effort has gone on over the years in networking scanning equipment such as this. They use a standard called DICOM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DICOM

How would you propose to do this? Writing DICOM studies to removeable media then a radiographer puts the media in another terminal and reads it in to the PACS system?

What a waste of time and sheer drudgery for someone. Hopefully in your scheme the tags for the patient ID etc. are automatically read in.. rekeying anything like that is an invitation to a mixup.

Also what removeable media? I don't know the lifetime of MRI scanners these days I must admit.

When I worked in PET scanning we archived to DAT tapes and gave patients a copy of the scans on Sony Magneto Optical disks. That was many years ago, but I doubt you would be able to get a reader fro these MO disks today.

2
0

What's all the C Plus Fuss? Bjarne Stroustrup warns of dangerous future plans for his C++

HPCJohn

Re: C and C-style C++

JohnFen

Plesae have a look at Julia. The "two languages" problem you describe is exactly what Julia is designed to overcome. Code in a modern language, with a REPL and Juyputer notebooks. Runs comparably fast as C.

https://julialang.org/

2
1

HPE pulls sheets off largest Arm-based supercomputer Astra

HPCJohn

Re: What is the connectivity between these Apollo compute nodes??

The HP product page says Mellanox ConnectX-5

https://www.hpe.com/us/en/product-catalog/servers/apollo-systems/pip.hpe-apollo-70-system.1010742472.html

0
0

What can you do when the pup of programming becomes the black dog of burnout? Dude, leave

HPCJohn

Re: I don't recognise this. ...

"One of my first acts when joining a company now is to book a repeating appointment of 45 minutes between 12:00 - 1:00 every working day for lunch and setting the calendar to refuse all requests during this time."

I am sorry but that is bad. I hve worked in several organisations. In one very well known organisation, all the team went down together for lunch. It was great to just sit down at lunch and talk about what was going on in the world.

In a more recent organisation I worked for people regularly went outside to sit in their cars, alone, at lunchtime. One colleague who I enjoyed working with and respected mightily asked me not to join home at lunch, as this was his 'alone time' as you do. That guy was one of th emost overworked people I have ever met.

I have alarm bells ringing for any organisation where people are either so overworked or so fed up with their co-workers that they want to be along for 45 minutes.

10
6

Linux literally loses its Lustre – HPC filesystem ditched in new kernel

HPCJohn

Re: Uh-oh...

I don't know there... there is a lot more choice these days. The article quite rightly points out that there are more alternatives these days. Fails to mention BeeGFS though which is gainign in popularity. Als CEPH is gaining in the more throughput oriented field, such as particle physics. There was a post of the CEPH mailing list today from a researcher at Lawrence Berkely Lab, who compared to Lustre. SO I think a lot of 'big iron' shops are contemplating or moving to CEPH.

6
0

Developer’s code worked, but not in the right century

HPCJohn

Can someone explain to me ... why in the blue blazes would a supermarket have its own date format? I guess a database expert can explain.

But more importantly why is a format like that not documented and given to all developers?

I know it is not a comparable situation, but I have a great respect for ISO 9001 standards for documents. ISO standards might seem boring in the extreme. However there as a case of a person receiving a radiation overdose because the dose calculation was performed using a superseded document. Far more serious than loyalty points.

50
1

No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project

HPCJohn

Re: In perspective, Galileo isn't important

I rather thought 1metre positioning was needed if you are aiming a cruise missile at Saddams underground bunker. Or some such.

9
0
HPCJohn

Re: EU Are Being Vindictive

Nick, so true.

Just go and live in any EU country. You have freedom of movement after all.

After three months you can be thrown back out of you do not have a job or proof that you can support yourself. But the UK press conveniently forgot that one in the hysteria about immigrants.

The UK press also convenienty conflate people from outwith the EU with people from the EU.

29
0
HPCJohn

Re: Well

I would really appreciate some responses to this, positive or negative.

As someone who has lived out of the UK, the UK does seem to have a very self-centred view of how good it is in industry.

The main unique industries I see in the UK are Rolls-Royce for jet engines, bespoke high end car makers like Jaguar LandRover, Aston Martin. And Formula One.

Yup, I acknowledge that the bespoke car makers are foreign owned, but they still operate in the UK.

We also have world renowned universities and research centres.

But for other industries? Mass car manufacturing is an assembly job which can be moved to any country. Computer manufacturing has been gutted, with Silicon Glen in Scotland being a shadow of its former self.

20
0

Intel confirms it’ll release GPUs in 2020

HPCJohn

Larrabee - what goes around comes around

Referring to Xeon Phi, remember that this descended from Larrabee which was Intels multi-core graphics card https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larrabee_(microarchitecture)

So it is kind of ironic that Intel is coming full circle here.

One thing that is interesting is for large visualizations Intel is pushing CPU based rendering, using Ospray https://www.ospray.org/

I believe that will remain very relevant at the high end.

Looking at Nvidia, there success in the market is not an overnight thing, or an accident. Years ago they made conscious efforts to move into the compute market, and sustained that with Nvidia centres of excellence, continued developments of CUDA, NVlink etc. etc.

So are we in the future going to see the rather bizarre situation of Nvidias chips being bought for compute mainly, and Intel producing the most popular graphics chips?

Time will tell!

2
1

US regains supercomputer crown from Chinese, for now

HPCJohn

The UK currently has 15 systems in the November 2017 Top500 List.

I think that's pretty good really.

1
0
HPCJohn

The UK is indeed investing in supercomputers.

Look at the Snowden computer at Daresbury Lab.

Look at the Brunel supercomputer at Bristol - built with ARM processors and there is a lot of interest in that. The Goverment recently announced funding for machine learning, as reported on El Reg.

UK Met Office is currently at Number 15, which is pretty respectable.

So what are they doing?

UK - weather forecasting. Materials simulations. Jet engine simulations (Rolls Royce).

CFD (Formula 1, Bloodhound, Rolls Royce etc etc)

AWE - can imagine that would be atomic weapons design then.

GCHQ - hello!

US National Labs - nucelar stockpile stewardship. Simulating how materials age with radiation, and are the bombs safe to store, and are they going to go off when used.

NOAA - weather simulations

NASA - astrophysics and all the other stuff NASA does

Texas TACC - simulations of the human heart etc etc.

Swiss - probable lots of interesting research. But the Swiss centre also houses their meteo centre, so weather forecasting at least. And weather forecasting with the Swiss terrain needs a lot of detail.

China - no idea!

0
0
HPCJohn

Re: Mega-Playstations

Playstations were indeed used for this in the past.

If I'm not wrong Sony disabled the method to load Linux onto them, so they are now useless for this purpose.

I went to a talk about the official Linux distro for Playstation several years ago.

0
0
HPCJohn

Re: Mega-Playstations

Chris, that would be a damn good plot. A histogram of initial position in Top500 with a Y-axis of years in the Top500.

Cost isnt given AFAIK so you could not do a cost per year on Top500

I guess I can answer this question myself, but are all the CSV files downloadable from the site?

I guess I also have to assume that when a system is in the list for a second year it retains an identity you can track.

0
0
HPCJohn

Re: Recycling

Well, I cant comment on exotic systems like Summit. I have however installed and managed many commodity HPC clusters. I say this as they are built from commodity Intel or AMD servers, the thing which makes them an HPC cluster is the fast interconnect, Infiniband or Omnipath and the fast parallel storage.

In short as they are commodity servers there is a 3 year warranty. For the last academic tenders I anwered it was common to request the price for five years of support.

I was also asked to work out th elifetime electricuty costs of the servers, which could approach the actual purchase cost. So after five years it really is time to start looking for more energy efficient compute.

Short answer is three to five years, and as they are commodity servers WEE disposal.

A smart thin gto do would be to ship the stuff to Cuba - seriously, there was a talk at FOSDEM two years ago re HPC in Cube, they need kit because of US export restrictions still applying.

After five years the high speed network is outdated, and will probably be junked.

I almost wept once when I saw chassis Myrinet shwitches and fibres lying in a corner of a server room. But who would take the time and trouble to revive something like that, even if the drivers could be found for the latest kernel versions?

0
0

Monday: Intel touts 28-core desktop CPU. Tuesday: AMD turns Threadripper up to 32

HPCJohn

Re: Gimme speed

Probably not that relevant to this discussion, but regarding performance and compilers you should look at the Julia language for scientific and technical computing. Looks like Python, runs like C. It is as fast as C in many instances. It uses multiple dispatch

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_dispatch

And as this is a UK based website, worth flagging up that the Julia conference this year comes to London in August.

5
0
HPCJohn

Re: Gimme speed

Not possible. Heat dissipation goes up with the square of the frequency.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPU_power_dissipation

A 10Ghz chip would be as hot as the surface of the sun, or something like that.

9
1

Select few to watch World Cup in 4K high dynamic range colour on BBC iPlayer

HPCJohn

Hypertoptic customer

Hyperoptic customer here, with their excellent 1Gbps service.

I have a Panasonic 4K telly, which streamed the Blue Planet UHD trial footage just fine.

Pity I am Scottish and dont give a stuff about the England teams success.

The Panasonic tellies wont show BBC iPlayer though - its a known fault and nothing much seems to be being done about it.

2
0

Beardy Branson: Wacky hyperloop tube maglev cheaper than railways

HPCJohn

Re: keeping the water out

Leahroy, have you visited the Brunel Tunnel Museum? If you are ever in London you should.

Also talking about engineering from past centuries, and vacuums, look up 'Atmospheric Railways'.

In victorian times it was not certain that locomotive engines could have enough power to pull trains along. The first railway between London and Croydon used a vacuum system - the train carriages were connected vian an arm to a piston in a vacuum pipe. There were pumping station stations beside the tracks. The vacuum seal used leather flaps. The rats ate the leather. I dont think this was th eonly problem with these railways though!

1
0

UK has rejected over 1,000 skilled IT bod visa applications this year

HPCJohn

Blanket IR34 - stupid

A reference was made in a previous comment to IR35. I gather that all Government departments and educational institutes have been told that all new contracts fall under IR35.

Which is stupid - I saw a very good contract at a UK University but had a lot of second thoughts when they announced it was under IR35.

The stupid thing that I was then offered some days consultancy with another firm - so I would not have been working for a sole employer anyway.

How can the justify IR35 when you consult for more than one company or department?

2
0
HPCJohn

Funny you should mention physics departments.

I have a PhD in Physics, and have worked as a physics lecturer at a university.

But to be honest I won't be in any hurry to come along and lecture in any re-opened department for less that what I earn as an IT contractor in Europe. and that is a very good rate, in addition to tax incentives to skilled foreign workers which I am offered in the Netherlands and Denmark.

Fixed , low tax rates for skilled staff to attract them to the UK? Pull the other one guvnor, its got bells on. Its all them foreigns havign a laugh innit.

Seriously - has enyone ever heard of income tax incentives for highly qualified staff from outwith the UK? If our competitors can do it and seem very happy to do so why not the UK?

1
0

America's forgotten space station and a mission tinged with urine, we salute you

HPCJohn

Re: Nice Work, El Reg - echo that

True about SpaceX. A colleague of mine from McLaren F1 went over to work with SpaceX as an aerodynamics engineer. I'm proud to know him.

Ob Brexit comment - said chappie is originally from Italy and came over to the UK to work for McLaren.

3
0
HPCJohn

Re: Men in Black

Hugo, this is detailed in a book I read recently. 'Into the Black' by Rowland White

The Keyhole spy satellites were used to look at the Space Shuttle once it reached orbit, to look for any tiles which had become detached. This took some fancy orbit calculations, and a high speed relative closing speed between Orbiter and Keyhole.

I believe the book said that by the time of the Columbia disaster there was not an inspection performed.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-spies-who-saved-the-space-shuttle

8
0

Intel to preserve Moore's Law with startup land's fresh young blood

HPCJohn

Re: According to this presentation Lycean has already built one.

@imanidiot Thankyou for a knowlegeable and instructive reply.

Absolutely no sarcasm intended. Genuinely.

5
0
HPCJohn

Re: According to this presentation Lycean has already built one.

John Smith, just google for ASML and EUV. Public knowledge that the source uses molten tin droplets.

3
0
HPCJohn

Re: According to this presentation Lycean has already built one.

Another is Lyncean Technologies, based in California, which believes it has cracked the long-awaited "extreme UV" (EUV) process that could theoretically reduce chips down to 2nm –

Err.... I have just been working with ASML in the Netherlands. They have production EUV systems which are shipping now. How are these Lyncean systems different?

http://www.oregonlive.com/silicon-forest/index.ssf/2017/11/asml_euv_lithography_intel_hil.html

6
0

Microsoft's most popular SQL Server product of all time runs on Linux

HPCJohn

Re: laugh or cry

I would say laugh...

As Ghandi said:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

I think Microsoft have gone through all the stages with Linux.

Can't remember the laughter part, but Ballmers 'cancer' jibes were certainly fighting talk.

26
2

If you're a Fedora fanboi, this latest release might break your heart a little

HPCJohn

Nvidia cards are fine

Linux tip: Avoid Nvidia graphics cards if possible).

Eh?

I have a career as a manager and systems integrator for HPC systems for many years.

In an F1 team I installed and managed SuSE Linux workstations - with Nvidia graphics cards.

I have installed and managed many GPU equipped servers.

So I'm supposed to tell all the engineers and scientists I work with that they can't use the most popular platform for GPU computing and high performance graphics? Why?

To be honest I have always just installed the latest Nvidia drivers by using the command line. It is no hassle at all. I could just as easily have configured the automatic update mechanisms using a repository.

Exactly why is an article on The Reg recommending against a hugely popular piece of equipment?

You really think that all those people who are running accelerated GPU codes like Ansys, or are developing machine learning codes, or are using engineering visualization are going to abandon them just because some sysadmin says the graphics drivers are difficult to install?

I KNOW in an ideal world they should be Open Source. I know Open Source has many, many advantages.

18
1

Take-off crash 'n' burn didn't kill the Concorde, it was just too bloody expensive to maintain

HPCJohn

Re: Love reading about this splendid machine

Talking about Champagne, there is an SR-71 pilots tale in Francis Spuffords book "Backroom Boys".

An SR-71 is flying a mission over the Carribean, probably an overflight of Cuba. Pilot and RSO are in silver astornaut suits, sitting there sucking juice through a tube and probably peeing through a tube at 60 000 feet.

Over the radio comes an air traffic controller "Turn left 20 degrees to avoid conflicting traffic". The pilot questions this - after all they are at 60 000 feet. "Nevertheless - turn left 20 degrees"

The two SR-71occupants then see a Concorde sailing serenely past, with passengers in shirtsleeves and summer dresses, drinking champagne and eating lobster.

(Yes I know - over a certain height it is uncontrolled airspace. But this is a good tale)

6
0

NASA dusts off FORTRAN manual, revives 20-year-old data on Ganymede

HPCJohn

Re: "If there's a moral to the story it is look after those backups" Not really.

John, I believe the current British Research Concils mandate that experimental data is kept.

For software reproducibility of course containerisation has a big role to play - hopefully the analysis chain and required packages are being captured in Docker (etc) containers which are being preserved beside the data.

c) The instrument specs.

Damn good point. There is no point in having the raw data if you don't have the calibrations.

Look at the hundreds of years worth of weather station temperature data. I believe meteorlogists (sp?) have to be damn careful when the type of termomenter changes at a weather station so there is a true continuation of the measurements which can be trusted back to the old style instrument.

2
0
HPCJohn

Re: Paper tape anyone?

Talking about paper tape... at FOSDEM this year there was a fascinating talk from the team who are re-implementing EDSAC for schools projects.

https://fosdem.org/2018/schedule/event/edsac/

Their paper tape reader uses till rolls for shop till printers, which are cheap and readily available.

They implemen tdelay lines using plastic pipes and air, with microphones.

They referred to a paper where Turing works out thta gin is in fact the best medium for delay lines.

Sadly you can't give schoolchildren neat gin to play with!

4
0
HPCJohn

Re: Keep old drives

Christian, indeed. The diagrams are all in embedded Postscript, so they should print out OK even now.

5
0
HPCJohn

At CERN my experiment, ALEPH, made heavy use of VAXen.

We used 730s and 780s for data acquisition at beam lines.

Down in the experimental cavern the DAQ was FASTBUS but there were VAXen down there too.

For analysis as I remember VAXen clustered together really easily, with a maximum limit of 128 machines. So we had at least two clusters in the CERN server hall.

In the latter days there were Alpha servers in the mix too.

I was like a dog with two tails when I got my very own FALCO terminal. This did amber screen DEC VT220 emulation, but then with a hotkey did Tektronix emulation. So you could develop colour graphics programs and see the results on the same terminal!

I was rather an expert at GKS if there is any call for those skills!

Do you think NASA will give me a job then?

7
0
HPCJohn

Re: Keep old drives

I worked with VAXen and FORTRAN at CERN. I was wondering why they would have to use real VAX hardware, and not an emulator. I guess reading the tapes explains it.

I have a TK50 tape somewhere, which has my PhD thesis on it. Anyone got a drive which can read it? The document itself is in a variant of TeX called Scitex (not Latex)

13
0

Windows 10 April 2018 Update lands today... ish

HPCJohn

Re: "Peer-to-peer patch distribution over the LAN"

Joerg, there are aluminium phone lines in the UK. These were laid in to save costs.

I live in London Docklands, and suffered from 'aluminium ADSL'. The distance to the exchange in that area is large, also there ar eno junction boxes so there are straight runs to the exchange, as the lines originally were used for alarm lines to Docklands warehouses.

Amusingly, or rather not amusingly, on a hot day my ADSL service would stop working. I am sure this was due to some expansion in a bad joint on the line.

I cant guarantee those lines were Aluminium, but it sure felt like it.

All solved now with Hyperoptic and fibre to the building.

8
0

Samsung’s DeX dock clicks the second time around

HPCJohn

I am a big fan of USB-C My laptop uses this, and as John Robson says you should be able to use one cable to deliver video, keyboard/mpuse and power.

Asus have a portable monitor with USB-C and its own onboard battey. google Ass Zenscreen Go.

This would be an awesome combination with the Samsung phone.

Me, I would still carry my laptop though as I like it!

Anyone know when the Asus MB16AP, the model with the built in battrry,

will be available for sale? No, I am not a shill for Asus. I just want one of the monitors!

2
0

Sysadmin left finger on power button for an hour to avert SAP outage

HPCJohn

Re: Label your servers!

I totally agree.

Just flagging up - Dymo lables from office type label guns are useless and will dry up and flake off

You need proper labels on cables and servers.

Server manufacturers - listen up. Put a transparent plastic fixture on the front. 1cm x 5cm

The user can slip a printed label behind this.

The original sun designed pizza boxes had lights out controllers which had a dot matrix display.

Designed so you could display the server name on them.

I installed racks of them at Nottingham Uni. I never did have the guts to print out rude words on the displays.

1
0
HPCJohn

Re: The hardware version...

Do you work at ASML?

1
0
HPCJohn

Re: Probably my fault for being unclear

Talking about Beowulf clusters.... A several of years ago I was at a customer site in a big UK company which may or may not build jet engines.

Stood at the console of said machine, I wanted to reboot one of the servers in the cluster. I was telnetted into one of the servers in the cluster and wanted to reboot it. I go ahead and press the Vulcan Death Grip - ctrl-alt-del. Only the whole shooting match went down, not the server I was logged into. Cue red face from me. But they were very good about it.

10
0

Teensy plastic shields are the big new thing in 2018's laptop crop

HPCJohn

Re: agreed...

DadD sorry - but you can power through a USB-C dock which has power passthrough.

I have a lovely HP Sprctre laptop. One connector to a dinky sized shiny metal Hyperdrive hub, and the laptop gets power, an external HDMI monitor connection, and ordinary USB slots.

https://www.hypershop.com/collections/usb-type-c/products/hyperdrive-usb-type-c-hub-with-4k-hdmi-support

Your point about long term viability of the USB-C connector may be valid. However a quick Google reveals they are rated to 10 000 connect/disconnect cycles.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/8377/usb-typec-connector-specifications-finalized

USB-C is NOT cheaply engineered - you need a positive 'click' to seat it home.

1
0

Disk drive fired 'Frisbees of death' across data centre after storage admin crossed his wires

HPCJohn

ps. Regarding clip-on ties, I am a physicist and was trained in the one-hand rule a long time ago.

Yep, people think you are playing pocket billiards - but if you are working with high voltage equipment - keep one hand in your pocket!

17
0
HPCJohn

Re: @Wolfclaw

Indeed! My (recently deceased) father was a lab manager in Glasgow. He managed an PDP 11-45 which did pioneering work in what we now call expert systems in medical diagnosis. IT had removeable disk packs I digress though.

Other parts of his job were preparing the new fangled endoscopes for diagnosis of GI problems. And the other end (he said the Japanese manufacturers included a bite guard with a colonoscope...)

He always wore a clip-on tie - he said that when patients came round from the sedative they could be unpredictabl and try to throttle you with your tie.

12
0

Official Secrets Act alert went off after embassy hired local tech support

HPCJohn

Re: Many Years Ago

Alan, I learned to program on a PDP 11-75 runnign RSX 11M which my Dad managed.

Did they reallyl have ferrite core stores?

5
0

Page:

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018