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Hadoop for Scientific Big Data – Maslow’s Hammer or Swiss Army Knife?

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The Law of the Instrument (aka Maslow’s Hammer) is an over-reliance on a familiar tool — or, as my grandfather used to say “when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail.” I’m sure this principle comes to mind as many professionals within the scientific computing community are being asked to investigate the appropriateness of Hadoop® — today’s most familiar Big Data tool. When used inappropriately, and incorporating technologies not suited for scientific Big Data, using Hadoop may indeed feel like wielding a cumbersome hammer. But when used appropriately, and with a technology stack that’s specifically suited to the realities of scientific Big Data, Hadoop can feel like a Swiss Army … [Read more...]

Another Exciting Year

Pete's Blog_holiday 2013

As we near the end of 2013, Cray is closing out one of the most transformative years in our long and proud history. In just this year alone, we successfully integrated two strategic acquisitions, won a number of large supercomputing contracts at customer sites around the world, significantly expanded our business and portfolio of solutions, continued to build the financial strength of the company, and added a host of highly-talented individuals to our team. It’s been quite a year! Since the early days of our company, starting with our iconic founder Seymour Cray, we have been a trusted partner to customers around the world with a commitment to do two things really well:  be focused on their success and help them to see around the next … [Read more...]

OpenACC 2.0 Elucidated

Software V2.0

In a recent blog post, David Wallace discussed the importance of OpenACC and how it is impacting the industry as a whole. Here, I will be focusing on the recently released OpenACC 2.0, its features and benefits, primary purpose, and discussions on the next version. Why release a second version of the OpenACC specification? Whenever something is done in a committee, compromises are made.  In the case of OpenACC 1.0 most of the compromises were related to what the technical committee felt could reasonably be designed in the given timeframe.  There were already four different mechanisms for programming accelerators provided by the initial four members of OpenACC.  So the technical committee took the pieces that it liked from the two … [Read more...]

OpenACC for HPC Accelerator Programming

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In a blog post last month, Cray’s Jay Gould examined the critical role of software in a supercomputer.  In this latest software series, David Wallace, Cray’s Director of HPCS Software Product Management, provides a thorough understanding of OpenACC, its programming benefits and how the industry coalition is evolving.      Why does OpenACC exist? OpenACC was established for several reasons; however, the most compelling reason is that users needed an industry standard set of accelerator directives immediately and the OpenACC founding members each had directive sets that were somewhat alike.  PGI and CAPS had both already release their own set of directives and Cray was preparing to release a set as well.  All three of these … [Read more...]

Cray’s Past Instrumental in Guiding its Future

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This past weekend, we used the occasion of Mr. Seymour Cray’s birthday to pay tribute to the visionary who started it all and is affectionately known as the “Father of Supercomputing.”  With a childhood interest in electronics and electrical devices, he began an early quest to create some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, and there is no doubt he has shaped and influenced today’s HPC industry. As a company, Cray was among the early information technology giants to emerge in the United States and has long striven to provide leadership in the sector. History often shapes the present and guides the future, and this is evident in Cray's direction. Our longstanding place in the HPC sector has given us the experience and … [Read more...]