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Higher-ed turns to data-intensive computing


Cray has long played a vital role in the higher education community. We value the scientific advances made by researchers in academia and are committed to supporting them with some of the most powerful, and flexible, high-performance computing technologies in the world. To find out more about what we are doing in academia and where we see the industry heading, consider spending some time with us at the upcoming Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project conference.

Cray at XSEDE
​The XSEDE project is focused on ”advancing science, engineering research and education” and Cray is a key player in these areas. With supercomputers at different performance tiers ranging from technical enterprise systems to leadership-class technologies, we are able to offer a wide range of solutions to help researchers in academia access the data handling and processing capabilities they need. We will discuss key aspects of our solutions and provide our view on industry trends and directions at this year’s conference, which runs from July 22-25 in San Diego.

There are two ways to connect with Cray at the XSEDE event. Cray’s Giri Chukkapalli will be speaking at the conference and his presentation, “What Cray Brings to Academic HPC”,  starts at 6 p.m.  on Wednesday,  July 24, and will focus on the different solution models and architectures that are available from Cray.  Giri will discuss the recent expansion of our product portfolio; providing important information for academia researchers and technology purchasers.  As a result, colleges, universities and other academic institutions can access high-performance computing resources that are more closely aligned with their specific needs.

Cray’s solutions for Academia
Diversity is a prominent attribute of the Cray supercomputing solution set for academic institutions. With architectures like the Cray XC30 and Cray XK7 systems, organizations in academia can access adaptable systems that benefit from Cray’s focus on open software architectures. The Cray CS300-AC and Cray CS300-LC cluster supercomputers, on the other hand, provide an open architecture with flexible system configuration options offering a capacity-focused solution that is a perfect fit for many types of data-intensive research. Cray also offers dedicated storage and data management systems that combine with the Lustre architecture to help colleges and universities deal with big data.

With this varied portfolio of solutions, academic institutions can fine-tune their high-performance computing investment to meet their precise needs and fit their budget. If a small-scale teraflop system is the right fit, Cray can do that. If an organization wants to push performance barriers and reach petaflop performance capabilities, that is also an option. Efficiency, flexibility and advanced data management capabilities are a common thread across these areas.

Looking to the future
Meeting current supercomputing demands is important, but many academic institutions also need to think about the future when developing HPC strategies. To address these needs, we will be holding an invitation-only roundtable discussion about the current trends in the HPC sector and where they are going. The event will run as a complementary component to the XSEDE conference and features speakers from Cray and a variety of academic institutions that use Cray systems.

Representatives of the San Diego Supercomputing Center, Virginia Tech and Indiana University will be among Cray’s academia customers that will be speaking at the roundtable discussing the future of HPC systems in academic settings. There will also be a panel featuring several other center and program directors.

Cray supercomputing systems play a major role in enabling the kind of transformative research being performed in academia. Check out Cray’s presence at XSEDE to learn about how our solutions can help your college or university.

David Barkai, Business Development, Higher Education

David Barkai


  1. Tim Giehll says:

    Hi David: Great about what Cray offers for HPC in higher education!! It is becoming more apparent that businesses and organizations want to hire less liberal arts grads and need to hire college grads with big data, HPC simulation, engineering, healthcare and scientific degrees. As America starts to transition its liberal arts colleges and universities to more of a scientific and engineering focus, EVERY institution needs to start budgeting for on-site supercomputers or at least local access through a consortium of institutions. Thanks for leading this evolution!!

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