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Q&A: The World of Big Data in the Financial Industry – HPC to the Rescue

Fincial Q&A

Big data is beginning to have a major impact on the financial services sector, and many organizations in the industry are finding themselves in a situation in which they need to adopt analytics solutions for big data. This has left many financial services firms struggling to figure out how they can deploy technologies that meet their big data needs. High-performance computing systems have incredible potential in this area. To help you get acclimated with how HPC systems can help support big data, we got together with Austin Trippensee, Functional Solutions Architect at YarcData. What industry and economic factors are pushing financial services firms to engage in big data strategies? New regulations, expanded product portfolios, and … [Read more...]

What’s in a (Supercomputer) Name?

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Think “discovery” and you can see why NERSC, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, names their supercomputers after famous scientists and inventors. Operated by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and serving the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, NERSC has a long history with high-end Cray supercomputers and using them to drive scientific discovery. Their latest Cray machine “Edison”, a Cray® XC30™ supercomputer named after Thomas Edison, has been up and running for much of 2013 with a formal dedication ceremony held last week at Berkeley Lab in California. Supercomputer predecessors at NERSC include “Hopper”, a Cray® XE6™ named after innovating computer scientist Grace Hopper, and … [Read more...]

When Applications Go Exascale — The CRESTA Project

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Seymour Cray, the pioneer of supercomputing, famously asked if you would rather plough a field with two strong oxen or 1024 chickens. The question has since been answered for us: power restrictions have driven CPU manufacturers away from "oxen" (powerful single-core devices) towards multi- and many-core "chickens." An exascale supercomputer will take this a leap further, connecting tens of thousands of many-core nodes, leaving application programmers with the challenge of efficiently harnessing the computing power of tens of millions of threads. This challenge is not just for the applications themselves, but everything underneath — from the operating and runtime systems, through the communication and scientific libraries to the … [Read more...]

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...]

Cray Supercomputers Powering Scientific Research in Chemistry and Life Sciences

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In recent months, several chemistry and life sciences organizations have turned to Cray supercomputers to power their scientific research. Among them we welcome Duke University, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Université Laval in Canada, S.N. Bose in India, and the PDC Center for High-Performance Computing at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, as well as a number of leading pharmaceutical companies and biotechs. These organizations are doing groundbreaking work, and providing them with Cray supercomputers is representative of our growing presence in this vitally important segment. Chemistry and life sciences researchers are certainly no strangers to HPC. In fact, as part of the 2013 HPCwire … [Read more...]