Press Archive

SDSC Hosts Its First IBM Blue Gene Users Workshop

Two-Day Workshop Combines Lectures and Hands-On Training

Published 07/12/2005

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) hosted its first Blue Gene Users Workshop on July 7 - 8, 2005. This workshop targeted researchers who could utilize the large number of processors on SDSC's newest supercomputer, which was installed late last year.

Made by IBM, the Blue Gene Server is a massively parallel computer that employs innovative packaging to achieve high computing power in a compact configuration. The system at SDSC has 2,048 compute processors in a single rack and is nicknamed "Intimidata," because it is specially configured with 128 I/O nodes to support data-intensive computing.

The format of the workshop emphasized hands-on access to Intimidata. Each user selected a code from his or her area of research and then worked with experts to get the code to run on Blue Gene. These hands-on sessions were complemented by lectures from the experts at SDSC and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, home of the world's largest Blue Gene system.

"User feedback has been extremely positive," said Wayne Pfeiffer, scientist at SDSC and one of the workshop organizers. "Most users had their codes running on Intimidata by the end of the workshop and were already exploring ways to optimize performance."

The eighteen users who attended the workshop are doing research in astrophysics, biophysics, computer science, engineering, and geophysics. They came from seven institutions around the country,including the Carnegie Institution, University of Colorado, Georgia Tech, Stanford University, The Scripps Research Institute, University of California at Santa Barbara, as well as the host University of California at San Diego.