High-Performance Computing

Founded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) almost three decades ago as one of the nation’s first academic supercomputer centers, SDSC’s mission has since evolved and expanded. Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2015, SDSC has always focused on providing advanced computational resources and the expertise required to tailor those resources to accelerate research and discovery at the local, state, and national levels while spanning academia, industry, and government.

SDSC is committed to remaining at the forefront of not only high-performance computing (HPC), but in innovating new processes to make scientific research more efficient and robust in what has become an ever-increasing collaborative community.

“Originally, HPC was for modeling and simulations that generated lots of data as its product,” said SDSC Director Michael Norman. “Now it’s almost the opposite, with lots of data coming in for analysis from elsewhere, such as mass spectrometers, genome sequencing, and data mining. I refer to this as the fourth paradigm of scientific research, and this change in how modern science is conducted has informed us about what a contemporary supercomputer center should be doing and the kind of resources it should be deploying.”

“Together, these machines are redefining the very nature of scientific computing,” said Norman. “But for us, it’s also about human productivity, not just hardware productivity.”

Centers of Excellence

SDSC has created a number of ‘Centers of Excellence’ as of part of a larger strategic focus to help researchers across all domains, including those who are relatively new to computational science, better manage ever-increasing volumes of digitally based information. These centers formalize key elements of SDSC’s wide range of expertise, from ‘big data’ management to the analysis and advancement of the Internet.

SDSC’s Centers of Excellence:

Applications

SDSC provides a wide range of software applications installed on the production computing platforms. Ranging from finite element codes to state-of-the-art visualization packages, these applications are available to any researcher who has a computing allocation at SDSC. 

HPC Systems

For over 30 years, SDSC has led the way in deploying and supporting cutting-edge high performance computing systems for a wide range of users, from the campus to the national research community. From the earliest Cray systems to today’s data-intensive systems, SDSC has focused on providing innovative architectures designed to keep pace with the changing needs of science and engineering.

Parallel File Systems

At the heart of SDSC’s high performance computing systems is the high-performance, scalable, Data Oasis Lustre-based parallel file system. 

Parallelization & Code Optimization

SDSC's HPC scientific applications experts can take your serial code running on a single CPU and spread the work across multiple CPUs, or further optimize it to make more efficient use of high-performance resources.

Performance Modeling

SDSC Performance Modeling and Characterization (PMaC) laboratory brings scientific rigor to the prediction and understanding of factors affecting the performance of current and projected HPC platforms.

Science Portals/Gateways

A Science Gateways is a community-developed set of tools, applications, and data that are integrated through a web-based portal or a suite of applications. They provide scientists with access to many of the tools used in cutting-edge research – telescopes, seismic shake tables, supercomputers, sky surveys, undersea sensors, and more. Such gateways connect often diverse resources and make them easily accessible in ways that saves researchers and institutions both time and money.

Visualization

SDSC’s Visualization Services Group specializes in research, application, and communication–creating visualizations and illustrations as well as develop algorithms and software tools to match the needs of your project.