2018-02-13 SIG meeting at Bristol

The February 2018 meeting was held on 13 February 2018 at the University of Bristol in the Clifton Hall House Conference Centre. The agenda was:

  • 10.00: Coffee available
  • 10.30: Introductions
  • 10.35: Report from the Chair (pdf, 23KB)
  • 11.00: Committee elections
  • 11.15:  meltdown and spectre – implications, experiences and reactions
    There has been much discussion on the HPC-SIG list about the recent meltdown and spectre  security flaws, and what, if any, the implications are for security and performance on an HPC cluster. This session was an informal discussion on how different sites have reacted to these flaws.
    Simon Thompson from Birmingham presented some Meltdown and Spectre benchmarks (pdf, 150KB) , courtesy of Radoslaw Poplawski from the University of Birmingham and Matt Bull from Cardiff University
  • 12.00: Lunch
  • 12:45: Site Updates and short items
  • 13.45: Cliff Addison, Liverpool: Introducing Barkla – a hybrid HPC solution
    In 2017, Liverpool went to tender for a £1.2M HPC system. A hybrid service with cloud or HPCaaS alongside local hardware was highly desired. The winning bid from Dell-Alces, with some seed money from AWS,  is a 100 node system based around 40 core Skylake processors and 100 gbps Omni Path using a software stack that can be replicated easily and cheaply on the cloud. Whilst not yet fully operational, things are progressing fairly smoothly and Liverpool have identified several pathfinder groups within the University who want to explore cloud computing more fully.
    For a copy of the presentation please contact Cliff Addison,
  • 14.30: SIG Business Matters, including future meeting dates and locations
  • 14.45: Tea
  • 15.00: David Salmon, Jisc: Feedback from the RCUK Cloud workshop (pdf, 156kB)
  • 15.45: AOB
  • 16.00: Meeting close

As always, the meeting was followed by refreshment and lively discussion in a local hostelry to which all were welcome.

CRAY kindly extended an invitation for the evening of the 12th for anyone who was staying overnight in Bristol prior to the meeting.