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Computational Systems & Software Environment

Above image: During a news conference at Sandia, NNSA Administrator Linton Brooks discusses the unique capabilities of Sandia’s new Red Storm supercomputer…behind Brooks is a visualization created by Red Storm of how a specific fire event might affect a weapon. (Sandia Lab News, 2/17/06, Photo by Randy Montoya)

The mission of this national sub-program is to build integrated, balanced, and scalable computational capabilities to meet the predictive simulation requirements of NNSA. This sub-program strives to provide users of ASC computing resources a stable and seamless computing environment for all ASC-deployed platforms. Along with these powerful systems that ASC will maintain and continue to field, the supporting software infrastructure that CSSE is responsible for deploying on these platforms includes many critical components, from system software and tools, to input/output (I/O), storage and networking, to post-processing visualization and data analysis tools.  Achieving this deployment objective requires sustained investment in applied R&D activities to create technologies that address ASC’s unique mission-driven need for scalability, parallelism, performance, and reliability. 

Benefits

The Computational Systems & Software Environment subprogram provides users of ASC computing resources a reliable and productive computing environment for all ASC‐deployed platforms.

Production Systems

This Level 4 product provides production platforms and integrated planning for the overall system architecture commensurate with projected user workloads. The scope of this product includes strategic planning, research, development, procurement, hardware maintenance, testing, integration and deployment, and quality and reliability activities, as well as industrial and academic collaborations. Projects and technologies include strategic planning, performance modeling, benchmarking, procurement and integration coordination, and installation. This product also provides market research for future systems.

Advanced Systems

This Level 4 product provides advanced architectures in response to programmatic, computing needs. The scope of this product includes strategic planning, research, development, procurement, testing, integration and deployment, as well as industrial and academic collaborations. Projects and technologies include strategic planning, performance modeling, benchmarking, and procurement and integration coordination. This product also provides market research, and the investigation of advanced architectural concepts and hardware (including node interconnects and machine area networks) via prototype development, deployment, and test bed activities. Also included in this product are cost-effective computers designed to achieve extreme speeds in addressing specific, stockpile-relevant issues through development of enhanced performance codes especially suited to run on the systems.

System Software and Tools

This Level 4 product provides the system software infrastructure, including the supporting operating system (OS) environments and the integrated tools, to enable the development, optimization and efficient execution of application codes. The scope of this product includes planning, research, development, integration and initial deployment, continuing product support, and quality and reliability activities, as well as industrial and academic collaborations. Projects and technologies include system-level software addressing optimal delivery of system resources to end-users, such as schedulers, custom device drivers, resource allocation, optimized kernels, system management tools, compilers, debuggers, performance tuning tools, run-time libraries, math libraries, component frameworks, other emerging programming paradigms of importance to scientific code development and application performance analysis.

I/O, Storage Systems and Networking

This Level 4 product provides I/O (input/output, or data transfer) storage infrastructure in balance with all platforms and consistent with integrated system architecture plans. The procurement of all supporting subsystems, data transfer, storage systems, and infrastructures occurs through this product. The scope of this product includes planning, research, development, procurement, hardware maintenance, integration and deployment, continuing product support, and quality and reliability activities, as well as industrial and academic collaborations. Projects and technologies include high-performance parallel file systems, hierarchical storage management systems, storage-area-networks, network-attached-storage (NAS), and High Performance Storage System (HPSS) or future hierarchical storage management system disks, tape, robotics, servers, and media. This product also includes relevant prototype deployment and test bed activities. Projects and technologies in the advanced networking and interconnect areas shall include networking and interconnect architectures, emerging networking hardware technologies and communication protocols, network performance/security monitoring/analysis tools, and high performance encryption and security technologies.

Post-Processing Environments

This level 4 product provides integrated post-processing environments to support end-user visualization, data analysis, and data management. The scope of this product includes planning, research, development, integration and deployment, continuing customer/product support, and quality and reliability activities, as well as industrial and academic collaborations. Projects and technologies include tools for metadata and scientific data management, as well as general-purpose and application-specific visualization, analysis, and comparison. Research includes innovative data access methods and visualization of massive, complex data—the use of open-source foundations will continue to be an important strategy for development of shareable advanced techniques. The product must develop solutions to address interactivity, scaling, tri-lab access for petascale platforms, and data analysis techniques needed to support effective V&V and comparative analysis. Solutions for emerging platform architectures may in turn require customization and/or re-architecting of software to leverage hardware features. A continuing emphasis will be placed on tools for improving end-user productivity. The product also provides and supports infrastructure including office and collaborative space visualization displays, mechanisms for image data delivery, and graphics rendering hardware.

Common Computing Environment

The goal of the Common Computing Environment (CCE) product is to enable such a common environment across the tri-labs which will initially be deployed on the TLCC systems. The scope of this product includes funded R&D projects to address gap areas identified by the tri-lab technical working groups. The CCE working groups and projects focus on a common software stack, including but not limited to, operating system software; application development tools; resource management; HPC monitoring and metrics; and common tri-lab environment issues of configuration management, licenses, WAN access, and multi-realm security.