NERSC User News
By NERSC User News
A weekly podcast aimed at NERSC users, featuring the latest center news and discussions of interesting HPC topics with experts from NERSC. Produced by the NERSC User Engagement Group.
NERSC 2020 in Review and Looking Forward; Sudip Dosanjh Interview
NERSC Director Sudip Dosanjh discusses the highlights of 2020 at NERSC, as well as what to look forward to in 2021 and beyond.
January 18, 2021
NERSC Software Support Policy; Steve Leak Interview
In this interview with NERSC HPC Consultant Steve Leak, learn about the new NERSC software support policy: what it is, how it works, and its benefits for users and NERSC staff alike.
August 10, 2020
NERSC Power Upgrade; David Topete Interview
In this interview with Berkeley Lab Infrastructure Modernization Division's David Topete, learn about the power upgrade happening this weekend, the work that has to be done, and the steps taken to ensure the safety of the workers involved in the effort.
July 06, 2020
Dynamic Fan; Norm Bourassa Interview
In this interview with NERSC Building Infrastructure Group's Norm Bourassa, learn about how NERSC is saving energy with the dynamic fan setting on the Cori supercomputing cabinets, and what we are doing to make the cabinets even more energy efficient.
June 08, 2020
GPU Hackathons; Kevin Gott Interview
In this interview with NERSC Application Performance Specialist Kevin Gott, learn about the upcoming GPU Hackathon sponsored by NERSC: what it's for, the format of the event, and how to apply.
May 11, 2020
The RAPIDS Library; Nick Becker Interview
In this interview with NVIDIA RAPIDS senior engineer Nick Becker, learn about the RAPIDS library, how it can accelerate your data science, and how to use it.
February 24, 2020
How Slurm Works; Chris Samuel Interview
In this interview with NERSC HPC Systems Engineer Chris Samuel, learn all about Slurm: the life cycle of a job submitted to the batch queue, how Slurm decides which jobs should run when, and tips and tricks on making Slurm work for you.
February 10, 2020
IO Middleware; Quincey Koziol Interview
In this interview with NERSC Principal Data Architect Quincey Koziol, learn about IO middleware: what it is, how you can benefit from using it in your code, and how it is evolving to support data-intensive computing and future supercomputing architectures.
January 27, 2020
NERSC 2019 in Review and Looking Forward, Sudip Dosanjh Interview
NERSC Director Sudip Dosanjh discusses the highlights of 2019 at NERSC, as well as what to look forward to in 2020 and beyond.
January 13, 2020
Community File System; Kristy Kallback-Rose, Greg Butler, and Ravi Cheema Interview
In this interview with NERSC Storage Systems Group's Kristy Kallback-Rose, Greg Butler, and Ravi Cheema, learn all about the new Community File System (CFS): why we're introducing it, how your data will be migrated to it, and advice for using it!
December 09, 2019
Alvarez and Hopper Postdoctoral Fellowships; Brian Friesen Interview
In this interview with NERSC Application Performance Specialist Brian Friesen, learn about the Luis W. Alvarez and Grace M. Hopper Postdoctoral Fellowships: what they are, how to apply, and how the Hopper fellowship compares with the NERSC NESAP postdoctoral positions.
November 04, 2019
Introducing the IRIS System; Gabor Torok and Mark Day Interview
In this episode we introduce the new IRIS allocation banking and identity and access management system that NERSC has developed to replace NIM. Learn from NERSC Infrastructure Services Group's Gabor Torok and Mark Day about how the system was built, the improvements over NIM, and its upcoming rollout in December!
October 07, 2019
Monitoring System Performance; Eric Roman Interview
In this interview with NERSC Computational Systems Group's Eric Roman, learn about how NERSC is monitoring the performance of our systems, what we're doing with that data, and how we plan to use it in the future.
September 23, 2019
The Superfacility Concept; Debbie Bard Interview
In this interview with NERSC Data Science Engagement Group Lead Debbie Bard, learn about the superfacility concept: what it means, how facilities interact, and what NERSC and partner experimental facilities are doing to prepare for the future of data-intensive science.
September 09, 2019
Optimizing I/O in Applications; Jialin Liu Interview
In this interview with NERSC HPC Data Analytics Engineer Jialin Liu, learn about a case study on I/O optimization, in which the team took the Etalumis learning application from spending 75% of its time on I/O down to spending only 5% of its time on I/O.
August 19, 2019
ERCAP Allocation Requests; Clayton Bagwell Interview
Learn about ERCAP, the allocation request process for NERSC, which opens today (August 12), in this interview with NERSC allocations and account support specialist Clayton Bagwell.
August 12, 2019
Roofline Model for Application Performance; Charlene Yang Interview
In this interview with NERSC Application Performance Specialist Charlene Yang, learn about the roofline model for application performance: what it is and how it works, how to use it to improve your application's performance, and future directions in roofline model research.
July 29, 2019
Parallelware Trainer; Manuel Arenaz Interview
In this interview with Appentra Solutions CEO and co-founder Manuel Arenaz, learn about the Appentra Parallelware Trainer tool: how it can help you learn to code with OpenMP and OpenACC, the features of the tool, and how to use it on Cori.
July 08, 2019
July Power Outage; Ben Maxwell Interview
In this interview with NERSC Building Infrastructure Group lead Ben Maxwell, learn about the mechanical substation work that will take NERSC offline the last weekend of July: what it's for, what work will be performed, and how NERSC plans these events.
July 01, 2019
NERSC User Group; Richard Gerber Interview
Learn about the NERSC User Group (NUG), the upcoming NUG annual meeting (July 19, 2019 in Rockville, MD), and what NUG can do for you in this interview with NERSC HPC Department Head Richard Gerber.
June 17, 2019
Containers in HPC; Shane Canon Interview
Learn all about containers, how people are using them at NERSC, and how to get started with them yourself, in this interview with NERSC Data Analytics and Services Group's Shane Canon!
June 10, 2019
Jupyter at NERSC; Rollin Thomas Interview
Learn about Jupyter at NERSC: what it is, how it works, and what people are using it for, as well as plans for the future of Jupyter at NERSC, in this interview with the NERSC Data and Analytics Services Group's Rollin Thomas.
June 03, 2019
Profiling Codes with Cray Performance Tools; Heidi Poxon Interview
In this interview with Cray senior principal engineer and senior manager in programming environments Heidi Poxon, learn about why you would want to profile your code, what kind of differences you might see in performance on different architectures, and hear an overview of how to use the performance tools provided by Cray that are available on Cori.
May 20, 2019
KNL Office Hours; Jack Deslippe Interview
In this interview with NERSC Application Performance Group Lead Jack Deslippe, learn about NERSC's KNL Office Hours (held every Friday in May from 9 am to 3 pm Pacific): why we're holding them, what users can join in to get help with, and the advantages of porting your codes to work on the Cori KNL nodes!
May 06, 2019
Community GPU Hackathon; Kevin Gott Interview
In this interview with NERSC Application Performance Specialist Kevin Gott, learn about the upcoming community GPU hackathon NERSC will be hosting in July: what it's about, what happens at a hackathon, and how to apply (due date May 15)!
April 29, 2019
Edison Retirement; Zhengji Zhao Interview
In this interview with NERSC HPC Consultant Zhengji Zhao, learn the detailed schedule for Edison's retirement, a little Edison history, and how NERSC is helping you get prepared for running your codes on Cori KNL with KNL Office Hours (starting this Friday and continuing through May).
April 22, 2019
IDEAS PSIP Process; Elsa Gonsiorowski Interview
In this interview with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory HPC I/O Specialist Elsa Gonsiorowski, learn about the Productivity and Sustainability Improvement Planning (PSIP) process originating from the IDEAS productivity project, how it can work for you, and some web resources for PSIP.
April 15, 2019
IDEAS-Productivity Project; David Bernholdt Interview
In this interview with David Bernholdt, a distinguished R&D staff member and leader of the Computer Science Research group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, learn about the IDEAS Productivity project: its goal of increasing productivity for HPC software developers, the many ways in which the project addresses this goal, and how you can get involved!
April 08, 2019
High-Impact Science at Scale on Cori Program; Brandon Cook Interview
In this interview with NERSC HPC Application Specialist Brandon Cook, learn about the High-Impact Science at Scale on Cori program: what it's for, how to apply, and what to do if you aspire to run at large scale but you're not quite ready yet.
April 01, 2019
Deep Learning for Science Summer School; Mustafa Mustafa Interview
In this episode, NERSC Data and Analytics Services Group's Machine Learning Engineer Mustafa Mustafa discusses the upcoming Deep Learning for Science (DL4Sci) Summer School (https://dl4sci-school.lbl.gov/) hosted by Berkeley Lab's Computing Sciences Area (which includes NERSC). Learn what deep learning is and how it can be applied to science, as well as more information about the summer school and how to apply!
March 18, 2019
Building Management, Ernie Jew Interview
In this episode, meet NERSC Assistant Building Manager Ernie Jew, who helps make sure that the facilities at NERSC run smoothly. Find out about what his job entails, what special skills he brings to NERSC, and how he spent eight summers at Yellowstone National Park on his career path!
March 11, 2019
Open-Source Software, Aditi Gaur Interview
In this interview with NERSC HPC Systems Engineer Aditi Gaur, learn about the pros and cons of using open-source software, how to get started contributing to an open-source project, and how to make your own project open source!
March 04, 2019
The NERSC Data Collect, Tom Davis Interview
In this interview with NERSC Operations Technology Group's Tom Davis, learn about why NERSC started collecting data on its machines, what sort of data NERSC collects, and how NERSC uses that data to diagnose issues on its machines and in the machine room.
February 24, 2019
HPC Networks Research at NERSC, Taylor Groves Interview
In this interview with NERSC HPC Architecture and Performance Engineer Taylor Groves, find out what's happening in the HPC networks research area, how Perlmutter's network will be better than what we have today, and what you can do to get better network performance in your applications.
February 18, 2019
Energy Efficiency and Environmental Consciousness at NERSC, Norm Bourassa Interview
In this interview with Berkeley Lab's Building Technologies and Urban Systems Division principal engineering associate and building energy efficiency expert Norm Bourassa, learn about how NERSC assures that our machines are operating at peak efficiency with minimal energy overhead, including how we take advantage of the mild Berkeley climate, how we look for inefficiencies via extensive instrumentation, and what is happening on the global scale as a result of NERSC's energy efficiency efforts.
February 11, 2019
Perlmutter Facilities Work, Ben Maxwell Interview
In this interview with Berkeley Lab construction project director Ben Maxwell, learn about all the facilities work to prepare for the arrival of Perlmutter. Find out how much power and cooling is being added to the machine room, how the earthquake isolation floor works, and what computer cooling and viticulture have in common!
February 04, 2019
Getting a Machine from Contract to Reality, Tina Declerck Interview
In this interview with NERSC Systems Department Head Tina Declerck, find out what's required to go from a contract with a vendor to a supercomputer in production for users.
January 21, 2019
A Day in the Control Room, Interview with Owen James
In this interview with NERSC Site Reliability Engineer Owen James, learn about what it's like in the Operations Control Room, what the Operations Technology Group is responsible for, and the tools they use to keep the systems up and running for you!
January 14, 2019
NERSC Year in Review and Looking Forward, Sudip Dosanjh Interview
NERSC Director Sudip Dosanjh discusses the highlights of 2018 at NERSC, as well as what NERSC is looking forward to in the next year and beyond.
January 07, 2019
Performance Portability on Perlmutter, Doug Doerfler Interview
In this interview with NERSC HPC architecture and performance engineer Doug Doerfler, learn about what NERSC is doing to plan for the next NERSC machine, why performance portability is vital for code development teams who want their application to run on future Post-Moore's Law systems, and tips on making your code as performance-portable as possible.
December 17, 2018
NESAP and Grace Hopper Postdoc Programs, Brian Friesen Interview
In this episode, Application Performance Specialist Brian Friesen discusses the postdoctoral fellowships at NERSC. Find out how you can join NERSC as a postdoc, either working in the NESAP program to prepare codes for Perlmutter, or as the Grace Hopper Postdoctoral Fellow, preparing your own code for Perlmutter!
December 10, 2018
NESAP Postdocs, Laurie Stephey Interview
In this interview with NERSC NESAP postdoc Laurie Stephey, learn what NESAP postdocs do, how Laurie optimizes Python code for the DESI project, and what it's like to be a NESAP postdoc!
December 03, 2018
Multi-Factor Authentication at NERSC, Abe Singer Interview
In this interview with NERSC security specialist Abe Singer, learn about NERSC's plans for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), discover what will happen when MFA becomes mandatory in the new allocation year, and hear answers to some frequently asked user questions about MFA.
November 26, 2018
NESAP Program, Brandon Cook Interview
In this interview with NERSC Application Performance Specialist Brandon Cook, learn about the NERSC Exascale Scientific Applications Program (NESAP), the benefits of participation, and how you can participate (as a code team or a recent graduate looking for a job).
November 12, 2018
NERSC-9 (Perlmutter), Interview with Jay Srinivasan and Nick Wright
In this interview with NERSC-9 project manager Jay Srinivasan and chief architect Nick Wright, learn about the new machine arriving at the end of 2020, why it was named Perlmutter, and the new features of the machine that users will especially like.
November 05, 2018
Large-Scale Jobs at NERSC, David Trebotich Interview
In this interview with Berkeley Lab Computational Research Division staff scientist and prolific NERSC user David Trebotich, learn what all those big jobs of his are for, what makes running at full-machine scale challenging, and pick up some tips from David on how to run at scale at NERSC!
October 29, 2018
Security at NERSC, Craig Lant Interview
In this interview with NERSC Security Engineer Craig Lant, learn about how NERSC keeps our machines safe, the unique security challenges in high-performance computing, and an exciting opportunity to join our team!
October 22, 2018
Superfacility, Katie Antypas Interview
In this interview with Division Deputy and Data Department Head Katie Antypas, learn about what a superfacility is, how NERSC is helping users from experimental facilities to analyze their data, and what challenges lie ahead!
October 15, 2018
NERSC Filesystems, Lisa Gerhardt Interview
Learn about the various filesystems available at NERSC, which filesystem to use when, and how HPSS accounting works in this interview with NERSC HPC Data Consultant Lisa Gerhardt.
October 08, 2018
PGAS Programming Models, Brian Friesen Interview
In this interview with NERSC Application Performance Specialist Brian Friesen, learn what PGAS means, how using a PGAS programming model could benefit you, and how to get started with PGAS.
October 01, 2018
ERCAP, Clayton Bagwell Interview
In this interview, NERSC Allocations and Account Support specialist Clayton Bagwell discusses the ERCAP process. Learn what ERCAP stands for, find out the latest developments in the ERCAP system, and how to get help if you're struggling with your ERCAP submissions.
September 24, 2018
Latest MFA Developments at NERSC, Abe Singer Interview
This week NERSC Security Analyst Abe Singer returns to the show to discuss the latest developments with Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) at NERSC. Tune in to hear about sshproxy (a NERSC-developed utility for generating ssh keys with MFA that can be used all day) and hear Abe's answers to common user questions. Be sure to listen until the end for a question even Abe can't answer!
September 17, 2018
Machine Learning at Scale, Thorsten Kurth Interview
In this interview with NERSC Application Performance Specialist Thorsten Kurth, learn about some interesting applications of machine learning to science, why some of the most interesting applications require computing at scale, and hear Thorsten's recommendations for how someone with a science background can get started in the field.
September 10, 2018
Software Development Best Practices, Gabor Torok Interview
In this interview with NERSC Infrastructure Services Group's Gabor Torok, learn about best practices for software development, what kinds of skills are important for an effective software engineer, and how Gabor went from scientific illustrator to software engineer at NERSC!
September 04, 2018
Burst Buffer, Dave Paul Interview
In this interview with the Computational Systems Group's Dave Paul, learn about what a burst buffer is, why you would want to use it, and how to use the burst buffer on Cori!
August 27, 2018
Software Management with Spack, Mario Melara Interview
In this interview with NERSC HPC Consultant Mario Melara, learn about NERSC's management of the software we install for users with Spack, opportunities for getting involved with the growing Spack community, and how Mario went from driving a bus to being a NERSC consultant!
August 21, 2018
Variable-Time Jobs, Zhengji Zhao Interview
In this interview with NERSC HPC Consultant Zhengji Zhao of the User Engagement Group, learn about what variable-time jobs are, what they can be used for, and how to run them on NERSC resources!
August 13, 2018
Science at NERSC, Interview with Richard Gerber
In this interview with NERSC's Richard Gerber, learn about the types of scientific research going on at NERSC, why computers are used for scientific research, and how a sports writer ended up becoming the senior science advisor at NERSC!
August 06, 2018
NERSC Project Management, Interview with Becci Totzke
In this episode, learn about what it takes for NERSC to bring you a new supercomputer!
July 30, 2018
Future Storage Systems, Interview with Glenn Lockwood
In this interview with NERSC's Glenn Lockwood, learn why the outlook for storage systems is rosy for the next several years, how flash storage works, and what NERSC has in common with Netflix!
July 23, 2018
Slurm and Job Scheduling, Doug Jacobsen Interview
Listen in to find out why NERSC switched to Slurm as its batch system and job scheduler, how Slurm schedules jobs, and how you can get jobs through the queue faster in this interview with NERSC Computational Systems Group lead Doug Jacobsen.
July 16, 2018
Spin, Interview with Cory Snavely and Val Hendrix
Spin is NERSC's new service platform to be used as a complement to computational tasks. In this interview with NERSC Infrastructure Services Group Lead Cory Snavely and Berkeley Lab computer systems engineer Val Hendrix, find out more about what Spin is, how it's being used for climate data, and how you can start using it too!
July 09, 2018
Scratch Purge, Interview with Kirill Lozinskiy
In this episode, learn about the scratch filesystems available to NERSC users, why we purge them, and how the purge is performed in this interview with NERSC HPC Storage Systems Analyst Kirill Lozinskiy.
July 02, 2018
Identity and Access Management, Interview with Mark Day
Learn what Identity and Access Management (IAM) is, how NERSC uses it to manage our many users, and our plans for the future, including the potential to enable you to use your institutional identity instead of having to memorize yet another username and password.
June 25, 2018
August Electrical Maintenance and Jeff Broughton Interview
Find out more about the maintenance that will bring NERSC offline the weekend of August 18 and 19! Learn what a switchgear is, why it's important, and how NERSC tries to minimize disruptive outages for users in this interview with NERSC Deputy for Operations Jeff Broughton.
June 18, 2018
Performance Portability and Jack Deslippe Interview
Learn what performance portability is, what makes it so difficult to achieve, and tools and programming environments that can help in this interview with NERSC's application performance group leader, Jack Deslippe.
June 11, 2018
Python at NERSC and Rollin Thomas Interview
Learn about how some users are using Python in their daily workflows, what a Jupyter notebook is, and how to get the best Python performance at NERSC in this interview with NERSC data architect Rollin Thomas.
June 04, 2018
Archive Storage System and Wayne Hurlbert Interview
Learn about NERSC's Archive HPSS system: what it is, how it works, and how NERSC plans to relocate the data on it from Oakland to the main Berkeley Lab campus!
May 28, 2018
Deep Learning and Debbie Bard Interview
Learn about what deep learning is, how it can benefit your science, and what Debbie Bard (who leads NERSC's Data Science Engagement Group) has in common with some of the biggest-name bands in the world!
May 21, 2018
MFA & Abe Singer Interview
Find out all about multi-factor authentication (MFA) at NERSC, as well as the name of the podcast theme song, in this interview with NERSC security analyst Abe Singer.
May 14, 2018
May Quarterly Maintenance & James Botts Interview
A summary of the May quarterly maintenance, plus an interview with NERSC system administrator James Botts on why it takes so long to upgrade the operating system on a supercomputer.
May 07, 2018