Who We Are
As one of the world’s premier supercomputing centers, NERSC supports perhaps the largest and most diverse research community of any high-performance computing facility, providing large-scale, state-of-the-art computing for DOE’S unclassified research programs. More than 6,000 scientists worldwide use NERSC to conduct basic and applied research in energy production and conservation, climate change, environmental science, materials research, chemistry, fusion energy, astrophysics and other areas related to the mission of the DOE Office of Science.
But NERSC is much more than a facility full of computers, servers, routers and software tools. One of its most valuable attributes is its staff, a talented collection of computer scientists, mathematicians, engineers and support personnel. More than 50% of NERSC staff hold advanced degrees in a scientific or technical field. And collaboration—aka “team science,” a concept pioneered by Berkeley Lab founder Ernest O. Lawrence in 1931—is a cornerstone of NERSC’s philosophy, both internally and through its engagements with the broader science community.
NERSC is divided into nine groups designed to serve the varied needs of its users and maintain the highest quality supercomputing infrastructure possible. There is also a dedicated Cray support team at NERSC.
• Advanced Technologies: The Advanced Technologies Group focuses on understanding HPC architecture trends as they relate to the requirements of current and emerging NERSC user applications. The goal is to make hardware design and configuration choices to best serve the needs of our users. The group’s efforts include workload characterization, benchmarking, performance analysis and modeling.
• Computational Systems: The Computational Systems Group deploys and maintains extreme-scale computational systems to support HPC and data-intensive science at NERSC. The group is responsible for providing the best possible technology on reliable, stable computing platforms for all users at NERSC in support of the DOE SC mission. The group also helps support complex user workflows that use a diverse set of resources.
• Data & Analytics Services: In 2014 NERSC formed the Data and Analytics Services Group to help NERSC’s users address data and analytics challenges arising from the increasing size and complexity of data from simulations and experiments. Group members work directly with NERSC users to help them manage, store, move and analyze data.
• Networking, Security & Servers: The Networking, Security and Servers team is responsible for designing and implementing a network that can provide high-performance transport of all scientific data in a seamless manner. The group also safeguards physical and intellectual assets while providing an open and secure computational environment and supporting the core center infrastructure, including databases, web servers and scientific portals.
• Operations Technology: The Operations Technology Group ensures the accessibility, reliability, security and connectivity of NERSC and ESnet by architecting and providing a central location for problem reporting, diagnosis, data collection, escalation and resolution to maximize the scientific productivity of users and ensure operational excellence of the facility.
• Storage Systems: The Storage Systems Group’s mission is to develop and maintain facility-¬wide data systems and services to support the entire range of science facilitated by NERSC. The group is organized into three teams: the Archival Storage Team, which focuses on development and deployment of a High Performance Storage System with stewardship of over 40 years of science data; the Facility-wide File System Team, which deploys and manages the NERSC Global File Systems to provide high bandwidth storage to all computational systems; and the Enterprise Database Team, which supports large science databases on enterprise solutions.
• Strategic Partnerships: NERSC's Strategic Partnerships mission is to extend NERSC capabilities toward private sector and facility-to-facility collaborations. Partnerships seek overlapping interests in technological innovation and discovery science between NERSC and research enterprises that extend beyond the single PI model. We focus on collaborative efforts that develop novel operational models for NERSC in serving new science communities and industry market sectors.
• Technology Integration: The Technology Integration Group develops and demonstrates crosscutting, innovative solutions to enable NERSC to support more science and make users more productive.
• User Services: The User Services Group's mission is to increase the scientific productivity of NERSC users through technical support, education, advocacy and the development and deployment of new computational and data technologies. This group is responsible for problem management and consulting; helping users prepare their codes to run efficiently on the upcoming Cori supercomputer, general code optimization and debugging; determining science-based needs for future systems and services; web documentation and training; and third-party applications and library support.