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Burst Buffer Early User Program

NERSC selected a number of HPC research projects to participate in the center’s new Burst Buffer Early User Program, where they were able to test and run their codes using the new Burst Buffer feature on the center’s newest supercomputer, Cori. The following are the applications selected to receive early access to the Burst Buffer, and in some cases active NERSC support in tailoring their code to take advantage of the Burst Buffer features. Please see this news article for more details on the Burst Buffer Early User Program. In addition, "Accelerating Science with the NERSC Burst Buffer Early User Program" was awarded Best Paper at the 2016 Cray User Group meeting.

NERSC-supported: New Efforts

• Nyx/BoxLib cosmology simulations, Ann Almgren, Berkeley Lab (HEP)
• Phoenix: 3D atmosphere simulator for supernovae, Eddie Baron, University of Oklahoma (HEP)
• Chombo-Crunch + VisIt for carbon sequestration, David Trebotich, Berkeley Lab (BES)
• Sigma/UniFam/Sipros bioinformatics codes, Chongle Pan, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (BER)
• XGC1 for plasma simulation, Scott Klasky, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (FES)
• PSANA for LCLS, Amadeo Perazzo, SLAC (BES/BER)

NERSC-supported: Existing Engagements

• ALICE data analysis, Jeff Porter, Berkeley Lab (NP)
• Tractor: Cosmological data analysis (DESI), Peter Nugent, Berkeley Lab (HEP)
• VPIC-IO performance, Suren Byna, Berkeley Lab (HEP/ASCR)
• YODA: Geant4 sims for ATLAS detector, Vakhtang Tsulaia, Berkeley Lab (HEP)
• Advanced Light Source SPOT Suite, Craig Tull, Berkeley Lab (BES/BER)
• TomoPy for ALS image reconstruction, Craig Tull, Berkeley Lab (BES/BER)
• kitware: VPIC/Catalyst/ParaView, Berk Geveci, kitware (ASCR)

Early Access

• Image processing in cryo-microscopy/structural biology, Sam Li, UCSF (BER)
• htslib for bioinformatics, Joel Martin, Berkeley Lab (BER)
• Falcon genome assembler, William Andreopoulos, Berkeley Lab (BER)
• Ray/HipMer genome assembly, Rob Egan, Berkeley Lab (BER)
• HipMer, Steven Hofmeyr, Berkeley Lab (BER/ASCR)
• CESM Earth System model, John Dennis, UCAR (BER)
• ACME/UV-CDAT for climate, Dean N. Williams, Livermore Lab (BER)
• Global View Resilience with AMR, neutron transport, molecular dynamics, Andrew Chien, University of Chicago (ASCR/BES/BER)
• XRootD for Open Science Grid, Frank Wuerthwein, University of California, San Diego (HEP/ASCR)
• OpenSpeedShop/component-based tool framework, Jim Galarowicz, Krell Institute (ASCR)
• DL-POLY for material science, Eva Zarkadoula, ORNL (BES)
• CP2K for geoscience/physica chemistry, Chris Mundy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (BES)
• ATLAS simulation of ITK with Geant4, Swagato Banerjee, University of Louisville (HEP)
• ATLAS data analysis, Steve Farrell, Berkeley Lab (HEP)

• Spark, Costin Iancu, Berkeley Lab (ASCR)
• In situ Analysis and I/O using Warp and VisIt, Burlen Loring, Berkeley Lab (ASCR)


NERSC used the following criteria to evaluate submissions:

    • Representation among all six Offices of Science

    • Ability for application to produce scientific advancements

    • Ability for application to benefit significantly from the Burst Buffer

    • Resources available from the application team to match NERSC/Vendor resources

Examples of how the Burst Buffer could improve application capability or performance include (see also the Burst Buffer webpage for more details on how the Burst Buffer can be used):

    • IO improvements for:
      • High bandwidth reads and writes, e.g. checkpoint/restart
      • High IOP/s (input-output operations per second), e.g. non-sequential table lookup
      • Out-of-core applications
    • Workflow performance improvements:
      • Coupling applications, using the BB as interim storage
      • Optimizing node usage by changing node concurrency part way through a workflow (using a persistent BB reservation)
    • Analysis and Visualization:
      • In-situ / in-transit
      • Interactive (using a persistent BB reservation)