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Research and developement / HPC Technologies

HPC Technologies

The following major R&D themes have been identified for HPC:

  • Cluster architecture, from the compute nodes to the integration of the cluster in the computing center, including the topology of the interconnecting network.
  • Grid technologies.
  • The parallel programming libraries.
  • The parallel file systems and associated storage.

 Lustre technologies

The CEA/DAM is a "Lustre Center of Excellence". The functionalities developed within the centre are:

  • The life of data within Lustre. The CEA/DAM has developed the support for the OST Pool (available in Lustre 1.8) and leads the Lustre HSM project (Hierarchical Storage Management). The goal of this project is to set up an infinite storage space within Lustre by connecting to external archiving systems (see HSM_Migration).
  • Lustre management tools. The CEA/DAM is developing a Lustre configuration and management tool in collaboration with Bull: Shine.
  • Use of Lustre over long distance networks. The CEA/DAM is investigating sharing data between various computer centres via a file system. This experiment is being undertaken as part of the Carriocas project.


 Grid technologies

Computational grids are virtual infrastructures that take advantage of the computing power of resources distributed across different areas (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grid_computing).

In the framework of the PRACE and DEISA projects, the CEA/DAM contributes to the development of grid services that offer a common view and allow a seamless access to supercomputers distributed across European computing centers. Main "grid" topics spotted in CEA/DAM R&D are:

  • Architecture of services that bridge the user workstation world to the supercomputer world. These services cover the interactive access to the supercomputers, the job submission and the data transfer.

  • Middlewares to access resources available within the grid.

The CEA/DAM contributes to the UNICORE middleware (www.unicore.eu). UNICORE (Uniform Interface to Computing Resources) provides a Grid system including client and server software. The CEA/DAM is member of the UNICORE Forum (www.unicore.eu/forum/) and of the UNICORE Technical Advisory Board. Examples of feature that have been developed:

  • High-Availability on UNICORE components. The CEA/DAM has developed, in collaboration with FZJ (www.fz-juelich.de/jsc/), the load-balancing feature between multiple TSI components as well as the SSL-encryption of communications between UNICORE/X and TSI components (available in UNICORE 6.3).

  • Usage of an LDAP directory to check user access rights, via an authorization plug-in for the UNICORE/X component.

The CEA/DAM has also studied methodologies to access grid resources based on a Kerberos authentication mechanism (fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerberos) with an X.509 certificate credential. A PAM module using the Kerberos PKINIT extension has been developed and enables a seamless connection to Kerberos-based sites via GSI-SSH: pam_pkinit (sourceforge.net/projects/pam-pkinit/).