SC17 Denver, CO

Special Interest Group on HPC in Resource Constrained Environments (SIGHPC-RCE)

Authors: Mr. Hensley Omorodion (University of Benin)

Abstract: The SC17 BoF continue discussions that were begun during SC16, share results from the “Challenges” annual survey (now in its seventh year and provides great longitudinal information of interest to systems administrators who wish to know what others are using for scheduling, security, etc.), develop competency (workforce development) for HPC, explore how federated and interfederated cyberinfrastructures can be shared with regions that lack resources, improve cybersecurity in shared cyberecosystems, and facilitate access cloud resources(CI) through federated identity. New chapter officers will be announced, and audience-driven discussions will be fostered to help shape the SIG’s scope for the coming year.

Long Description: This BoF will be hosted by the Special Interest Group on HPC in Resource Constrained Environments (SIGHPC-RCE). Membership of a second group, the “Challenges of Managing Small HPC Centers” was encouraged to join the SIG in May-June, 2017. The merger expanded the SIG’s membership, and added diversity in terms of regions represented, and the types of institutions members represent.

Last year’s BoF drew more than 30 attendees from the US, Europe and Africa, including Nigeria and Southern African Development Community (SADC) member-states. Group objectives were discussed and common challenges for those who manage HPC, or support research in resource-constrained environments. Since SC15, SIGHPC-RCE and others who were present at our first BoF have collaborated with STEM-Trek to define a number of projects that are in various stages of development.

Most agree that access to advanced cyberinfrastructure (CI) enables the acceleration of scientific discovery and therefore improves the economic competitiveness of underserved regions. However, sustainable provisioning will always be challenging where there is an inadequate or unreliable energy supply, or in regions that lack an on-ramp to high-speed networks. The prospect of exascale and support for the “long-tail” of science only seems to broaden the digital divide.

Because there are many economic and physical challenges to overcome in RCEs, it’s impossible to adopt, design, build, deploy, manage, and secure the same quality and variety of resources and services offered by the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (EU-funded PRACE), or the U.S. National Science Foundation’s eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE). Many lack a defined goal, strategy for sustainability, or a reference model from which to derive concrete objectives. Consequently, few will engage, or they will waste private, commercial, institutional, state, or federal resources trying to replicate what they could never sustain.

SIGHPC-RCE provides a psycho-social framework of support for professionals who work in RCE’s where they can meet others in their field. The SC BoF provides them with a rare face-to-face opportunity to discuss common challenges, lessons learned and road-tested solutions.

Conference Presentation: pdf

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