TACC Star Alliance trip report from our CEO Rosemary

TACC supercomputer

Picture 1: Supercomputer artwork

In October, I went to the Star Alliance annual meet up. There were some great talks and discussion from Texas Advanced Computing Centre (TACC) staff, vendors and industry heavyweights.

Being Texas, the audience mainly comprised oil and gas companies, but at TACC they have range of applications. The update on machine learning from a compute standpoint was particularly interesting as the team used real data on what people are running. The latest news on Frontera, the next generation of compute and storage at TACC, also sparked debate.

A tour of TACC

TACC supercomputers

Picture 2: It’s windy!

Picture 3: Oil-cooled GPUs

Stamped has mostly been taken apart but Stamped 2 is still going strong. The artwork you can see in pic 1 was done by a local man who customises motorbikes for a living. This is still his most challenging commission yet. The quality and creativity of the artwork is a great indicator of the high level of innovation and precision underneath.

See pic 2: Supercomputers are quite windy!

See pic 3: Oil-cooled GPUs are already in use at TACC and are scheduled to become a big part of their future compute estate.

The Dell Innovation Lab

On this trip I also had time to stop off at the Dell Innovation Lab and was lucky enough to have a tour of the facility. They have much smaller systems than TACC with a wider range of storage and compute options configured, which allows for easy testing of different solutions.

A live demonstration of machine learning in action:

Picture 4: Machine-learning in action