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Cray announces Shasta software

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Cray has announced an entirely new, open and extensible software platform to address the growing need for supercomputing across government and private industries. As advanced simulation, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformation create new, data-intensive workloads, the need for performance at scale is growing. Recognising the challenges presented by the exascale era, Cray’s software fuses supercomputing performance and capability with the modularity, composability and ease-of-use of cloud computing. In a separate press release issued today, the Department of Energy (DOE), National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) announced that Cray has been awarded a third US exascale system contract. The system, dubbed 'El Capitan', will be sited at LLNL. 

'The Shasta software used with the El Capitan system expands traditional supercomputing to support the complex workflows and numerous 3D studies necessary to unlock the full potential of exascale computing,' said Bill Goldstein, lab director at LLNL. 'The flexibility and extensibility of El Capitan’s software and hardware environment will enable the NNSA laboratories to explore and develop capabilities that leverage the combination of AI and machine learning with modelling and simulation to accelerate time-to-solution for our national security codes. These technologies could apply equally well to multi-physics codes employed outside of the national security domain.'

Cray has a rich history of developing the most performant, scalable and reliable software in supercomputing. This is validated by the vast majority of global weather centres that rely on Cray to deliver time-critical numerical weather forecasts. These weather centres are at the forefront of the convergence of HPC, AI and IoT workloads that operate at immense scale.

  • Cray’s new software platform improves performance and reliability by including new key capabilities:
  • Extends traditional HPC batch workflow scheduling for modelling and simulation with new Kubernetes container orchestration to enable converged HPC and AI workflows.
  • Adds support for multi-tenancy between HPC and AI partitions and sub-partitioning within AI jobs to enable workflow isolation.
  • Provides highly resilient containerised services with separate compute and management planes to minimise planned and unplanned downtime.
  • Creates an open supercomputing platform by including standardised and supported APIs for integration, data access and software ecosystem extensibility and interoperability.
  • Delivers a new and fully integrated telemetry for the system as well as user application-level monitoring to quickly correlate and remediate issues.

'As we enter the exascale era, modern applications are creating the need for applying supercomputing capability to a new class of digital transformation problems. What is the domain of a few national laboratories today is fast becoming a necessity for every enterprise,' said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO, Cray. 'With our new software platform, Cray is delivering a fully-featured, extensible software and tools environment that performs like a supercomputer and runs like a cloud. The same Cray technology that powers exascale systems can be delivered in a single, low-cost rack and ready to integrate into any data centre environment.'

'Shasta is designed to support extremely heterogeneous workloads not just from science and engineering, but also from the growing contingent of enterprises that acquire supercomputers to outcompete their rivals in the new era of digital transformation and AI,' said Steve Conway, COO and senior vice president of research at Hyperion Research. 'Cray Shasta supercomputers aim to move leading enterprises beyond proof-of-concept to production and to operate on-premises or in the cloud. By integrating extremely heterogeneous requirements into the new Shasta system hardware and software, Cray has substantially expanded its addressable market to include enterprise analytics, AI and cloud computing.

'The Department of Energy is the world leader in supercomputing and El Capitan is a critical addition to our next-generation systems,' said US Energy Secretary Rick Perry. 'El Capitan’s advanced capabilities for modelling, simulation and artificial intelligence will help push America’s competitive edge in energy and national security, allow us to ask tougher questions, solve greater challenges and develop better solutions for generations to come.'