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Multidisciplinary innovator Peter Braam to guest lecture at CHPC

Dr Peter Braam will be presenting a series of lectures and workshop for CHPC between 22 and 27 February 2015. Here is the program.

Peter is currently working with Cambridge University on the SKA telescope science data processor and is most known as the creator of the Lustre File System.

The offering is as follows:

  • Software architecture & engineering processes: concept and practise
  • Trends in HPC storage
  • The excascale challenge of SKA imaging software
  • The parallel architectures of Narendra Karmar
  •  Course: Object storage for cloud and HPC

Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before Thursday, 12 February 2015.

For more info on the lectures read here.

Last Updated on Friday, 06 February 2015 12:48

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Winner: CHPC User Satisfaction Survey

Miss Olayide Adebimpe Arodola, a UKZN masters graduate in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, was selected in a lucky draw, the winner of the CHPC User Satisfaction Survey. She has won a tribal chess set and a travelling laptop bag. 

Olayide has a Masters Degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, specialising in molecular modelling and drug design research. She was involved in two of her own projects, which were successfully completed in 2013. In her masters, Olayide excelled exceptionally, she has one publication in a highly ranked peer-reviewed journal and a second one awaiting reviewer’s comment.

Her publication and MSc dissertation are as follows:

  1. Arodola, O.A., Radha Charan, D., and Mahmoud, E.S.S. (2014) QSAR study on diketo acid and carboxamide derivatives as potent HIV-1 integrase inhibitor, Letter of Drug Design and Discovery, 11, 618-627.
  2. Arodola O.A., Molecular Modeling Studies on HIV-1 Inhibitors and their potential use as Anticancer agents, M.Sc dissertation, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2014.

Her dissertation is not yet published. 

Congratulations Olayide!

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 November 2014 11:25

Hits: 1751

South Africa retains supercomputing championship

South Africa has successfully defended its championship of the International Student Cluster Competition, winning the overall prize in Leipzig, Germany.

The announcement made on 25 June 2014, shocked many attendees of the International Supercomputing Conference since it is the first time a team wins the competition two years in a row. The South African Team of six was also the youngest as it was made up of undergraduate students only. 

The High Performance Computing (HPC) Advisory Council Student Cluster Challenge is an opportunity to showcase the world's brightest computer science students' expertise in a friendly, yet spirited competition. Team preparations prior to the competition includes working with supervisors and vendor partners to design and build a winning cluster from commercially available components without exceeding the set power limitations, and to learn the predetermined HPC applications. The Dell computing company was the vendor partner behind the South African Team, proving all equipment. Dell also sponsored a trip to its headquarters in Austin, Texas and to the Texas Advanced Computing Center where the team received a tour of the facilities and mentoring from technicians that manage the centres. NVIDIA sponsored Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) accelerators for the team and Mellanox sponsored the interconnect.

South African team members:

·       Eugene de Beste - University of the Western Cape

·       Nicole Thomas - University of the Western Cape

·       Saeed Natha - University of the Western Cape

·       Warren Jacobus - University of the Western Cape

·       Pieter Malan - University of Stellenbosch

·       Ellen Nxala - University of Fort Hare

Team Supervisors:

David Macleod – CHPC

Vernon Nichols – DELL

Nicholas Thorne – CHPC

Technical Specification:

Head Node (Dell R320):

·       Intel E5 v2 Processor

·       8GB RAM

·       400GB RAID1 Array

·       2.4TB RAID0 Array

·       Infiniband FDR

8x Compute Nodes (Dell R720):

·       2x Intel E5-2660v2 Processors

·       64GB RAM

·       NVIDIA 40m GPU

·       Infiniband FDR

Tasks Performed:

Day 1:


High Performance Computing Challenge


Day 2:


Quantum Espresso

High Performance Conjugate Gradient (a surprise application)


Day 3:


Lowest power consumption to complete a task (Surprise Task)


The challenge also featured High Performance LINPACK (HPL) as a side competition. The HPL score does not count towards the overall competition. To win HPL teams have to build a cluster specifically for it by using more GPUs per node and fewer nodes. This however, has a negative impact for the main competition because the team would have fewer CPU cores.

The team that won HPL had two GPUs per node and only 4 nodes. This means they had enough power to use all their GPUs and some of their CPU cores to run LINPACK. Team SA also had 8 GPUs but double the nodes. This means the team only had enough power to run LINPACK on the GPUs. All the CPU cores sat idle.

The South African cluster was deemed better balanced than those of other teams.


Teams entered into the competition included:

·       Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), South Korea

·       A combined team of students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Bentley University, Northeastern University (NEU), United States

·       The University of Edinburgh (EPCC), United Kingdom

·       Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany

·       University of Hamburg, Germany

·       University of São Paulo, Brazil

·       University of Colorado at Boulder, United States

·       University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), China

·       Two additional university teams from China 

CHPC begins its Winter School next week where the selection for the 2015 team will begin. 

Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 10:14

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Tiahne-2 retains No.1 supercomputer status

Tianhe-2, a supercomputer developed by China's National University of Defense Technology has retained its position as the world's No.1 system for the third consecutive time.  Tianhe-2 has performance of 33.86 petaflop/s (quadrillions of calculations per second) on the Linpack benchmark, according to the 43rd edition of the twice-yearly TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers.

Please click here for more information.



Last Updated on Monday, 23 June 2014 14:28

Hits: 1633

CHPC in the News

CHPC SAGrid Cluster Available

Documentation for users:

Dirisa Storage Unit Available

Lengau Cluster Available

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