Dave Pearah, The HDF Group In my previous post—HDF: The Next 30 Years (Part 1)—I outlined the challenges and opportunities facing The HDF Group as an open source company. In a nutshell: Opportunity: large-scale adoption around the world in many different industries with great community-driven development (700+ projects in Github) Challenge: sufficient profit from existing business (consulting) to sustainably extend and maintain the core HDF5 platform The HDF Group is blessed with an amazingly talented + passionate + dedicated team of folks who care deeply about the HDF community, and we're all working together to determine the best path forward to sustainability, i.e. the NEXT 30 years. We want to share some of the steps that we're already taking, and -- more importantly --...

Dave Pearah, The HDF Group How can users of open source technology ensure that the open source solutions they depend on every day don’t just survive, but thrive? While on my flight home from New York, I’m reflecting on The Trading Show, which focused on tech solutions for the small but influential world of proprietary and quantitative financial trading. I participated in a panel called “Sharing is Caring,” regarding the industry’s broad use of open source technology. The panel featured a mix of companies that both provide and use open source software. Among the topics: Are cost pressures the only driving force behind the open source movement among trading firms, hedge funds and banks? How will open source solutions shape the future of...

The HDF Group’s HDF Server has been nominated for Best Use of HPC in the Cloud, and Best HPC Software Product or Technology in HPCWire’s 2016  Readers’ Choice Awards. HDF Server is a Python-based web service that enables full read/write web access to HDF data – it can be used to send and receive HDF5 data using an HTTP-based REST interface. While HDF5 provides powerful scalability and speed for complex datasets of all sizes, many HDF5 data sets used in HPC environments are extremely large and cannot easily be downloaded or moved across the internet to access data on an as-needed basis.  Users often only need to access a small subset of the data.  Using HDF Server, data can be kept in one...

Pearah joins The HDF Group as new Chief Executive Officer

Champaign, IL — The HDF Group today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed David Pearah as its new Chief Executive Officer. The HDF Group is a software company dedicated to creating high performance computing technology to address many of today’s Big Data challenges.

Pearah replaces Mike Folk upon his retirement after ten years as company President and Board Chair. Folk will remain a member of the Board of Directors, and Pearah will become the company’s Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Pearah said, “I am honored to have been selected as The HDF Group’s next CEO. It is a privilege to be part of an organization with a nearly 30-year history of delivering innovative technology to meet the Big Data demands of commercial industry, scientific research and governmental clients.”

Industry leaders in fields from aerospace and biomedicine to finance join the company’s client list.  In addition, government entities such as the Department of Energy and NASA, numerous research facilities, and scientists in disciplines from climate study to astrophysics depend on HDF technologies.

Pearah continued, “We are an organization led by a mission to make a positive impact on everyone we engage, whether they are individuals using our open-source software, or organizations who rely on our talented team of scientists and engineers as trusted partners. I will do my best to serve the HDF community by enabling our team to fulfill their passion to make a difference.  We’ve just delivered a major release of HDF5 with many additional powerful features, and we’re very excited about several innovative new products that we’ll soon be making available to our user community.”

“Dave is clearly the leader for HDF’s future, and

We are excited and pleased to announce HDF5-1.10.0, the most powerful version of our flagship software ever.> This major new release of HDF5 is more powerful than ever before and packed with new capabilities that address important data challenges faced by our user community. HDF5 1.10.0 contains many important new features and changes, including those listed below. The features marked with * use new extensions to the HDF5 file format. The Single-Writer / Multiple-Reader or SWMR feature enables users to read data while concurrently writing it. * The virtual dataset (VDS) feature enables users to access data in a collection of HDF5 files as a single HDF5 dataset and to use the HDF5 APIs to work with that dataset. *   (NOTE:...

Quincey Koziol, The HDF Group

“A supercomputer is a device for turning compute-bound problems into I/O-bound problems.” – Ken Batcher, Prof. Emeritus, Kent State University.

HDF5 began out of a collaboration between the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Simulation and Computing Program (ASC), so high-performance computing (HPC) I/O has been in our focus from the very beginning.  As we are starting our 20th year of development on HDF5, HPC I/O continues to be a critical driver of new features.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is home to two of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, each capable of performing more than 1,000 trillion operations per second. Here, ASC is examining the effects of a one-megaton nuclear energy source detonated on the surface of an asteroid. Image from ASC at http://www.lanl.gov/asci/

The HDF5 development team has focused on three things when serving the HPC community: performance, freedom of choice and ease of use.

Mohamad Chaarawi, The HDF Group

First in a series: parallel HDF5

What costs applications a lot of time and resources rather than doing actual computation?  Slow I/O.  It is well known that I/O subsystems are very slow compared to other parts of a computing system.  Applications use I/O to store simulation output for future use by analysis applications, to checkpoint application memory to guard against system failure, to exercise out-of-core techniques for data that does not fit in a processor’s memory, and so on.  I/O middleware libraries, such as HDF5, provide application users with a rich interface for I/O access to organize their data and store it efficiently.  A lot of effort is invested by such I/O libraries to reduce or completely hide the cost of I/O from applications.

Parallel I/O is one technique used to access data on disk simultaneously from different application processes to maximize bandwidth and speed things up. There are several ways to do parallel I/O, and I will highlight the most popular methods that are in use today.

Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus. Blue Waters is supported by the National Science Foundation and the University of Illinois.

First, to leverage parallel I/O, it is very important that you have a parallel file system;

Quincey Koziol, The HDF Group

Oil Rig, Rice oil and gas

Photo from nasa.gov

Perhaps the original producers of “big data,” the oil & gas (O&G) industry held its eighth annual High-Performance Computing (HPC) workshop in early March. Hosted by Rice University, the workshop brings in attendees from both the HPC and petroleum industries.

Jan Odegard, the workshop organizer, invited me to the workshop to give a tutorial and short update on HDF5.

The workshop (#oghpc) has grown a great deal during the last few years and now has more than 500 people attending, with preliminary attendance numbers for this year’s workshop over 575 people (even in a “down” year for the industry).  In fact, Jan’s pushing it to a “conference” next year, saying, “any workshop with more attendees than Congress is really a conference.” But it’s still a small enough crowd and venue that most people know each other well, both on the Oil & Gas and HPC sides.

The workshop program had two main tracks, one on HPC-oriented technologies that support the industry, and one on oil & gas technologies and how they can leverage HPC.  The HPC track is interesting, but mostly “practical” and not research-oriented, unlike, for example, the SC technical track. The oil & gas track seems more research-focused, in ways that can enable the industry to be more productive.

I gave an hour and a half tutorial on developing and tuning parallel HDF5 applications, which