Argonne selects Altair to turbocharge scientific breakthroughs in the exascale era

Argonne selects Altair to turbocharge scientific breakthroughs in the exascale era

Argonne researchers announced storage performance benchmarks for the ALCF's Polaris supercomputer that showcase its capability for efficient state-of-the-art AI operations.

Altair’s PBS Professional tool will orchestrate workloads for Argonne’s massive high performance computing (HPC) systems, including the Polaris and Aurora supercomputers.

TROY, Mich., and LEMONT, Ill. —  Altair (Nasdaq: ALTR), the global leader converging simulation, HPC and AI, announced that the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory will utilize Altair PBS Professional across the organization’s HPC systems at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF)  — including the Polaris and Aurora supercomputers — to accelerate breakthroughs in science and engineering and lead the era of exascale computing. The ALCF is a DOE Office of Science user facility at Argonne National Laboratory.

PBS Professional replaces the ALCF’s Cobalt workload manager as the default workload management solution and job scheduler. It will allow researchers to easily and more efficiently run diverse workloads, including machine learning and data-intensive tasks, as well as traditional simulations.

Aurora to use PBS Professional

Argonne’s upcoming 2 exaflops supercomputer, Aurora, will leverage several technological innovations to support machine learning and data science workloads alongside more traditional modeling and simulation runs. (Image: Argonne National Laboratory)

With Polaris as a leading-edge testbed system for Aurora, scheduled to be the fastest exascale computing system in the U.S. and capable of performing a quintillion calculations per second, it’s critical to ensure that downtime is avoided as it could put research teams hundreds of hours behind completing a project. Supported by Altair’s global team of HPC specialists, PBS Professional will optimize and manage thousands of node hours simultaneously and will help ensure that researchers using the ALCF computing resources can make quicker, more efficient scientific discoveries.

We explored many options when we were looking for a workload manager to replace our in-house Cobalt scheduler,” said Bill Allcock, manager of ALCF’s Advanced Integration Group. ​With Altair and PBS Professional we found an open and established mechanism for accepting contributions, with a long-term roadmap that is well aligned with our own. Altair’s PBS Professional will help compute-intensive research campaigns that will be running on our next-generation supercomputers.”

In 2020 alone, the ALCF provided more than 100 million node hours of compute time to researchers across the world. PBS Professional’s multidimensional workload orchestration capabilities support the ALCF’s mission to advance scientific exploration of the world’s most pressing issues including cancer treatments, clean energy, particle collision research and more. It will also help researchers:

  • Advance our understanding of the universe — Researchers will carry out large-scale, high-resolution simulations of the universe to help guide and interpret observations from upcoming sky surveys, providing insights into mysterious cosmological phenomena, such as dark matter and dark energy.
  • Design more efficient aircraft — Researchers will perform massive computational fluid dynamics simulations to explore how turbulent flows impact aircraft performance, generating data that can help inform the design of more fuel-efficient airplanes.
  • Improve solar power technology — Researchers will combine simulation, data science and machine learning techniques on ALCF’s next-generation systems to revolutionize the computational discovery of new materials for more efficient organic solar cells.
  • Predict drug responses virtually — Researchers will screen billions of virtual drugs while predicting their effects on tumor cells. This approach aims to dramatically accelerate successful drug development and provide new approaches to personalized cancer medicine.  

Exascale computing will open new pathways of discovery and transform how researchers tackle some of the world’s most important challenges. Altair is proud to provide scalability fit for exascale computing and to help Argonne’s scientific user community accelerate their groundbreaking work,” said James R. Scapa, founder and chief executive officer, Altair. ​PBS Professional is a proven, powerful, secure, and trusted enterprise-level solution designed to improve productivity, optimize utilization and efficiency, and simplify administration for clusters, clouds, and supercomputers.”

In addition to ALCF’s adoption of PBS Professional, the workload manager and job scheduler will be an available resource for all of Argonne’s HPC systems and clusters.

For more information about PBS Professional, visit https://​www​.altair​.com/​p​b​s​-​p​r​o​f​e​s​s​i​onal/.

About Altair (Nasdaq: ALTR)

Altair is a global technology company providing software and cloud solutions in the areas of simulation, high-performance computing (HPC), and artificial intelligence (AI). Altair enables organizations across broad industry segments to compete more effectively in a connected world while creating a more sustainable future. To learn more, please visit www​.altair​.com.

Media contact: Argonne National Laboratory, Brian Grabowski, bgrabowski@​anl.​gov

The Argonne Leadership Computing Facility provides supercomputing capabilities to the scientific and engineering community to advance fundamental discovery and understanding in a broad range of disciplines. Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science, Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program, the ALCF is one of two DOE Leadership Computing Facilities in the nation dedicated to open science.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.