Community College Interns, Using Bright Cluster Manager, Design and Implement HPC Clusters at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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Students gain direct exposure to advanced research in high performance computing (HPC) through easy-to-install, manage and use cluster management solution.

Bright Computing today announced that Clark State Community College (CSCC) interns designed and implemented HPC clusters and associated supporting infrastructures at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), a Department of Energy national research laboratory, and Avetec Inc., a Springfield, Ohio-based high-tech research organization, utilizing Bright Cluster Manager®. Prior to using Bright, these students had limited exposure to HPC systems.

Two teams of interns worked at the PNNL designing, configuring and tuning HPC clusters, their first experience with HPC. For many researchers, complicated interfaces present a barrier to using HPC, leaving them at a disadvantage. Professor Dan J. Heighton, professor of cyber security and HPC at CSCC, chose Bright Cluster Manager for the program, knowing that Bright does not require knowledge of operating systems to make Linux-based clusters easy to install, manage and use.

“Our academic courses focus primarily on Windows-based networking and cyber security, so our students don’t typically have a great deal of experience with Linux,” said Professor Heighton. “Interns working on our Linux-based HPC cluster team needed a management solution that was easy-to-use. Bright Cluster Manager enabled them to quickly configure and test their HPC cluster, before running Linpack benchmarking assessments and performance tests.”

“The Linpack benchmark is rigorous,” continued Professor Heighton. “It is used by the TOP500 project, which ranks and details the 500 non-distributed, most powerful known computer systems in the world. A key success factor for the team was to use a management solution that required little time to learn and implement, yet that was capable of ensuring we met our ultimate objectives.”

Concurrently, another team of interns worked at Avetec. They were tasked with coordinating and collaborating with the teams on the PNNL project, utilizing cloud-based computing technologies to integrate global business and technology-based team practices.

“Many students lack direct, hands-on HPC experience,” said Ronda Black, systems specialist at Avetec, Inc. “Bright Cluster Manager empowered the interns at our facility to quickly overcome many of the technical challenges posed by HPC cluster management.”

About Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. PNNL employs 4,700 staff, has an annual budget of nearly $1.1 billion, and has been managed for the U.S. Department of Energy by Ohio-based Battelle since the laboratory's inception in 1965. For more, visit the PNNL's News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Clark State Community College
Clark State Community College, based in Springfield OH, offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs in some of today’s most in-demand career fields. Some programs prepare students to enter the work force immediately after graduation, and others are designed to help them complete the first two years of a bachelor’s degree and transfer to a four-year university.

About Avetec, Inc.
Avetec’s mission is to solve complex challenges critical to American innovation in defense systems, modeling and simulation, data intensive computing, energy, cyber security, and workforce development, allowing clients to compete in the global market. To help America keep pace with drastic changes in the global technology economy, Avetec (the Advanced Virtual Engine Test Cell) is advancing research in world-class modeling and simulation capabilities and initiating educational partnerships to prepare a skilled future workforce.

About Bright Computing
Bright Computing specializes in management software for clusters, grids and clouds, including compute, storage, Hadoop and database systems. Bright’s fundamental approach and intuitive interface makes cluster management easy, while providing powerful and complete management capabilities for increasing productivity. Bright Cluster Manager is the solution of choice for many research institutes, universities, and companies across the world, and is used to manage several Top500 installations. Bright Computing has its headquarters in San Jose, California.

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Mark Blessing
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