Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center 

Advancing the state-of-the-art in high-performance computing,
communications and data analytics.

Research Programs

PSC staff engage in projects related to many areas of high-performance computing.   Fields that our staff contribute to include:

 High-performance Networking

The Advanced Networking group at Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center conducts research on network performance and analysis in support of high-performance computing applications. We also develop software to support heterogeneous distributed supercomputing applications and to implement high-speed interfaces to archival and mass storage systems.

Projects that the Advanced Networking group is involved in include:

  • 3ROX -  The Three Rivers Optical Exchange (3ROX) is a regional network aggregation point, also called a GigaPoP, providing high speed commodity and research network access to sites in western and central Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

  • DANCES - The DANCES project (Developing Applications with Networking Capabilities via End-to-End SDN) is  developing tools to allow the scheduling of network resources much as compute resources are scheduled now, with the aim of reducing data transfer bottlenecks, a serious hindrance to scientifc research.
  • Web10G - Web10G promises innovations in performance, stability, optimization, and network diagnostics  to anyone who wants to fully exploit modern high bandwidth connections.   It provides users with have real-time statistics about their network connections, and allows them to fine-tune some characteristics of the connection to improve performance.

  • KINBER and PennREN - The Keystone Initiative for Network Based Education and Research (KINBER) serves as coordinator for the construction and management of a Pennsylvania-wide fiber optic network, PennREN (Pennsylvania Research and Education Network).  PennREN will be accessible to educational, research, health care, and economic development partners seeking to aggregate services for their members and subscribers at affordable cost.

 See the Advanced Networking page for more of  the tools, software and information they provide.

Biomedical Applications Group

The Biomedical Applications Group at PSC pursues leading edge research in high performance computing and the life sciences and fosters exchange between PSC expertise in computational science and biomedical researchers nationwide.

Advanced Systems

The Advanced Systems & Operations group conducts research in High Performance Computing systems and data storage. Current projects provide researchers better access to their data via the development of fast parallel filesystems and distributed filesystems for widely distributed computing environments.

In addition, they manage all PSC HPC resources, including security, supercomputing operations, high performance storage, and data management and file systems.

Current research efforts include:

  • Zest - Zest is a parallel storage system specifically designed to meet the ever-increasing demands of HPC application checkpointing. Zest differs from traditional parallel filesystems by making use of log-structuring filesystems on the I/O server in combination with opportunistic data placement. Utilizing these techniques, Zest is capable of driving its disks at 90% peak bandwidth.    Read more about Zest here.

  • SLASH2 is a distributed filesystem that incorporates existing storage resources into a common filesystem domain. It provides system-managed storage tasks for users who work in widely distributed environments. The SLASH2 metadata controller performs inline replication management, maintains data checksums and coordinates third party, parallel, data transfer between constituent data systems. The SLASH2 I/O service is a portable, user-space process that does not interfere with the underlying storage system's administrative model. Read more about SLASH2 at http://quipu.psc.teragrid.org/slash2.

See the Advanced Systems page for more information.

Scientific Applications and User Services

The Scientific Applications and User Services (SAUS) group at PSC promotes groundbreaking scientific research through efficient and inventive use of PSC resources. They often collaborate in research projects to provide expertise in scientific computing.

See the SAUS page for specific examples of the application of their expertise to promote high performance computing.