SEA Projects grand finish propels dMSA to the next step!

SEA Projects' final reviews

The SEA Projects DEEP-SEA, RED-SEA and IO-SEA came to a conclusion in April 2024. The projects had their final reviews with the expert reviewers appointed by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking and were applauded as a grand success.  The three projects were the joint collaboration of multiple academic, scientific and industrial partners from 11 countries all across Europe, with a total budget of ~€31M co-funded by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking as well as many national funding entities. They were part of a larger family of projects co-funded by the JU to prepare Europe for the era of Exascale computing, or, 1018 floating point operations per second, to enable scientific and industrial applications to exploit such computing power, and to more efficiently address key scientific, societal and industrial challenges.

Evolution of the Dynamic Modular Supercomputing Architecture

The three projects started in April 2021 and have built important hardware and software components required for future European Exascale systems with a focus on the innovative dynamic Modular Supercomputing Architecture, or the dMSA. This architecture was developed and patented by ParTec in cooperation with Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) and is a blueprint for highly efficient and heterogeneous supercomputers scaling to Exascale and beyond. The dMSA approach integrates heterogeneous resources and technologies and satisfies the requirements of a wide range of application areas, from compute-intensive, highly scalable simulation codes to data-intensive artificial intelligence workflows, with workload components running on modules best suited for them. This way, the dMSA runs all hardware near the optimal operation point, avoids dark silicon and improves time-to-solution and energy efficiency. The three SEA projects though independent from each other, are interlinked and collaborate closely to make efficient systems possible by implementing the dMSA.

Key Outcomes of the SEA Projects

The integrated software stack developed by DEEP-SEA is a key result of the projects, and it supports the JUPITER system at JSC, Europe’s first Exascale system, which will soon complement the already operational dMSA systems like JSC’s JUWELS and the MeluXina system in Luxembourg. IO-SEA developed a storage and I/O stack suitable for the dMSA that deals with data movements across hierarchical storage systems and introduced the concept of short lived “ephemeral I/O services” that are created on demand. The RED-SEA project has laid the groundwork for the development of the third generation of the European BXI interconnect developed by Atos/Eviden bringing it to the Exascale level with improved scalability and resiliency as well as opening up compatibility to advanced Ethernet fabrics.

ParaStation in the SEA Projects

ParTec’s ParaStation Modulo Software Suite, and, especially ParaStation MPI with its runtime and execution environment as key components for a dMSA system were significantly enhanced in scalability, interoperability and functionality, making them fit for Exascale.

Addressing the aspect of malleability for applications using the Message Passing Interface (MPI) was one of the major pieces of work for ParTec in DEEP-SEA. In HPC, malleability refers to the ability of a system or application to dynamically adapt its resource usage on demand without necessarily stopping or restarting its activity. More specifically, malleability involves the allocation of resources (e.g., CPU, memory, network, and I/O bandwidth) in response to their availability and changes in the workload. A foundational API for application driven malleability using the Parastation MPI runtime and execution environment was further developed and used in DEEP-SEA. ParTec also worked on adding support for PGAS (Partitioned Global Address Space) programming models in addition to standard MPI thus enabling more and diverse applications to use the dMSA, within the DEEP-SEA project. Optimizations related to energy efficiency in dMSA systems were also addressed in the ParaStation Modulo Software Suite.

Within RED-SEA, ParTec extended ParaStation MPI to enable efficient use of BXI networks within compute clusters following the dMSA approach and added optimized one-sided communication semantics in ParaStation MPI on top of BXI. One-sided communication, or, Remote Memory Access (RMA) is a paradigm where HPC processes can access shared data on other processes without these doing any extra work.

In IO-SEA, the ParaStation HealthChecker was enhanced to be able to monitor the ephemeral I/O services on specialised data nodes. Interfaces to other system wide visualisation and telemetry tools were also developed providing much deeper insights into the state of the I/O sub-system. The ParaStation Management component now supports dynamic allocation and management of these ephemeral I/O services.

Future Pathways

Apart from integrating with and enhancing the technology roadmaps of the industrial partners (incl. ParTec), the outcomes of the SEA projects will now find its way to the EUPEX project, which is developing the European Exascale Pilot based on European processing technology and other exciting upcoming European Union and EuroHPC JU R&D projects. ParTec will also continue to exploit the outcomes of the SEA projects and leverage synergies with other ongoing European R&D projects.

More resources from the projects, especially the software, technical reports and training materials from the SEA projects are publicly available as below.

Resources

DEEP-SEA:

IO-SEA:

RED-SEA:

The SEA projects have received funding from the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreements n° 955606, 95811, and, 955776 and support from France, the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Greece and the United Kingdom.

Further information

More information about the results of the project will be presented at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Hamburg, in the talk at the EuroHPC JU booth J30 on 14.05.2024 (11:30am – 12:15pm). You are also welcome to visit us at the ParTec booth L20 to learn more about the SEA projects!