HPC Forecast Calls for EYPC Weather Modeling

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Dell Technologies expands the Dell EMC Ready Solutions for High Performance Computing portfolio with new solutions based on PowerEdge servers with 2nd Generation AMD® EPYC processors.

With hurricane season well under way, weather forecasts are once again front-page news. And for good reason. With timely and accurate forecasts, individuals, local governments and recovery organizations can work proactively to protect the wellbeing of people, homes and businesses in the path of a storm.

In this quest to deliver better forecasts, high performance computing (HPC) is now extremely important. With HPC-driven systems, forecasters can run the models and simulations they need to gain a clearer view of the intensity, direction and speed of a storm.

With new Dell EMC PowerEdge servers with 2nd Generation AMD EPYC processors, Dell EMC Ready Solutions for HPC offer improved performance for climate and weather modeling, among other workloads. Just how improved? Here’s one example: In recent testing, the new PowerEdge C6525 server with 2nd Generation AMD EPYC processors delivered weather modeling results in about half the time as previous generation AMD EPYC-processor-based servers. That stepped-up performance can lead to faster notifications for severe storms.[1]

These new PowerEdge servers will be available in Dell EMC Ready Solutions for HPC Research, Digital Manufacturing and Life Sciences that begin shipping worldwide in October 2019. And here’s why it matters:

  • More than 2x the cores can mean faster results, leading to increases in discovery and innovation.[2]
  • For those pushing the boundaries of IT performance, PowerEdge servers with 2nd Generation AMD EPYC processors will be both HDR, and liquid-cooling enabled – and it’s a hot topic!
  • PCIe Gen 4 doubles the bandwidth of the previous generation to accelerate deep learning with NVIDIA GPUs.[3]
  • The increase in memory speed can help decrease time-to-insights for data analytics.[4]
  • The Dell EMC HPC and AI Innovation Lab has seen a marked difference in application performance for workloads like computational fluid dynamics in design/manufacturing, climate and weather modeling in research.[5]

Let’s get back to those hurricanes that are threatening coastal communities. With the power of HPC systems with technologies for artificial intelligence, local governments and disaster-response agencies can gain more accurate weather forecasts in less time. And better forecasts can save lives.

Here’s a case in point. At the University of Texas, researchers are using a powerful new Dell EMC supercomputer named Frontera, to improve hurricane forecasts.[6]

“We run a model that simulates the storm surge hitting the coast,” Clint Dawson, a UT Austin professor, explains in a CBS Austin news story.  Emergency managers can then take those model runs and decide if they need to evacuate people in the storm’s path.[7]

Professor Dawson says the Frontera system — the world’s fifth fastest supercomputer, based on TOP500 rankings[8] — allows researchers to create more models with more up-to-date information to make more accurate storm predictions.

“The impact of this machine, really, is to save lives,” he says in the CBS Austin story.

The bigger picture

According to a national climate assessment from the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the United States is experiencing “more frequent and intense extreme weather and climate-related events.”[9] This reality increases the urgency for state and local governments to develop smarter approaches to disaster preparedness and recovery. Increasingly, these efforts will rely on data analytics and AI solutions powered by HPC systems.

And there’s good news in the forecast here. The key technologies are now in place for the development and deployment of these life-saving solutions. Today, the challenge is to put these solutions in place before the next natural disaster strikes.

To learn more

See blogs, papers and reference architectures from the Dell EMC HPC and AI Innovation Lab at hpcatdell.com. For a look at the growing portfolio of Dell EMC Ready Solutions for HPC, visit dellemc.com/hpc.

[1] Performed with PowerEdge C6525 single node compared to PowerEdge R7425 server, CONUS_2.5_v3 benchmark, HPC and AI Innovation Lab, August 2019. Results may vary.

[2] Based on product specifications for the PowerEdge C6525 and PowerEdge C6420, air-cooled versions, spec sheets compared September 8, 2019. Actual results may vary.

[3] How-to Geek, “PCIe 4.0: What’s New and Why It Matters,” Ian Paul, June 12, 2019

[4] Based on product specifications for the PowerEdge C6525 and PowerEdge C6420, air-cooled versions, spec sheets compared September 8, 2019. Actual results may vary.

[5] Stay tuned to http://www.hpcatdell.com see the latest test results. Recent tests performed with PowerEdge C6525 single node compared to PowerEdge R7425 server using industry-standard benchmarks, Dell EMC HPC and AI Innovation Lab, August 2019. Results may vary.

[6] Note that TACC Frontera does not have AMD EPYC processor-based servers. Used as an example of weather/climate modeling.

[7] CBS Austin, “UT getting new supercomputer, will help better forecast hurricanes,” August 29, 2018.

[8] TOP500.org, TOP500 List – June 2019.

[9] U.S. Global Change Research Program, “Fourth National Climate Assessment. Volume II: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States,” 2018.

[10] Photo credit: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

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