New Accelerated Visualization, Data Analytics Resources for Open Science

Fri, 01/17/2014 - 12:48pm

Kelly Gaither, principal investigator on the Maverick project and TACC’s director of visualization.This month, the Texas Advanced Computer Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin, US, along with technology partners HP and NVIDIA, will deploy Maverick — a powerful, high-performance visualization and data analytics resource for the open science and engineering community.

"Maverick will be deployed for open science research and is designed primarily for interactive, remote visualization and analytics," says Kelly Gaither, the principal investigator on the project and TACC's director of visualization. "This system will help researchers analyze large-scale scientific data, and will complement systems like Stampede, by providing a rich, interactive data exploration environment."

Today, in addition to modeling and simulations, scientific discovery now also depends on statistics and probabilities to infer meanings from patterns in data. The explosive amount of digital data being generated, collected, and captured has created an even greater need for parallel processing and interactive exploration. Not all people think in terms of statistics and probabilities, but almost everyone thinks visually in varying degrees, according to Gaither.

"This system will be great for big data analysis — every node in Maverick will have large memory and a state-of-the-art GPU accelerator, and be connected to massive data storage,” says Niall Gaffney, director of data intensive computing at TACC. “Data scientists and all researchers will be able to use visual analysis techniques to explore data." Gaffney, together with Michael Hasler — program director of the university’s MS degree in business analytics at the McCombs School of Business — will share his perspective and advice on the future of data in business on January 22 at TACC.

At the end of 2013, TACC deployed Stockyard, a 20-petabyte, large-scale global file system. Other systems for storing and analyzing data sets and for hosting web portals and gateways that provide access to scientific data will be announced in 2014. "We're extremely grateful to Peter O'Donnell and his foundation for supporting our efforts to provide leadership-class systems for data driven science and data intensive computing," says TACC director Jay Boisseau.

Maverick has been recognized as part of a growing trend in which researchers and technologists are expanding the use of accelerated supercomputers from traditional science to big data analytics. The high-performance accelerators will give scientists and engineers the fastest computational horsepower with industry-leading visualization capabilities.

Maverick, which replaces the Longhorn system, is available to the open science community through TACC's allocation process and the US National Science Foundation's Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment project (XSEDE).


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