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Cray Touts AI at Supercomputing Scale

July 5, 2017

The Cray Urika-XC analytics software suite, brings graph analytics, deep learning, and robust big data analytics tools to the Company’s flagship line of Cray XC supercomputers. The Cray Urika-XC analytics software suite empowers data scientists to make breakthrough discoveries previously hidden within massive datasets, and achieve faster time-to-insight while leveraging the scale and performance of Cray XC supercomputers.

With the Cray Urika-XC software suite, analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) workloads can run alongside scientific modeling and simulations on Cray XC supercomputers, eliminating costly and time-consuming movement of data between systems. Cray XC customers will be able to run converged analytics and simulation workloads that expand the boundaries of discovery across a wide array of scientific and commercial endeavors, such as real-time weather forecasting, predictive maintenance, precision medicine, and comprehensive fraud detection.

“The massive growth of data is overpowering the capabilities of commodity clusters and constraining the boundaries of critical research,” said Fred Kohout, Cray’s senior vice president of products and chief marketing officer. “Customers will be able to unlock sophisticated big data analytics at supercomputing speeds with the Urika-XC software suite, and leverage AI toolkits and world-class supercomputing technologies to do what they could never do before.”

The Cray Urika-XC solution is a powerful set of applications and tools optimized to run seamlessly on the Cray XC line of supercomputing systems, and re-engineered to take advantage of the unique scalable architecture of the Cray XC supercomputers, including the Aries network interconnect. The software package is comprised of: the Cray Graph Engine, the Apache® Spark™ analytics environment, the BigDL distributed deep learning framework for Spark, the distributed Dask parallel computing libraries for analytics, and widely-used languages for analytics including Python, Scala, Java, and R. Cray will provide full support for the software suite.

The Cray Urika-XC analytics software suite exemplifies the convergence of high performance computing and data-intensive computing as core workloads for leadership supercomputers. The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Lugano, Switzerland is currently using the Cray Urika-XC solution on its Cray XC supercomputer nick-named “Piz Daint,” which is one of the fastest supercomputers in the world.

“CSCS has been responding to the increased needs for data analytics tools and services,” said Prof. Dr. Thomas C. Schulthess, director of the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS). “We were very fortunate to participate with our Cray supercomputer Piz Daint in the early evaluation phase of the Cray Urika-XC environment. Initial performance results and scaling experiments using a subset of applications including Apache Spark and Python have been very promising. We look forward to exploring future extensions of the Cray Urika-XC analytics software suite.”

The Cray Urika-XC software suite will be available in third quarter of 2017.

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