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openMPI and openRTE talk in UCC

This article is outdated - use this information at your own risk!
Posted on 16 March 2006

Unersity College Cork has arranged for Dr Ralph Castain from Los Alamos National Laboratory to visit us and to speak about OpenMPI and OpenRTE. Anybody interested in these technologies is invited to join the talks on April 7, 2006 at 11am in G19 in UCC. In addition, there will be some speakers from Industry in Germany who have experience with the system.

Please RSPV Dr John Morrison (j dot morrison at cs dot ucc dot ie) if you intend to be present so that refreshments can be arranged accordingly.


The growing complexity and demand for large-scale, fine-grained simulations to support the needs of the scientific community is driving the development of petascale computing environments. Achieving such a high level of performance will likely require the convergence of three industry trends: the development of increasingly faster individual processors; integration of significant numbers of processors into large-scale clusters; and the aggregation of multiple clusters and computing systems for use by individual and/or synchronized applications.

Developing a software environment capable of supporting high-performance computing applications in such a distributed system poses a significant challenge. The resulting run-time environment (RTE) must be capable of supporting heterogeneous operations, efficiently scale from one to large numbers of processors, and provide effective strategies for dealing with fault scenarios that are expected of petascale computing systems. Above all, the run-time must be easy to use, providing users with a transparent interface to the petascale environment in a manner that avoids the need to customize applications when moving between specific computing resources.

The Open Run-Time Environment (OpenRTE) has been designed to meet these needs. Originated as part of the Open MPI project -- an ongoing collaboration to create a new open-source implementation of the Message Passing Interface (MPI) standard for parallel programming on large-scale distributed systems ---the OpenRTE project has recently spun-off into its own effort to support distributed high-performance computing applications operating in a heterogeneous environment. The system transparently provides support for inter-process communication, resource discovery and allocation, and process launch across a variety of platforms. In addition, users can launch their applications remotely from their desktop, disconnect from them, and reconnect at a later time to monitor progress.

This talk will provide an overview of the OpenRTE architecture. Participation in the OpenRTE project is welcome - methods for contributing to it are described.


Ralph H. Castain is a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he conducts research on large-scale distributed computing environments, a continuing investigation that includes time spent as a Research Scientist in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Colorado State University. While in Colorado, he founded the Colorado Grid Computing (COGrid) Initiative to create a statewide grid computing system capable of meeting the needs of industry, government, and academia of all levels. Prior to joining the University, he spent eight years in industry leading a variety of technology initiatives, and eleven years at Los Alamos National Laboratory engaged in research spanning artificial intelligence, signal processing, and automated decision support systems. During that time, he served as Chief Scientist for Nonproliferation and Arms Control, and as an Industrial Fellow. Dr. Castain received his BS degree (physics) from Harvey Mudd College, and the MS (solid-state physics), MSEE (robotics), and PhD (nuclear physics) degrees from Purdue University.

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