Authors: Laura Schulz (Leibniz Supercomputing Centre), Brendan McGinty (National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA)), Judith (Judy) Hill (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory), Colin Morey (Hartree Centre, Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), UK)
Abstract: The International Association of Supercomputing Centres (IASC), formed in June 2022, is a worldwide consortium of public-facing advanced computing user facilities sharing knowledge and know-how on their operations, management, and strategy. In this BoF, results from survey workshops held this fall will be discussed with an expert panel and the participants. Input from this session will guide working group formation around central topics (e.g. NetZero, open-source software, quantum computing in HPC centers, cloud strategy). Center directors, managers, program developers, technical topic leads, and anyone interested are warmly welcomed to join the conversation.
Long Description: The International Association of Supercomputing Centers (IASC) was officially formed in June of 2022 with the signing of an MOU between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Leibniz Supercomputing Center (LRZ), STFC Hartree Centre, and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA). These organizations are founding members with more organizations planning to, and welcomed to, join and contribute.
The IASC has three strategic goals: • to examine and communicate best practices for center management, • to study and suggest solutions for common challenges, and • to foster communication and collaboration among the centers, collaborators, and users.
The organizers strongly believe a series of strategic and operational challenges exist that are unique to supercomputing centers and that are currently being solved center-by-center across the globe. Examples include energy efficiency, a roadmap to net zero, outreach and industrial engagement, training strategies for the next generation of staff, HPC adoption and integration HPC, and cloud and quantum computing facilities. IASC strives then to facilitate an open communication and exchange channel for best practices, lessons learned, and trend identification. IASC will collect and make available this body of knowledge towards more informed decision-making for those responsible for computing center operations, management, and strategic program development.
Along with the initial MOU signing in June 2022, the IASC held a Birds of a Feather session at the ISC conference with a panel of experts representing HPC centers in the North American, European, and Asia-Pacific regions to highlight topics of concern and consideration for HPC center leadership. Over 40 participants attended this session and the feedback was positive and encouraging. HPCWire also covered the event: https://www.hpcwire.com/2022/05/23/isc-2022-international-association-of-supercomputing-centers-to-debut/.
As IASC decides on its governance structure and establishes itself as an official entity, work moves forward in parallel to engage the community and generate the first larger-scale, crowd-sourced results.
This summer and fall, a series of think-tank workshops (held at different times to account for global representation) will be announced shortly on the supercomputingceners.org website and via assembled mailing lists, social media channels, and trade publications. The purpose of the workshops is to assess the challenges, needs, and identified emerging opportunities of computing centers with the goal to compile the results in a report prepared ahead of SC22. This report will form the basis for the prioritization of themes/topics to focus on in 2023. The BoF at SC will present findings and fuel discussions for an interactive session with the participants and panelists.
IASC plans to iteratively report to the community results on topics twice a year at SC and ISC on work achieved within the year. Therefore, the BoF at SC is seen as a pivotal checkpoint for connection with the community and for exchange of information and determination of the most effective action plan.
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