The Holland Computing Center HPC support team at the University of Nebraska have introduced Allinea Software’s unified debugging and profiling tools to help users get their scientific results faster.
The HPC support team provides services across four clusters - a total of around 20,000 compute cores – for the University of Nebraska campuses in Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney. The team provides assistance to many users of large MPI (Message Passing Interface) applications for the physics, chemistry and biology departments – and, increasingly, the University’s medical center.
Users come to the HPC support team to discover why their code is running slow, and, often, why it does not work as expected. Trying to work out the issues in user’s applications was becoming a major time sink for the team.
HPC Applications Specialist, Adam Caprez, realized the needs of users were becoming just too great - there just was no time to spend weeks with each application - and he needed a solution.
Adopting Allinea DDT and Allinea MAP has enabled the team to free up their time. “The tools have made it so much easier to debug MPI or multi-threaded programs when someone comes to me with an issue,” he says. “I recently used Allinea DDT to help a faculty member to debug some MPI code that he’d inherited from another institution. Allinea DDT really helped us to narrow it down and identify what the esoteric problem was. It was really useful,” Caprez says.
Likewise using Allinea MAP has helped Caprez to profile code for several users, and to optimize their runs on the clusters.
The support team are now ensuring all users have access to the Allinea Software tools and understand what the tools can do for them.
David Swanson, director of the Holland Computing Center, says, “We’re putting together examples for our users to show them what the tools are capable of so that they can independently do their investigations.”
David Lecomber, CEO of Allinea Software, says, “Providing application support for so many users and their applications is a hard challenge. We are glad to be helping Nebraska’s Holland Computing Center in this task. Scalable integrated debugging and profiling tools make a major impact on HPC applications teams – and getting those tools into the hands of users is incredibly empowering for the users: they soon realize that they have the power and ability to make a difference to their own code’s performance and capability too.”