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Supercomputing 2019 – Terabit Capacity for High Performance Computing

Joerg Bonarius Senior Manager, Product Marketing Published 30 Mar 2021

Every November, thousands of researchers and industry representatives in high-performance computing and related fields, such as data storage, data analysis, and advanced networking, meet for the annual Supercomputing Conference (SC19) in Denver, Colorado, to learn about HPC and scientific applications and innovations around the world.

Wilbur Smith talked in his blog about the background on SCinet and the unique high-performance demo requirements that this  ‘cutting edge’ volunteer-built network demands.

SCinet takes a year to plan, a month to build, a week to operate, and a day to tear down. Here is an awesome link with great post-conference resources from the SC19 general chair Michela Taufer. The network used Extreme’s SLX 9540 routers to provide connectivity for the show floor and leveraged its onboard virtual machine to run embedded instances of perfSONAR to help graph network performance. The network topology shows a truly multivendor network. Here is an overview of the 2019 network setup.

Kudos to this team that made SCinet a reality

The HPC universe is expanding in every direction. Originally, this event started with topics around Supercomputing, higher education and the only industry involved was oil and gas. Today HPC reaches out to Internet companies developing AI, conversational AI that help you recommend information, music, videos, groceries, products, otherwise too much information on the Internet for you to search. It’s used by self-driving car companies, developing their AI for their cars, as well as inside the car itself. HPC is everywhere today, it’s in the supercomputing data center, it’s in the cloud, it’s at the edge.

SC19 showed that it’s a crowded space, and there was lots of talk around how to take the complexity out of networks that play a vital role to research disciplines. The high-speed network builds the backbone to drive innovation in science, federal labs and government institutions.

We met with lots of our customers in this space and leveraged this year’s show for the announcements around Data Center Network simplicity with the introduction of Extreme Fabric Automation that is built-in our new SLX Switches that are based on Broadcom chipset. One of the unique capabilities is to take the complexity out of building up Fabric Networks – I wrote in more detail about the announcements in this blog: Enhance the Customer Experience – Innovation in Data Center Simplicity with Extreme Fabric Automation.

ExtremeSwitching SLX 9250 and Extreme Fabric Automation on display at SC19

If you want to learn more about this solution and after a short registration here, you’ll be able to watch our on-demand webcast where Dan DeBacker talks about the unique capabilities of Extreme Fabric Automation.

We received lots of coverage in the national and international press – a selection can be found here under Press Mentions.

We took the opportunity to tape a couple of videos at the show and in the following video, our Solution Architect, Reggie Warren talks about our unique capability in running perfSONAR in each of the Guest virtual machines of our 4 SLX 9540 Switches in the NOC and the 3 distributed SLX 9540s throughout the show floor.


Another demo we had on display was the Extreme Workflow Composer solution. Lou Schmidt, Director Systems Engineering, talks in this short video about the capabilities of the solution and explains why this is a crucial element in today’s IT infrastructure – this automation solution combines the network, storage and compute domains and is based on Stackstorm – we recently handed this over to the LINUX Foundation.


We had also ExtremeCloud™ IQ on display, it is an industry-leading and visionary approach to cloud-managed networking, built from the ground up to take full advantage of Extreme’s end-to-end networking solutions. ExtremeCloud™ IQ delivers unified, full-stack management of wireless access points, switches and routers and enables onboarding, configuration, monitoring, troubleshooting, reporting, and more. Using innovative machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies, ExtremeCloud™ IQ analyzes and interprets millions of network and user data points, from the network edge to the data center, to power actionable business & IT insights, and deliver new levels of network automation and intelligence.

It was great to see next to our booth that the student community was a vibrant contributor at this year’s SC19.


Additional Links:

Read more about ExtremeCloud™ IQ

Check out our Automation Solutions Page.

Please read our newly released Extreme Fabric Automation Solution Brief.

After a short registration, you can listen to the on-demand webinar on the topic of ‘Data Center Simplicity: Extreme Fabric Automation’

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