First week in Budapest
After the training week in Barcelona, Jan Hreha and I finally arrived in Budapest, eager to start working on our projects. We arrived in the evening and were quite happy to realize that our on-site coordinator Barbara Toth had come to pick us up at the airport.
In the morning, Gabor Roczei, one of our two mentors onsite, picked us up at our dormitory to show us the way to the NIIF facilities, where we are going to spend the next 7 weeks. He introduced us to the most important people we will meet during summer and we went for a guided tour through the institute, where Zoltan Kiss showed us the computational facilities.
NIIF (National Information Infrastructure Development Program) serves as a framework for the development and operation of the research network in Hungary. It covers the entire Hungarian academic, research, and public collection community by providing them with an integrated computer networking infrastructure, various communication and information services, an environment for networking applications, and a framework for content generation. In addition to the networking services they operate 6 supercomputers in Hungary, stationed in Budapest, Debrecen, Pécs, and Szeged. These shall be our toys for the upcoming weeks.
The newest of these supercomputers is the Debrecen 2 GPU cluster, which is still being installed and is not yet fully functional. It currently ranks 383th in the Top500 with a maximum performance of about 202 Tflops. Hopefully we will have some time to test it.
Our job is mostly going to be done on Budapest 2, which is not as powerful but sufficient for our cause, that is mostly performance analysis of some commonly used programs like SIESTA. Budapest 2 is the second most powerful supercomputer operated by NIIF. The specifications of the computers can be found here.
We spent the first week configuring the access to the supercomputers, getting to know each other and creating a plan for the following weeks. We also had a basic introduction on Bash programming from our second mentor at site, Tamas Hornos.
During the weekend there was finally some time for sightseeing. As it is quite hot these days in Budapest, a bath in the legendary Széchenyi Thermal Bath on Sunday afternoon was a great refreshment. As Budapest is known for it’s exciting nightlife, it is no surprise that evening Bath-Parties are staged here at the Széchenyi Thermal Bath. Maybe we will check that out in the coming weeks.