During the last decade parallel computing technologies transformed high performance computing. Two trends are now clearly visible: massively parallel computing leading to exascale; and moderately parallel applications opening up high performance computing for the masses. Especially the availability of commodity hardware components, a wide spectrum of parallel applications in research and industry, and user-friendly management and development tools have enabled access to parallel and high performance computing for a wide spectrum of end-users from research, academia and the mid-market industry.
The majority of notebooks and standard PCs today incorporate multiprocessor chips with up to eight processors. This number is expected to soon reach twelve and more. These standard components allow the construction of high speed parallel systems in the petascale range at a reasonable cost. The number of processors incorporated in such systems are of the order of 104 to 106.
Due to the flexibility offered by parallel systems constructed with commodity components, these can easily be linked through wide area networks, for example the Internet, to realise Grids or Clouds. Such networks can be accessed by a wide community of users from many different disciplines to solve compute intensive and data intensive problems requiring high speed computing resources.
The problems associated with the efficient and effective use of such large systems were the theme of the biennial High Performance Computing workshop held in June 2010 in Cetraro, Italy. A selection of papers presented at the workshop are collected in this book. They cover a range of topics, from algorithms and architectures to Grid and Cloud technologies to applications and infrastructures for e-science.
The editors wish to cordially thank all the authors for preparing their contributions as well as the reviewers who supported this effort with their constructive recommendations.
Ian Foster, USA
Wolfgang Gentzsch, Germany
Lucio Grandinetti, Italy
Gerhard R. Joubert, Netherlands/Germany
4 June 2011