Supercomputing-Akademie Launches New Training Opportunity for IT Administrators

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Photo: HLRS

A new blended-learning course will focus on key considerations when planning, building, and running high-performance computing cluster systems.

Although they compute extremely fast, operating supercomputers is no easy task.


Through their shear computing power, supercomputers have become important tools in science and industry and have opened the door to new worlds. With their help, simulation engineers are developing, for example, more environmentally friendly automobiles, high-efficiency wind turbines, and more effective medicines.

In order to promote understanding about the use and administration of the most powerful computer clusters in the world, the Supercomputing-Akademie at the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) will launch a new continuing education course in September 2019. With the title "HPC-Clusters: Plan, Build, Run," the module will provide essential knowledge concerning the planning and operation of high-performance computing (HPC) cluster systems. The course will address the needs of IT managers, administrators, computer scientists, and others involved in the coordination of HPC resources in industry, whether it be on their own HPC clusters or in the cloud. The course will be conducted in German.

Addressing a growing need

Working at the intersection between development and IT departments, HPC administrators are tasked with managing the HPC needs of their organizations. This role is becoming increasingly important considering the more widespread use of applications for simulation and big data analysis in many companies. "HPC administrators currently function as a sort of interpreter between IT and product development," says Michael Resch, Director of HLRS. "This includes assisting in making 'Make or Buy' decisions about hardware and software that enable complex simulation computations during product development."

Flexible learning

The new continuing education module is designed to be completed in parallel with participants' day-to-day professional activities. Organized using an employee-friendly blended learning format — a combination of in-person and online learning — the course provides essential knowledge and practical skills in supercomputing. Focusing on operational questions, course participants will learn the essentials of resource management for HPC systems over a span of approximately three months. The course module begins on September 16, 2019 with an in-person class at the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart. After a 12-week online learning phase, the course will conclude with a two-day, in-person class meeting in December 2019, at which point a certification test will also be administered.

Alliance addresses shortage of qualified talent

The Supercomputing-Akademie is a continuing education program offered in conjunction with the project "Modular Continuing Education for HPC Expertise (MoeWE)." The project is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration with the support of the European Social Fund as well as the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research, and the Arts. Partners in the cooperative project include HLRS, the University of Freiburg, Ulm University, and SICOS BW GmbH. During the current funding phase, participation in the course is free of charge.

(Translation adapted from a press release by the Supercomputing-Akademie and SICOS BW.)