ZDV participates in the development of intelligent adaptive storage systems

The ZDV is part of the European joint project ADMIRE, which has set itself the goal of developing a new adaptive storage system for high-performance computers. In cooperation with fourteen institutions from six countries, ADMIRE aims to significantly increase the running time of applications in the areas of weather forecasting, molecular dynamics, turbulence simulation, cartography, brain research and software cataloging.

The research team at the ZDV "Efficient Computing and Storage" focuses on the so-called ad-hoc file systems, which are controlled by the overall ADMIRE system for applications if required. This should significantly increase the overall I / O performance for applications and relieve the central parallel file systems (such as Luster). The GekkoFS file system, a ZDV in-house development, is used as the basis. This is adapted to the requirements of modern applications in high-performance computers so that the file system provides the highest possible I / O performance and can react dynamically to decisions made by the overall ADMIRE system.

                                                     The ADMIRE project at a glance © ADMIRE

Additional information:

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New version of the video conference system

The new version BigBlueButton 2.3 was launched on Monday, May 10th. The open source software is the basis for the video conference system, which is available to all colleges / universities and schools in Rheinland-Pfalz and is hosted by the ZDV.

During the further development, the BigBlueButton development team took into account the suggestions and wishes of teachers. Better interaction with the participants was important to them. New in version 2.3 are functions such as: an independent “raise hand” button, optimized and new survey options and the random selection of participants.

The Digital Teaching Competence Team has created an overview of the new functions.

With the update to 2.3, the system architecture was fundamentally renewed. This ensured that all components will continue to be looked after by a security team in the future. The reprogramming of central components has also significantly improved performance and scalability. The ZDV team managed a smooth transition by replacing the BBB servers one after the other. In this way, failures could be prevented and users of the video conference system did not experience any impairments.

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ZDV’s in-house development maintains top position at the "10 Node Challenge" of the IO500

The GekkoFS file system, a cooperation between the ZDV’s "Efficient Computing and Storage" team and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), has taken a top ten position in the "10-Node Challenge" of the IO500 world ranking.

Mainz, 13th August 2020

The new IO500 rankings in the field of HPC storage systems were published at this year's ISC High Performance in Frankfurt, an international, scientific conference and exhibition on supercomputing and high-performance computing. ZDV’s "Efficient Computing and Storage" team and the "Storage Systems for Extreme Computing" team from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) ranked No. 4 in the "10-Node Challenge" with the GekkoFS burst buffer file system.

GekkoFS is an ephemeral file system capable of aggregating the local I/O capacity and performance of an HPC cluster’s compute node to create an ephemeral high-performance storage space that can be accessed by an application in a distributed manner. This storage space allows HPC applications and simulations to run in isolation from each other regarding I/O, which reduces interference and improves performance.

Marc-André Vef, who has worked extensively on GekkoFS for several years, is delighted and is already looking forward to the future: "We are not resting on our current status and want to continue to develop the file system with our partners in Barcelona. We are already planning for the next two years."

GekkoFS was funded by the priority program SPPEXA of the German Research Foundation (DFG) within the ADA-FS project and the European NEXTGenIO project.

IO500 - the benchmark of the storage community

The goal of IO500 is to compare various storage systems with each other. In the past years, IO500 has become the de facto benchmarking standard for HPC storage to ensure forward progress of the storage community towards common goals. The IO500 list is composed of different HPC and storage systems, ranking each submission based on its achieved metadata and data throughput. The "10 Node Challenge" plays a unique role and focuses on the file system’s efficiency, limiting the parallelism of the storage nodes to only ten nodes.

The score of 152 places GekkoFS in 6th place on the IO500's "10-Node Challenge List" and 26th place on the complete IO500 list, published annually at the ISC High Performance in Frankfurt and the SC Conference in the USA.

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Official starting shot for BigBlueButton at the JGU

Mainz, 28. May 2020

Today the JGU Data Center (ZDV) officially releases the software BigBlueButton (BBB) with long-term support at the Johannes Gutenberg-University. The open source software for web-conferences will run on the university's own servers ensuring a high level of data security. During the ongoing summer semester and for the semesters to come it will be an important pillar of digital teaching and lerning at the JGU.

Important for using BBB at the JGU was on the one hand the integration with the digital teaching platform Moodle, on the other hand the possibility to record sessions. Other advantages compared to other conference tools are:

  • breakout-rooms for working in small groups
  • working cooperatively via whiteboard
  • creating surveys and webinars
  • integration with the communication software Mattermost

This way BBB increases the flexibility for our teachers regarding planning and conducting classes.

Head of the Data Center Prof. Dr.-Ing. André Brinkmann feels confindent about BigBlueButton becoming another key component in digital teaching and lerning at the JGU: "We have made very good experiences with this software so far and with it we can close the gap in the range of videoconference systems, that existed between Skype for Business and Teams."

Backstage, new options are already in progress, such as a download function of recordings.
As usual the Data Center and the task force Digital Teaching and Learning offer on their web pages helpful instructions and tutorials on login and using the software.

An overall the federal state project

In cooperation with the ministry of science, development and culture (MWWK) and the ministry of education of the federal state Rhineland-Palatinate the Data Center makes BigBlueButton available to other colleges, universities and schools in Rhineland-Palatinate as well.

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Scan to Seafile: since March 16th Available for All Users

Since March 16th, 2020 direct saving of scans to Seafile from the multifunction devices provided by the Data Center has been made available for all users. The advantage is: if you save scans to Seafile, there is no size limit for the scanned documents. Direct sending of scans via mail have been deactivated from March 16th, since a size limit would apply to that.

More information about scanning to Seafile is available in this documentation: (in German)

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GekkoFS ranked #4 in the IO500’s “10-Node Challenge” at SC19

The GekkoFS file system jointly developed by the ZDV and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) has been ranked No. 4 in the IO500’s “10-Node Challenge”. GekkoFS is a file system capable of aggregating the local I/O capacity and performance of each compute node in a HPC cluster to produce a high-performance storage space that can be accessed in a distributed manner. This storage space allows HPC applications and simulations to run in isolation from each other with regards to I/O, which reduces interferences and improves performance.

The development has been funded in the context of the SPPEXA programme and the Europeans Horizon 2020’s NEXTGenIO project. The IO500’s “10-Node Challenge” list is a global ranking that uses multiple concurrent processes running in 10 compute nodes to benchmark the I/O performance of a HPC storage system in terms or bandwidth and throughput. GekkoFS’ score of 125 ranks it 4th in IO500’s 10-Node Challenge List and 9th in IO500’s full list .

The IO500 benchmark was run on the 34 compute nodes of the NEXTGenIO prototype cluster. Each of the prototype’s 34 nodes is equipped with two 2nd generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and 3 TBytes of Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory, thus providing approximately 102 TBytes of persistent I/O capacity to HPC applications.

More news from the Data Center → may be found here. – collaborative use of ShareLaTeX/Overleaf

Since the beginning of September 2019 an installation of ShareLaTeX/Overleaf is available at → where you may login with your JGU account.

In ShareLaTeX/Overleaf LaTeX source code may be edited online by several users at the same time. The system supports almost all functions of LaTeX, for example inserting pictures, bibliographies and equations.

More information about the system is available here: (in German), and here: (documentation in English).

More news from the Data Center → may be found here.