Related As big data becomes a common analytical tool in fields from the sciences to the humanities, Harvard’s computer infrastructure experts are turning their attention to an increasingly pressing question: How do you manage it all?In recent years, Harvard invested in the Odyssey computing cluster, whose 60,000 CPUs provide the sheer computing horsepower needed to crunch big data.But as large data sets multiply, the question of where to put the information and how to seamlessly retrieve it for analysis has become increasingly important. In August, the National Science Foundation announced a grant of nearly $4 million over the next five years to develop the North East Storage Exchange (NESE), a collaboration among five area universities, including Harvard, to provide not just space for massive data sets, but also the high-speed infrastructure that allows it to be quickly retrieved for analysis.“People are downloading now 50 to 80 terabyte data sets from NCBI [the National Center for Biotechnology Information] and the National Library of Medicine over an evening. This is the new normal. People [are] pulling genomic data sets wider and deeper than they’ve ever been,” said James Cuff, Harvard’s assistant dean and distinguished engineer for research computing. “What used to be — in lab, in vivo, or in vitro practice — ‘cutting edge’ … are now standard old processes. PCR [polymerase chain reaction] was cutting edge at one point. Now it’s just a thing you do.”The institutions involved include Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northeastern University, Boston University, and the University of Massachusetts. They are taking on the project as an expansion of their existing high-performance computing collaboration. In 2012, the five institutions opened the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC). Located in Holyoke on a rehabilitated industrial site, MGHPCC provides state-of-the-art computing services and is home to part of Harvard’s Odyssey computer. The site was also designed to be energy-efficient and is largely run on hydropower and solar energy.MGHPCC President Richard McCullough, Harvard’s vice provost for research and professor of materials science and engineering, said the capacity the project will provide is badly needed, but the project is seen as more than a one-off effort. Lessons learned will help inform similar efforts elsewhere.“You just need more and more of these kinds of resources to be at the forefront of data science,” McCullough said. “This grant will keep us at the forefront, and may allow us to take a quantum leap forward. This is a really important win for us.” Cuff expects data retrieval from the North East Storage Exchange to be about 10 times faster than that from equivalent storage through private cloud-based servers, and McCullough said it will be cheaper too, just a fifth that of commercial vendors.Cuff, NESE’s principal investigator, said that officials hope to have more than 50 petabytes of storage capacity available at MGHPCC within the next five years, with the ability to expand it further. John Goodhue, MGHPCC’s executive director and a co-principal investigator of NESE, said he expects the speed of the connection to collaborating institutions to double or triple over the next few years.“What we’re building is an extendable architecture,” Cuff said.Though Cuff said NESE could be thought of as collaborating institutions’ private cloud, he doesn’t expect NESE to compete with commercial cloud storage providers. Rather, he said, researchers have a range of data storage options, which should be matched to their purpose. NESE, for example, could potentially back up its data to the cloud.“This isn’t a competitor to the cloud. It’s a complementary cloud storage system,” Cuff said.Cuff compared the NESE collaboration to the early days of the internet, when the communications needs of groups of institutions prompted them to create computer networks that grew increasingly interconnected. Now, the problem facing institutions around the country is how to manage the tidal wave of data being generated by researchers and the larger wave likely to break over them in the years to come.The collaboration depends on contributions from each institution, Cuff said, adding that the five-year effort is also an experiment in managing their needs in order to build the research computing infrastructure of the future.Despite all the effort, Goodhue and Cuff said, ultimately the goal is to make it invisible to the users.“There’s cost savings at every level, savings in the amount of time a researcher has to spend worrying about whether the data is OK and backed up properly,” Goodhue said. “Having something so easy to work with that you don’t even have to think about it is a goal too.” Across Harvard, programs and researchers are mining vast quantities of computerized information, sometimes revolutionizing their fields in the process Big data, massive potential
Odey Asset Management, EIOPA OPSG, HSBC GAM, Preventable Surprises, Franklin TempletonEIOPA – Bernard Delbecque has been re-elected chair of the supervisory authority’s occupational pensions stakeholder group (OPSG), and Aleksandra Maczynska and Falco Valkenburg its vice-chairs. This OPSG will be the first to sit following a reform of the European supervisory authorities, which included changes to the stakeholder groups. One of these is that OPSG members are now elected for a four-year term, although the position of the chair is for two years.“It is a great honor for me to have been re-elected OPSG Chair for a two-year (nonrenewable) term,” said Delbecque on social media platform LinkedIn. “As chair, I may be asked to make a statement before the European Parliament and answer any questions from its members whenever so requested. This is a great new responsibility.” Delbecque is senior director, economics and research, at EFAMA, the European Fund & Asset Management Association. Maczynska is executive director at retail investor lobby group Better Finance, and Valkenburg is chair of the Actuarial Association of Europe. Odey Asset Management – The London active manager firm has appointed Jos Trusted as head of institutional business, a new role. He joins from CQS Limited where, as the CEO of the CQS New City Equities business, he led the successful launch of CQS’ long only equity investment business. Before CQS, Trusted was a partner at Pensato Capital, a UK-based European equities business.At Odey, Trusted will will focus on growing the firm’s institutional business through the development of its product range, the recruitment of new investment managers and the diversification of its international client base. HSBC Global Asset Management – Luther Bryan Carter (Bryan) is the asset manager’s new head of global emerging markets debt (EMD), taking over from Nishant Upadhyay, who remains with the firm and will focus on fixed income investment platform projects. While taking immediate oversight responsibility for all investment decisions, Carter’s first initiative and focus will be on deepening the country research function.He joins HSBC GAM from BNP Paribas Asset Management, where he was lead portfolio manager. Before joining BNP Paribas, he managed EMD and global absolute return bond capabilities at Acadian Asset Management for nine years and directed its quantitative fixed income research effort. He started his career as an economist at the US Treasury Department and T Rowe Price. HSBC said that since 2014, Carter has been deeply involved in the Emerging Markets Investors Alliance, a leading global non-profit network of institutional investors committed to advancing sustainable social and economic development in emerging markets.Preventable Surprises – Laura Berry is joining the responsible investment ‘think-do’ tank as a senior advisor. She spent nearly a decade as executive director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and 17 years as a large cap value portfolio manager with a focus on the pharmaceutical industry. SheBerry currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Praxis Mutual Funds, a trustee and investment committee member for the Connecticut-based William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, and is vice president of the Comitato Etico di Etica, Sgr in Milan, Italy. She is also a founding board member for both Majority Action (originally 50/50 Climate) and the Church Center for Peace and Justice, in New York City. Franklin Templeton – Julian Ide has been appointed head of EMEA distribution effective at the completion of Franklin Templeton’s acquisition of Legg Mason, which is expected on 31 July 2020. Edinburgh-based Ide will remain CEO of specialist investment organisation Martin Currie. He will report to Adam Spector, the recently-announced head of global advisory services.The core facets of Martin Currie will remain unchanged. Martin Currie will continue to have investment independence as well as institutional distribution and client service independence.
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