hpc-ch Forum on Software Management for HPC

Dear members and guests of the hpc-ch community,

We are pleased to invite you to the upcoming hpc-ch forum on

Software management for HPC

to be held on Thursday, June 11, 2015 from 9:45 until 17:00, kindly hosted by University of Basel.

On http://indico.hpc-ch.org/indico/event/sw_management you find a description of the forum and a few key questions for your consideration.

Please register on the website by no later than June 4, 2015, and let me know via e-mail if you are willing to contribute with a short presentation (20 minutes including Q&A).

The meeting will already start on Wednesday, June 10 with a common dinner starting at 19:00.
Please fill out the following doodle so that we can reserve enough tables.

A highlight of this forum will be the scientific program with the visit of the Quantum Coherence Lab of the University of Basel, where we will gather some insights about the future of computing.


Use of HPC is spreading into all domains of academic research. Today, the needs of scientific users have been continuously evolving and they no longer rely on a single tool or application for their research, but rather on a swiss-army knife style software collection ready to be used.

Scientists want to focus on their research and expect and broad range of software installed. Consequently, the management of software stack for HPC users is getting more and more complex, for instance, a typical user may require not only MPI or Fortran compiler but also a combination of programming environments (C, C++, CUDA, OpenCL, PGAS, OpenMP, OpenACC) as well as specific versions of libraries, tools for visualisation and for statistics, from free and open-source software to precompiled third-party black-box applications. Growing number of users with increasing requirements is becoming a great software management challenge.

This hpc-ch forum will give us attendees an opportunity to discuss possible solutions and best practices regarding software management issues for HPC systems and users.

Key questions

  • How do you install, manage and distribute software on your cluster or on other environments (Desktop, Webservers, Cloud, etc.) What software packaging andmanagement tools (enterprise & open source, for instance, EasyBuild, Ivec/Mali, Spack) are currently available for HPC? What are their advantages and disadvantages?
  • What are best practices for updating, patching, continuous integration, validation and regression testing (Cdash, Jenkins, JuBE, Bamboo, in-house)?
  • How do you make software available to the users (environment modules, Lmod, Xsede, structure on filesystem)?
  • How do we cope with emerging and heterogeneous architectures and programming environments? How to maintain new requirements alongside traditional ones? When to invest in optimization (software, hardware)? Can you tell about your successful optimization projects?
  • Which approaches are available for the management of complex workflows? Do we need better integration and composition strategies, for instance, OpenStack? Are you evaluating the costs related to the software installation and maintenance?


University of Basel
Biozentrum, Room 102
Klingelbergstr. 50-70, 4056 Basel


  • Konstantin Arnold, University of Basel
  • Martin Jacquot, University of Basel