Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Interactive Remote and Distributed Visualization of Fusion Simulation
- Author(s): Siegerist, C.
- Shalf, J.
- Bethel, E. Wes
- Siegerist, Cristina
- et al.
The NERSC center has unique resources that are especially tailored for interactive, high performance remote visualization. The central interactive visualization resource is Escher.nersc.gov, which is a large symmetric multiprocessor equipped with multiple gigabit interconnects to NERSC storage systems, as well as a large amount of main memory and substantial directly attached storage. Using Escher, we employ a pipelined architecture to support the demands of interactive, high-performance remote visualization. The pipelined architecture refers to an assembly-line organization of software "workers" that each contribute to an overall work flow. The first worker in the assembly line the server runs interactively in parallel on Escher. Parallel execution of the server provides substantial I/O and processing capabilities where it is needed close to the data. The second worker in the assembly line runs on the scientists workstation in their office, and performs 3D rendering at interactive rates. Visualization results geometry are transmitted between the two stages in the pipeline. This combination has proven effective at providing interactive 3D scientific visualization capabilities to remotely located NERSC users. Amortizing data I/O and visualization processing over parallel processors located close to the data provides capabilities that are simply not available on any desktop platform. These capabilities are an example of NERSCs commitment to providing the best possible tools and infrastructure to the computational science community.