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Supercomputing booth/2015

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  • Web site
  • Dates: November 15-20, 2015
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Booth nr: 1647
  • Booth personnel: Christian, Martin


SC 15 General Notes


This year it was very difficult finding personnel for the booth. In the end Martin and Christian from UCPH volunteered, if no one else could be found, and if they would receive help with the presentation material etc. UCPH would not be able to fund the participation, as it had already done so for half a booth in 2013 and a full in 2014. Finally UiO and UBern managed to find some funding, but only enough to cover the travel part of SC15. However the confirmation of this was very late, and we had to plan and book the trip with less than a month to go. This made travel and accommodation unnecessarily difficult and expensive. It also made the preparation complicated, as both Christian and Martin had very little spare time ahead of the trip.

the show

In general 2015 broke the attendance record again. However it didn't feel that way on the exhibition floor. It felt much quieter and this year we can not put it down to our booth location like at SC14.

As can be seen from the logbook, we had most of our visitors on the first morning of the exhibition. Wednesday was very quiet, so we went around to booths instead for a couple of hours. People were generally surprised that we were still in the grid business, since they had all moved on to the CLOUD. However, when pressed they admitted that they were doing the same old thing, as when they were also calling themselves grid.

There did not seem to be much recent innovation in the LRMS business. The only LRMS with anything new to report was SLURM. We attended one of their briefings. They covered some interesting new features, that will be popular among system administrators, but not anything that was relevant for us.

We had a long talk with Estrella about future EU project. Attending SC is a good chance to scout for prospective partners, as a lot of FP7/Horizon2020 project are exhibiting. This should be prepared ahead of time. An example of this was the "What we've learned from participating in EU projects" session hosted by ETP4HPC. Unfortunately the session coincided with the closing of the exhibition and we had to clear out the booth. This meant that although we made it to the session in time, we were thrown out because there was no seats left, and we were not allowed to stand. A short overview of the meeting is available at In the etp4hpc event website it was noted that a report summarizing the meeting would be made. Whether the news item linked is this report is not known.


Participation in SC must be a community effort. It is not fair to put this much preparation effort on only two people, and the help always from the usual suspects (Oxana). The goal of participation must be clear ahead of time. We should also keep in mind, that we don't have to only sit in the booth, but we can also seek out potential interested parties, and invite them by the booth later. We intended to create a leaflet but was short of time - would good to have a simple overview of what ARC does that could be handed out to interested. Going around at the exhibit floor is also a good opportunity to seek out Backend developers etc, to get inside information. These initiatives must be planned ahead of the exhibition. Similarly there should be a follow-up planned for the contacts we made. The previous years we collected contact information/business cards from a number of interested persons, but these have laid unused in a drawer ever since. We should send out a simple "look what we are doing -> website". Do we have statistics of the Nordugrid website? Can we see a spike following SC? If we should participate in future SC exhibitions we highly recommend that the discussed issues are addressed.


Christian Søttrup and Martin Skou Andersen from UCPH.

The Booth

The booth setup this year copied the last years setup with the large poster covering the curtains. No one complained about this, although it is technically prohibited. This year we had a scinet rackroom to our right, and we moved the booth sign to that. If we had had another way of hanging the banner/poster we could have utilised the booth better. Setup was reasonably easy, except for the poster guides. We had forgotten the click-on poster guides, and had to buy standard ones at Walmart. Remember click-on poster guides. A corner booth like this allows us to fully use two "back" walls without annoying our neighbours.

Materials Used

  • background poster printed on cloth (3.2 x 1.3 meter large). Plastic rails, hooks + long zip ties for adjustable hanging. Sides of poster taped to booth stand tubes.
  • three chairs and the usual big table (provided by Freeman) - one chair disappeared, we suspect the japanese next door
  • 1 power outlet (provided by Conference centre)
  • marketing cards from last year.


  • Booth fee: 400$ (UiO)
  • Personnel fee: 2 * 100 $
  • Travel cost: plane 2* 7000 DKK(UiO + UBern) + car 1600 DKK + ~ 6000 diæt
  • Hotel: 6000 DKK
  • poster: ~ 1500 DKK (paid by Lund)
  • Office supplies for booth building: ~$10 (donated by christian)

Aproximate booth cost: ~ 35000 DKK

Log book

  • Sunday

We arrived just in time to get our badges, and check that everything was ready in the booth. This year Freeman had almost provided everything. the only thing missing was the little cardboard booth name. We complained and they promised to find or make one for us. We then went to the exhibitor gala. We left early to go find some poster guides to keep the poster straight.

  • Monday

We arrived to the booth around 10. We had brought the iron from the house to attempt to smooth the poster. Unfortunately, that only made a mirrored copy of the poster on our table. It did very little to the smoothness of the poster. We then spent the next two hours attempting to put the poster guides onto the poster. The only reason we wont call it impossible is that we managed to do it. Sort of. NB: Remember the click-on poster guides. The rest of the afternoon was spent preparing the slideshow for the evenings gala opening.

Visitors: Danish admins group - Admins from SDU, AAU and UCPH

Peter ? - ANSU - Had a little grid experience and was impressed with the range of LRMS we supported.

Thomas Makievitz - CSC - csc is studying which software to use for their next system. They will probably go with openstack for cloud. They are looking at ARC for the "grid" software, although they find it hard to convince their users to use ARC instead of going directly to SLURM.

Robert Pennington - Pennington LLC - Formerly of university of Illinois and NCSA - Stopped by to chat about NG, because he had adviced Neic on HPC.

Junghao? - Tsubame - Interested in the software. We gave him a business card.

Estrella - exa-scale -

Rune - UCPH sysadm -

  • Tuesday

We went to the booth selection, practically all the good booths were gone. We managed to get booth 535 which is in Hall E. Just across from Globus, so we can grab anyone who goes there.

  • Wednesday

A few people stopped by, mostly it was the dinosaur/viking theme that caught their eye, and they were not easy to entice into a discussion about the merits of ARC.

Late in the afternoon, as there was very little interest in the booth we went to a SLURM briefing.

  • Thursday

Another visit from the danish sysadmins and Thomas from CSC. After the exhibition closed, we packed up and tried to go to the etp4hpc meeting. The room was however much too small to hold all the people wanting to participate. We were thrown out by security along with about 15 others so they could uphold the fire code.


  • ) What can we offer HPC/cluster users that are not part of LCG or similar?
  • ) Better planning. This must be a community effort and not just the people who are going. Materials should be ready latest october. There should also be a group ready to do follow-up. Last year we collected 20-30 business cards that have been sitting in a drawer since.
  • ) Booth: The poster/banner with a slideshow works really well. Passers by are also like the dinosaur/humour theme. The roll up is also nice. We don't need much more since that would just clutter the booth. There should also be a leaflet.



Read through the [ exhibitor info]


Action Status/Deadline Comment AssignedTo
Find People Done Christian, Martin Farid
Passports, Visa etc done Christian, Martin
Submit Company Profile Last year's profile used
Pay for the booth Done Farid
Order furniture Done Had to phone for confirmation Christian
Order electricity done Power has to be ordered directly from convention centre. Deadline for free power was 28/9. We managed to get it for free anyway. Christian
Order Network done We will use WiFI -
Tickets done Flying to dallas and hiring a car to keep costs down
Hotel done Renting a house. 1/3 price of the cheapest hotel. Martin
Design Poster NA
Print Posters Done new background printed Lund
Design Folder Draft made
Print Folder
Print Address cards done ~75 Address cards from SC14 available
Bring Posters, address card & roll up brung - Christian, Martin
Prepare slide show NA 14 slides done
Prepare gadgets NA
Allocate notebooks Done -
Borrow a beamer Done - Christian
Borrow tripod for posters NA Optional
Poster fixation on curtains done -
Prepare scotch- and brown tape done -
Box cutter, straight threshold profile, scissors done - Christian
Register booth personnel done Christian, Martin
Take socket adapter, power cord distributor, kensington locks done - Christian
Hire a car done - Christian
Cell phone + charger done -
Submit booth space contract for SC16 done - Farid
Create SC16 wiki page done - Christian