Manthan Award 2013

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Category: e-Science and Technology

ONAMA is an integrated software and hardware solution for future Technocrats/ Engineers, providing them a platform for a Quantum leap to gain an in-depth understanding of High Performance Computing (HPC). This is an integrated package comprising of a well-selected set of parallel as well as serial applications of Scientific and Engineering domain, which are useful across various engineering disciplines.

Background of HPC in Engineering Institutes in India

Relevance of Onama in the Engineering Segment

HPC plays a vital role in almost all critical areas and considered as a medium to increase economic competitiveness of the nation. In India, HPC is at a developing stage with an acute shortage of HPC professionals. Today, there is a dearth of academic institutions teaching or using HPC. Factors like prohibitive costs, lack of support for adopting HPC and little awareness about importance of HPC plays a pivotal role here. Onama takes on these issues head-on. By providing flexibility in selection of HPC configuration, the user is given a control over the cost factor. This encourages institutions, which earlier avoided adopting HPC, to embrace HPC in totality. As a direct effect, the student/researcher is exposed to HPC at an early stage. Moreover, each HPC professional is capable of catalysing the process of spreading the HPC culture. Thus, when an increasing number of institutions adopt Onama, the right environment for producing HPC skilled manpower is created. In such a scenario, Onama is at the centre stage. The society is then poised to reap immense benefits from the proliferation of HPC technologies to all the strata of society.

ONAMA features

  • A well selected set of parallel as well as serial applications and tools across various engineering disciplines such as computer science, mechanical, electrical, electronics civil, chemical engineering, etc.
  • Onama consists of a number of accelerator enabled applications in several domains namely molecular dynamics, bio-informatics, life sciences and physics. Most of the tools and applications are GUI based which reduce the learning curve.
  • It also provides access to various libraries like parallel libraries, performance libraries and engineering domain specific libraries that can be used to develop programs to solve the user’s problems.
  • Provides an intuitive GUI based installation utility that allows the installation of desired applications, with minimal efforts.
  • ONAMA comprises of three models, Application Installer, Application Execution Model and the Command Line Interface.

Ecosystem of the program as an offering

  • Onama Software with more than fifty open source applications from various engineering domains
  • Three days workshop on High Performance Computing (HPC) & Parallel Programming.
  • Consultancy for HPC hardware procurement as a part of the solution
  • Competitions on national level on parallel programming annually

Customer Testimonials

  • "We certainly hope that Onama from C-DAC will provide the perfect incubation platform for our future engineers/ faculties to acquire and indulge in cutting edge technology research in cluster/parallel computing to compete at a global level”, said Dr. Kishor K. Bhoyar , Professor, Dept. of Information  Technology, Yeshwantrao Chavan College of Engineering, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India- 441 110
  • "We are very happy with the kind of technical and expert support from CDAC, Pune during its procurement, installation as well as the post-installation that we have received since its installation. The technical staff of CDAC is very supportive and takes care of our every request regarding the functioning of the system”, said Dr M K Patil, Professor in Physics, School of Physical Sciences, Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University, Nanded, Maharashtra, India– 431 606
  • "Onama stimulates large-scale research to accelerate the adoption of the educational tools and curriculum that reflect the increasing role of high performance computational methods in engineering and science. It also helped students in inculcating best industry practices in HPC.”, said Dr. A V Deshpande,  Principal, Smt. Kashibai Navale College of Engineering,  Sinhagad Rd., Pune, Maharashtra, India – 411041

Onama (Status of activities at all the deployments)

  • Innovative projects are being pursued by B. Tech/ M. Tech/ PH.D. students related to the package Onama and Parallel Computing. To quantify close to 10  live projects around product development are being pursued.
  • Approximately engineering related activities around the low cost HPC cluster Onama aggregate upto 50.
  • Affordable HPC-Onama cluster has made deep inroads in the engineering education segment. This is the ‘missing middle’ for the nation in terms of the huge gap which exists presently.
  • Capability and capacity building has got a major boost in terms of High Performance Computing wherein Onama is a catalytic factor.
  • A sound concrete platform which has formed the basic building block for initiating HPC as a part of the engineering curricula.
  • Creation of a local national level social networking around HPC as an interest group as well as a key emerging area.
  • Incubation of a national conference on the applicability of "HPC to the various engineering domain” through the Onama national initiative.
  • Targeted development of around 5 innovative solutions beneficial for society in general through this HPC engineering vehicle.
  • Creation of a national level competitive platform through competitions in HPC/ Parallel Programming.
  • Adoption of a unique national industry based certification standard for benchmarking of HPC manpower via the CCHPCP (C-DAC certified HPC Certification program).
  • Creation of unique/ original material in the form of white papers/ concept papers/ books related to HPC with inclusion of various technological trends.
  • Publications in various International/ National Forum i.e. Journal/ Technical magazines/ Conferences etc.
  • HPC user awareness seminars for getting the youth of the nation hooked  into the idea of "Living Parallel”.
  • Providing benefit to mankind via the program by assisting other developing countries to reinforce their economy and address challenges. E.g. Vietnam, Tanzania, Ghana, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus etc.
  • Development of a larger ecosystem around Onama by way of better software tools.
  • Enhanced employability in the industry by creation of HPC-ready engineers.
  • This program presently focuses on the education community and the efforts shall culminate into the small and medium scale industry/ manufacture segment later (very similar to "missing middle” program being pursued in U.S.).
  • The literature which shall be created as a part of the curricula shall be exhaustive covering the basic concepts to the latest trends and technologies in HPC. E.g. faculty which shall enable program at the institute level shall contribute by way of case studies/ notes etc.
  • Disruptive approaches to extreme scale computing may be pursued by manpower which shall be experts after the various "Train the Trainer” basic and advanced programs.
  • Close to 50 interactive workshops per year are slated to be held across premier institutes in the country around Onama.
  • Targeted for deployment in various Government/ Private engineering institutes totally approximately 100 in the debut year.
  • Inclusion of more tools/ software packages as a part of Onama as an Ongoing developmental activity by the user community.
  • Ease of access to supercomputing by the feature of an innovative approach namely e-Onama. This facility allows users to download utility on their handhelds/ mobiles/ tablets etc. and easily run various job on to the Supercomputing backend Onama facility via web based access.
  • Lastly, this shall also be an important component of the various activities under the "National HPC Mission”.

Target Beneficiaries

The target beneficiaries would be faculties, students and research scholars from various Engineering Colleges/ Polytechnics. It is expected that over a period of time, more engineering institutes shall adopt the culture of HPC through Onama. Approximate number of such institutes in India is 4,500.