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Expediting Research with Spack August 09, 2023

The latest issue of LLNL’s Science & Technology Review magazine highlights Spack, which is enhanced by contributions from more than 1,000 users and supports the HPC community. The article “Expediting Research with Spack” explains that scientific codes used by HPC centers rely on a constellation of interdependent software packages that only function if software versions, languages, feature options, and other configuration options are properly coordinated. “HPC users had done these tasks manually for many years,” says Spack PI Todd Gamblin. “While package managers existed for other domains, the fine-tuning needed for HPC systems led most users to build software by hand. The software build process is painstaking and error prone even for experts.” Spack’s automated approach to building, testing, and deploying software has reduced project software distribution times from several weeks to hours or even minutes, depending on the size of the stack.