[Beowulf] HPC in the cloud question
dimitrisz at gmail.com
Fri May 8 12:58:55 PDT 2015
IBM Platform does provide IB for HPC with bare metal and cloudbursting,
among other HPC services on the cloud. Detailed information including
benchmarks can be found at
Note that I work for IBM so I am obviously biased.
On Fri, May 8, 2015 at 2:40 PM, Prentice Bisbal <prentice.bisbal at rutgers.edu
> What are the characteristics of your cluster workloads? Are they tightly
> coupled jobs, or are they embarassingly parallel or serial jobs? I find it
> hard to believe that a virtualized, ethernet shared network infrastructure
> can compete with FDR IB for performance on tightly coupled jobs. AWS HPC
> representatives came to my school to give a presentation on their
> offerings, and even they admitted as much.
> If your workloads are communication intensive, I'd think harder about
> using the cloud, or find a cloud provider that provides IB for HPC (there
> are a few that do, but I can't remember their names). If your workloads
> are loosely-coupled jobs or many serial jobs, AWS or similar might be fine.
> AWS does not provide IB, and in fact shares very little information about
> their network architecture, making it had to compare to other offerings
> without actually running benchmarks.
> If your users primarily interact with the cluster through command-line
> logins, using the cloud shouldn't be noticeably different the hostname(s)
> they have to SSH to will be different, and moving data in an out might be
> different, but compiling and submitting jobs should be the same if you make
> the same tools available in the cloud that you have on your local clusters.
> On 05/07/2015 06:28 PM, Hutcheson, Mike wrote:
>> Hi. We are working on refreshing the centralized HPC cluster resources
>> that our university researchers use. I have been asked by our
>> administration to look into HPC in the cloud offerings as a possibility to
>> purchasing or running a cluster on-site.
>> We currently run a 173-node, CentOS-based cluster with ~120TB (soon to
>> increase to 300+TB) in our datacenter. It¹s a standard cluster
>> configuration: IB network, distributed file system (BeeGFS. I really
>> like it), Torque/Maui batch. Our users run a varied workload, from
>> fine-grained, MPI-based parallel aps scaling to 100s of cores to
>> coarse-grained, high-throughput jobs (We¹re a CMS Tier-3 site) with high
>> I/O requirements.
>> Whatever we transition to, whether it be a new in-house cluster or
>> something ³out there², I want to minimize the amount of change or learning
>> curve our users would have to experience. They should be able to focus on
>> their research and not have to spend a lot of their time learning a new
>> system or trying to spin one up each time they have a job to run.
>> If you have worked with HPC in the cloud, either as an admin and/or
>> someone who has used cloud resources for research computing purposes, I
>> would appreciate learning your experience.
>> Even if you haven¹t used the cloud for HPC computing, please feel free to
>> share your thoughts or concerns on the matter.
>> Sort of along those same lines, what are your thoughts about leasing a
>> cluster and running it on-site?
>> Thanks for your time,
>> Mike Hutcheson
>> Assistant Director of Academic and Research Computing Services
>> Baylor University
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