Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Stackify Blog, Vaibhaw Pandey, Automic Blog, John Walsh, Mehdi Daoudi

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

How to Build an HPC Cluster in the Cloud

Here are the basic steps to get it done

Organizations in industries such as pharmaceutical research and financial services as well as many federal agencies depend on high performance computing (HPC) for research and analytics. From protein sequencing to market simulation, these compute-intensive tasks demand processing power far beyond the capabilities of a single server. Organizations have traditionally built large clusters and grids in their data centers to distribute these massive workloads across multiple machines. Resource requirements are usually short-term (a few hours, days, or weeks), which means that internal equipment is largely underutilized but still needs to be available for critical projects. Rather than continue to build out their infrastructure at enormous cost, many enterprise are now considering the cloud as a more flexible and efficient alternative.

Based on our work with some big players in pharma and banking, building a secure HPC cluster or grid in the cloud can be straightforward and take much less time than you might imagine. Here are the basic steps to get it done:

Step 1:  Deploy or migrate a management server in the cloud
A distributed computing management (DCM) server (also called a front end server or queuing server) is required for coordinating execution of jobs across a large number of compute servers. Products such as Oracle Grid Engine or Condor are commonly used to provide this capability. There are also tools such as Rocks Clusters which include the DCM software as part of an OS provisioning system. Regardless of the specific solution used, CloudSwitch enables an administrator to migrate an existing deployment or establish a new deployment in the cloud within a few minutes. Once the chosen software framework is in place, compute capacity to carry out the workload can be provisioned.

Step 2:  Create compute servers quickly in the cloud
The CloudSwitch API makes it easy to quickly stamp out dozens or hundreds of virtual servers in the cloud that will form the cluster or grid. You can configure the virtual machine parameters that match your internal environment with a few clicks, or upload a gold image to make provisioning even easier. CloudSwitch automatically creates the appropriate cloud resources with the chosen configuration rather than relying on a cloud provider’s options. (A previous post describes the CloudSwitch point-and-click approach in more detail.) The CloudSwitch isolation layer extends the internal environment into the cloud so that when the servers are started, they appear to be running inside the data center, using the same management tools and processes.

Step 3:  Install the operating system
Now that we’ve created the cloud infrastructure, we continue building up the stack, starting by installing the operating system on the virtual machines we created. There are a number of products that do this quickly with minimal human effort. If using Rocks, the compute servers automatically boot from the network using the “PXE” standard, and operating systems are pushed onto them. CloudSwitch also supports other solutions, including ISO-based or image-based provisioning in addition to network boot.

Step 4:  Install the DCM software and build the cluster
Since the DCM software provides the overlay framework enabling HPC jobs to run in parallel, it must be installed onto each compute node. In some cases this step can be done automatically by the provisioning solution (as in the case of Rocks), or the software may be installed manually after OS provisioning completes. Regardless of the installation method, once the DCM software is installed onto the newly-provisioned compute nodes, they are available to the management server as workload targets.

The above process will vary slightly depending on which tool(s) you use, but the end result will be the same: a fully-functioning cluster in the cloud, with the same look and feel as if it was running within the data center. These steps could be repeated as often as needed to provision multiple clusters in the cloud, with each cluster running within its own private network to securely support separate users and groups.

And you’re ready to go!
Researchers and analysts can submit HPC jobs through the public network to the front end server, where the DCM software manages the queue, allocates compute resources, monitors progress, and informs users when jobs are finished. The user interface will look as if the cluster were running internally, so scientists or analysts can submit jobs using the commands and processes they are familiar with.

All of this can be done in minimal time. For example, for one pharma customer, I created a Rocks front end server in the cloud using a traditional ISO installation mechanism. Once the front end was in place, I used the CloudSwitch API to clone a server template in parallel and in approximately three minutes I had created over 300 servers in the cloud. I then used Rocks to provision operating systems and Oracle’s Grid Engine onto the servers when they were started. After 45-60 minutes, all servers were running in the cloud with the cluster framework in place and ready to accept HPC jobs.

Another important consideration is data security, for example to protect intellectual property used by our customers while conducting their research. The CloudSwitch isolation layer addresses security concerns by providing a single integrated environment that allows workloads to run in the cloud with the same protection and control available internally. Once data leaves the physical data center it is isolated at all times as an extension of the enterprise’s security perimeter. Enterprises not only know that their data is secure, they are able to prove it to their own customers, regulators, and other stakeholders. (More information about how we do this can be found in the CloudSwitch white paper “Making Cloud Computing Secure for the Enterprise.”)

As the demand for computing power continues to grow, CloudSwitch makes it easy to build a grid of any size in the cloud — quickly, cost-effectively, and securely. Researchers and analysts can run even the most compute-intensive HPC workloads in the cloud, with the same tools and processes used inside the data center. As our customers are discovering, this ability to access almost unlimited computing resources on demand, paying only for what you use, can be a huge competitive advantage.

By Damon Miller

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ellen Rubin

Ellen Rubin is the CEO and co-founder of ClearSky Data, an enterprise storage company that recently raised $27 million in a Series B investment round. She is an experienced entrepreneur with a record in leading strategy, market positioning and go-to- market efforts for fast-growing companies. Most recently, she was co-founder of CloudSwitch, a cloud enablement software company, acquired by Verizon in 2011. Prior to founding CloudSwitch, Ellen was the vice president of marketing at Netezza, where as a member of the early management team, she helped grow the company to more than $130 million in revenues and a successful IPO in 2007. Ellen holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard University.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, introduced two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a multip...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Evatronix will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Evatronix SA offers comprehensive solutions in the design and implementation of electronic systems, in CAD / CAM deployment, and also is a designer and manufacturer of advanced 3D scanners for professional applications.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics gr...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things’). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing? IoT is not about the devices, it’s about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. In his session at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo | DXWor...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.