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assessing cloud computing

as a service (IaaS) well suited to the needs of some classes of HPC workload. Highly scalable applications are catered for, but latency sensitive applications require a higher-performance interconnect. HP builds many of the components that others

deploy in their data centres when delivering HPC in the cloud, including HPC servers and storage, cluster platforms, cluster soſtware data centre infrastructure (including its popular, energy efficient PODs) and HPC Services and Support. IBM has a wide range of platform and soſtware

offerings that support HPC in the cloud, with many of the soſtware components coming through its acquisition of leading middleware supplier Platform Computing. Platform LSF is a widely used workload management tool for distributed HPC systems, while Platform HPC is an integrated management solution for HPC environments. Another key component is IBM’s GPFS parallel file system. IBM also has many hardware platform options and services to address a range of HPC in the Cloud needs, and the IBM SmartCloud offering can provide IaaS for HPC requirements. Microsoſt provides an integrated stack of

include Nvidia GPUs and support both Cuda and OpenCL development tools. Other cluster configuration and management tools available include Adaptive Computing, Bright Computing, Cycle Computing, Intel, Platform Computing, StackIQ and Univa. As part of its cloud computing offering, BT has

a number of HPC options, including systems pre- loaded with the Open, Oracle or Univa version of Grid Engine and the BT Life Sciences HPC virtual machine template. Tis is supported by a growing library of tools that are oſten used to manage life sciences workloads. Bull’s ‘extreme factory’ delivers a range of

engineering applications in the cloud using a SaaS model. Te applications include Altair Hyperworks, Ansys CFX and Fluent, EXA Powerflow, LS-DYNA, OpenFOAM, STAR- CCM+ and VPS2012 to support design simulation; BLAST, FASTA, GROMACS and NAMD in life sciences; and EnSight, ParaView, Tecplot 360 and VISIT for visualisation. As a component of its cloud services, Colt l

offers a managed grid service, leveraging Tibco’s DataSynapse middleware, which can be used as a stand-alone facility, or as an extension to an in-house grid capability – i.e. in cloudbursting mode. Cycle Computing helps maximise the use of

HPC resources with CycleServer, and also exploit HPC in the Cloud with its CycleCloud offering, which automates the complex process of building a cluster in the Amazon cloud and handling the management of the workload. Using Condor, GridEngine or Torque clusters, Cycle has demonstrated delivering a 50,000-core cluster for HPC workloads on demand. Dell views the cloud as being a commercial

instantiation of grid computing and offers private and public clouds, as well as desktop and other applications as a service. Te Dell HPC Cloud Bursting solution offers a leasing model for HPC capacity in 24-hour increments rather than strictly on demand. As part of the Google Cloud Platform, the Google Compute Engine delivers infrastructure


HPC soſtware tools including its Compute Cluster Pack, MPI and other libraries. Crucially for Azure Cloud users, there is an HPC version of its scheduler for compute intensive, parallel applications that also includes runtime support for MPI communications. Microsoſt includes the capability to burst from your private HPC cluster to Azure if your demand exceeds available resources – all under the control of your scheduler configuration. Cloud provider Nimbix has partnered with HPC system designer Convey to deliver Nimbix Accelerated Cloud Computing, which is SaaS for a wide range of applications including bioinformatics, CFD, rendering and animation, computational finance and geophysics and seismic processing. Peer1 Hosting has two HPC Cloud offerings

that deliver on-demand HPC. For longer-term use the Managed HPC Cloud service is preferred, while the Self-Service HPC Cloud option is great for meeting short-term requirements. Based in Toronto and in the UK, both services can leverage Nvidia Telsa GPUs. Penguin Computing builds private clouds for

in-house use by its clients, and also delivers HPC facilities on demand via its Penguin On Demand (POD) service. POD systems can be configured to suit specific needs, with options including Nvidia GPUs, InfiniBand interconnects and the Lustre or PanFS parallel file systems. Penguin also has a Hybrid cloud offering that enables POD to augment a user’s internal HPC capacity. Rackspace offers private, public and hybrid cloud solutions utilising the OpenStack scalable


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