Monthly Archives: September 2013

Cloud, HPC And Open Technologies Converge To Fuel Research, Innovation

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Recognizing the potential role of cloud-based open computing technologies to the research community, a group of 30 key stakeholders and decision-makers from academia and industry got together last week to share their views on how open computing solutions can best support existing and emerging use cases in a range of research disciplines and high performance workloads. The event was hosted by Argonne National Labs and jointly sponsored by Notre Dame, Internet2 and Rackspace; with attendees representing 20 organizations including participants from top research institutes, major research universities and key industry partners that provide technology supporting the research community.

The group discussed how big data and high-performance computing can introduce new challenges and new frustrations. Say you’re an academic or researcher who needs time on a supercomputer; oftentimes you’ll have to wait months to get approved, and even then you likely only get a limited window. So if something with your software is not working at that time, you’re out of luck.

The cloud changes the computing equation and redefines the experience and service by adding on-demand, utility and self-service capabilities to computing infrastructure. The cloud is quickly evolving into a premium model for scientific computation and big data, and the face of high-performance computing is changing faster than ever. We’ve seen the change happen over the past couple of years, as open technologies like the Open Compute Project and OpenStack, in particular, democratize access to mass commodity hardware and software.  Now, top research institutes such as CERN, Argonne National Laboratory, Notre Dame, University of Texas at San Antonio and MIT have chosen to build their high-performance clouds on OpenStack. By embracing open standards and collaboration, university researchers are at the forefront of innovation and contribute to a shared purpose that benefits everyone.

The event organizers – Narayan Desai (Argonne National Lab) , Paul Brenner (Notre Dame University), Khalil Yazdi (Internet2)  and Paul Rad (Rackspace) – welcomed participants and laid out a vision and an agenda for the workshop.

In the afternoon sessions,  They shared lessons learned and presented the findings and gaps that point the way forward for compute- and data-intensive applications.

At the end of the session, the community identified two immediate incubation projects (with several other possible projects noted):

  • Data Reachback for Cloud Bursting Scientific Applications such as high energy physics led by Notre Dame, Internet2, Rackspace, UTSA, MIT, and Cycle Computing
  • Big Data Scale out storage architecture led by Argonne, University of Chicago and Nimbus Services

The teams are planning to develop blue prints, detailed service descriptions and plans for a continuing collaborative effort and identifying regular communication channels for these projects. They will likely get back together at supercomputing 2013 and WCSC 2013 in San Antonio Texas.

Link to full blog:

Paul Rad is the Cloud Advisory Council Open Cloud High Performance Application Group Chair