August 9, 2011

HPC Clouds to Gather Over Germany

Nicole Hemsoth

One of the few events dedicated to high performance computing in the cloud is just around the corner. ISC Cloud ’11, which is organized by the same group that puts together the yearly International Supercomputing Conference, will be holding the second annual ISC Cloud event from September 26-27 in Mannheim, Germany.

The conference will bring some the world’s research and large-scale enterprise cloud computing luminaries under one roof to discuss issues ranging from HPC cloud performance, to security and compliance, to explorations of user experiences.

Argonne National Laboratory’s Ian Foster will deliver the keynote session, entitled “We’re Smarter Than We Think: Accelerating Discovery by Outsourcing the Mundane.” For a talk that implies discussion of the ordinary, Foster plans anything but a pedestrian lecture.

The ISC Cloud keynote plans to describe how “commercial cloud computing can allow us to accelerate dramatically the pace of discovery by removing a range of mundane but time-consuming tasks from our consciousness.” In the course of his presentation Foster will describe GlobusOnline (click here for some interview we did Foster and his colleagues at the GlobusWORLD event) and discuss how it could open doors to smarter science.

There are a number of other notable sessions scheduled for event, including the following:

Bernhard Fabianek from the European Commission will present on notable European cloud computing projects and ways that the EU plans to make the region more cloud-friendly. Much of the talk will center around some recent initiatives aimed at aiding the development, deployment and use of cloud computing services throughout Europe and the policies that underpin them.

Guillaume Alleon from Innovation Works and the European Aeronautic Defense and Space (EADS) company will describe the 20 years of work his numerical analysis team has put into developing integral equations for wave propagation simulations as well as on image retrieval systems. The core of his talk will focus on his group’s experiences running high performance applications on Amazon Web Services.

Dr. Ewa Deelman, Research Associate Professor from the USC Computer Science Department will provide a presentation called “Doing Science in the Cloud: Leveraging Scientific Workflows and Cloud Technologies to Support Scientific Applications.” Deelman will describe some of the challenges scientists face when running scientific workflows on public cloud platforms like Amazon’s EC2 and academic grid infrastructures. This is certain to be a compelling overview of performing scientific research in the cloud based on direct user experiences.

Keith Jackson, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who works in the Data Intensive Systems Group will present a session that focuses on the costs and performance of high performance computing in the cloud. The talk will describe work being done at LBNL and NERSC to better understand how clouds can be useful for high performance computing users with particular emphasis on general performance and what differences in costs exist between clouds and a physical HPC center.

Peter Kunszt from CloudBroker will describe “Proteomics Structure Modeling in the Cloud” with a focus on how compute-intensive projects function in a cloud environment. Kunszt will present a case study that shows how such HPC applications can benefit from cloud computing.

Matthias Dalheimer, a project manager from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics will present on key security and compliance issues in the cloud. His assertion that current license management technologies do not work well with existing virtualized, dynamic environments will be at the heart of the talk. Dalheimer will discuss how GenLM can be used to virtualize software licenses in cloud environments in the context of a demonstration.

More details about the event can be found here.