Adaptive’s Moab Enhancements Beckon to Wall Street

By Nicole Hemsoth

April 20, 2010

Adaptive Computing, creator of the widely-employed cluster of Moab technologies, which includes Moab Adaptive HPC Suite (along with similar suites for cluster and grid environments), just announced two interconnected pieces of Moab news targeting the vast infrastructural and resource management needs of the financial services industry.

The release of Moab 5.4 coupled with the new component brand, Moab Viewpoint 1.0, will allow end users on the commercial enterprise side — specifically financial services — the enhanced ability to get out from the heavy hardware and complex software demands of daily operation and make a smooth transition into the world of private clouds. The dual launch produces the “automated delivery of IaaS and Paas based on application workloads,” according to the company’s news release yesterday morning.

White Spaces in Private Clouds for Financial Services

While its work in the HPC sphere is similar in function to what the company announced, the capability of the newest version of Moab has been greatly expanded in hopes that the relatively small company can experience greater recognition from Wall Street. The release of Moab 5.4 adds a host of enhancements to the existing version that will be important to Adaptive Computing’s ideal end user base — the financial services sector.

Aside from being the center of worldwide economic activity, of course, there are other contributing factors to Adaptive’s decision to bring private clouds to financial services, not the least of which is the need for these enterprises to consolidate and effectively manage increasingly costly resources. Resource management is often cited as one of the missing pieces in effective business strategy in the cloud — whether in a public, private or hybrid space — and few firms offer comprehensive and automatic processes for monitoring, provisioning and supporting this critical aspect in a large-scale, data-intensive environment.

According to Peter ffoulkes, vice president of marketing at Adaptive Computing, this emphasis on the financial services is certainly not random. ffoulkes states,

“Financial markets do both HPC and commercial work and tend to be at the leading edge of creating new architectures. Also, due to the economic meltdown and mergers, they’re all under a lot of pressure to get everything in order to deliver new services fast and competitively. A lot of our enhancements were driven by this sector, but we should also note that there are others with similar needs, including the oil and gas industry, and the telecommunications sector. There’s a large spread of markets, but financial services is at the leading edge of innovation, of moving beyond IaaS into true workload-driven cloud platform as a service.”

While ffoulkes states that the financial services industry could benefit from the expanded host of offerings for commercial enterprises in the newly-released 5.4 version, the emphasis on continuous innovation and the complex needs and scale of their data operations makes this market the ideal candidate. Adaptive Computing’s range of technologies seem suitable for industries with similarly complex workflow operations, provisioning issues, and other demands of a mission-critical enterprise, including the oil and gas industry as well as telecommunications enterprises.

Direct Details on Moab 5.4 Enhancements for Commercial Enterprise

Given the scope of the announcement, which was actually a double-sided release about Moab 5.4 and Moab Viewpoint 1.0, it seemed best to allow ffoulkes to do the talking about core enhancements. In an interview shortly before the full release of the announcement, he stated:

We’ve been working on what we think of Cloud 2.0. It’s a workload-driven cloud, which is the underpinnings of what HPC is doing, even if it’s not recognized. It’s corporate-capable workload-driven cloud. We’ve built in the robust support of these dynamic transactional workflows that don’t happen in the HPC sphere and robust support for virtualized environments (VMware, for instance).

We’ve got all of this functionality and with the waxing and waning of commercial enterprise, but as services slow down and you start changing things and everything comes to an end, suddenly you have virtual machines standing still everywhere with spare capacity. If you’ve got hundreds or thousands of servers as a human being, you simply cannot monitor all of them — but automated software like Moab can. By monitoring through the nervous system influences you get from xCAT or the HP tools for instance, we can look at it and say, there is a lot of inefficiency so let’s pack and consolidate these virtual machines onto a single server using live migration (if the underlying technology like VMware supports it) or until a process is finished which means we can pack things down and reprovision — or, if they don’t need it at all — we can power those systems down and bring them back to life later when they’re needed either with the same, different or a mix of personas and can save energy.

We’ve also introduced enhanced support for virtual private clouds so when you have a user that comes in with a desired environment, if it’s going to exist for a period of time he may need more or fewer resources, so we can expand and contract those things in demand — support fluctuations in workflow. We can also migrate them; if you have a short-term virtual cloud and you’ve assigned resources for it but have planned maintenance coming up then we can look at that and can plan to migrate those virtual private cloud resources to different physical resources; we can bring down 10% of the cluster and do what we need to do during that planned maintenance.

We have also been working on internal algorithms for better memory efficiency so when we’re supporting things like Iaas, Moab 5.4 is vastly more efficient than its previous version. In our testing we’ve been able to show that we can support IaaS and virtual private cloud environments ten-fold over the previous version — huge efficiencies. Most of these things are aimed at the commercial end, these all have an impact on HPC as well.

In the move toward cloud-type work, in the past most of the Moab control on the backend has been on command-line interfaces and on the front end, a Java-based Moab access portal. We’re moving to a web 2.0 technology and we’re introducing a new component brand (not a product) called Moab Viewpoint, which is our Web 2.0 portal-based technology which enables self-service portals for users and supports administrative portals on the backend. This will enable users to come in with a customized, personalized home page, create and manage virtual private clouds, select services from a virtual shopping cart, add and remove resources, if they want a private cloud they may want for the short-term and may want again later they can archive it and open it again later. We can also manage both physical and virtual servers so if we get amber light problems, we can look at that and remove the troubled entities from the virtual private cloud and reroute until we can fix it.

Hence the Switch to “Adaptive”

Cluster Resources wanted to get out from its name to avoid typecasting since there is no question its original company logo all but screamed HPC-exclusive. The “Adaptive” part of the name, however, does not necessarily refer just to the technology itself that adapts workloads and resources to create an optimal environment on demand, it also refers to the existing or preferred infrastructure and middleware — or, as Peter ffoulkes terms it in the extended quote below, Moab is “agnostic.”

One of the reasons why Adaptive Computing has had success in major HPC ventures such as South Africa’s Center for High-Performance Computing (CHPC) is because of this agnosticism, but it is also this cross-vendor possibility that is making Adaptive more attractive to commercial enterprises who want more compute power in a way that is cost-effective and scalable. Says ffoulkes:

“We’ve suddenly seen this interest from commercial enterprise for what we can do. The market for commercial enterprise is building infrastructure that looks like supercomputers but since Moab is just the ‘brain’ we are agnostic to the underlying middleware and infrastructure.”

As an infrastructure and middleware-agnostic technology, Adaptive has been able to work with a number of companies that might have otherwise sealed themselves from other vendors. This has allowed the company to maintain a competitive edge and to align themselves with strategic partners. Ffoulks stated:

We can work with what customers have today (whether it’s one architecture or 20) — we can work with what they wish to move to in the future (migrating or remaining) and can work across different vendor platforms. If they have multiple vendors, mergers, or acquisitions we don’t have to rip out what they have and replace it with it with ours. That makes us good for our partners; we can work with HP — whether its their provisioning or management tools in the HPC world or its things like HP technology optimiziation groups. We can work with x-cat or Tivoli or Voltaire’s unified fabric management software. We can work with resource managers, homegrown and open source — so long as people are willing to write an interface between their architecture and theirs, this has made us very agile and vendor agnostic and very partner-friendly.

Moab Viewpoint 1.0 and “Cloud 2.0”

Although it might be tempting to call Moab Viewpoint 1.0 a new product from Adaptive Computing, this is actually what ffoulkes calls a “component brand” as it is an extension on what already exists. He goes on to note:

In the past most of the Moab control on the backend has been on command-line interfaces and on the front end, a Java-based Moab access portal. Viewpoint 1.0 is our Web 2.0 portal-based technology that enables self-service portals for users and supports administrative portals on the backend. This will enable users to come in with a customized, personalized home page, create and manage virtual private clouds, select services from a shopping cart, add and remove resources, and if they want a private cloud they may want for the short-term and may want again later, they can archive it and open it again later.

Visibility and the Future of Moab in Financial Services

Moab technologies have been employed to solve an array of problems in HPC since the company’s beginnings (again, as Cluster Resources) and were picked up enthusiastically in high-end computing environments.

Since it makes it possible for enterprise to look into the future and determine workloads and placements, Moab became what ffoulkes calls, “very much a decision-making engine — not only to help determine how to get maximum efficiency out of the system, but to manage service-level agreements (SLAs), make sure the right results were delivered to the right person at the right time, make sure the right projects got the highest priority on the right systems and the right highest bandwidth networking or whatever it was. You got fair share, but you also got preemptions; so, for instance, if something came up that was critical, something else could be banked and items could still be fitted around — so that’s how the whole thing grew.”

From its inception (first as Cluster Resources, until a recent shift in focus from strict HPC to commercial enterprises), the company has focused on finding predictive, intuitive resource management strategies for some of the world’s most notable supercomputing facilities. As Peter ffoulkes notes, despite the company’s relatively small size, Moab — the brand name of the product family for the main technology Adaptive Computing brings to market — controls 10 out of 20 of the largest computing facilities in the world, according to the TOP500. This includes the top three (Oak Ridge National Labs, IBM Roadrunner at Los Alamos, and the University of Tennessee center).

Since more commercial enterprises are looking to create superinfrastructure modeled on HPC and cloud computing, is it possible that Adaptive’s entry into this market signals a new era for large-scale enterprise resource management and private cloud adoption?

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

World Record: Quantum Computer with 46 Qubits Simulated

December 18, 2017

Researchers from Jülich Supercomputing Centre, Wuhan University, and the University of Groningen, reported last week they successfully simulated a quantum computer with 46 quantum bits (qubits) for the first time. For t Read more…

By John Russell

Researchers Advance User-Level Container Solution for HPC

December 18, 2017

Most scientific computing facilities, such us HPC or grid infrastructures, are shared among different research disciplines, and thus the system software environment needs to be generic enough to accommodate different use Read more…

By Isabel Campos & Jorge Gomes

IBM Launches Commercial Quantum Network with Samsung, ORNL

December 14, 2017

In the race to commercialize quantum computing, IBM is one of several companies leading the pack. Today, IBM announced it had signed JPMorgan Chase, Daimler AG, Samsung and a number of other corporations to its IBM Q Net Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Explore the Origins of Space with COSMOS and Memory-Driven Computing

From the formation of black holes to the origins of space, data is the key to unlocking the secrets of the early universe. Read more…

TACC Researchers Test AI Traffic Monitoring Tool in Austin

December 13, 2017

Traffic jams and mishaps are often painful and sometimes dangerous facts of life. At this week’s IEEE International Conference on Big Data being held in Boston, researchers from TACC and colleagues will present a new Read more…

By HPCwire Staff

Researchers Advance User-Level Container Solution for HPC

December 18, 2017

Most scientific computing facilities, such us HPC or grid infrastructures, are shared among different research disciplines, and thus the system software environ Read more…

By Isabel Campos & Jorge Gomes

IBM Launches Commercial Quantum Network with Samsung, ORNL

December 14, 2017

In the race to commercialize quantum computing, IBM is one of several companies leading the pack. Today, IBM announced it had signed JPMorgan Chase, Daimler AG, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Wins Another: Baidu to Deploy EPYC on Single Socket Servers

December 13, 2017

When AMD introduced its EPYC chip line in June, the company said a portion of the line was specifically designed to re-invigorate a single socket segment in wha Read more…

By John Russell

Microsoft Wants to Speed Quantum Development

December 12, 2017

Quantum computing continues to make headlines in what remains of 2017 as several tech giants jockey to establish a pole position in the race toward commercializ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Iron, Soft, Data, People – It Takes an Ecosystem!

December 11, 2017

Cutting edge advanced computing hardware (aka big iron) does not stand by itself. These computers are the pinnacle of a myriad of technologies that must be care Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

IBM Begins Power9 Rollout with Backing from DOE, Google

December 6, 2017

After over a year of buildup, IBM is unveiling its first Power9 system based on the same architecture as the Department of Energy CORAL supercomputers, Summit a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Microsoft Spins Cycle Computing into Core Azure Product

December 5, 2017

Last August, cloud giant Microsoft acquired HPC cloud orchestration pioneer Cycle Computing. Since then the focus has been on integrating Cycle’s organization Read more…

By John Russell

GlobalFoundries, Ayar Labs Team Up to Commercialize Optical I/O

December 4, 2017

GlobalFoundries (GF) and Ayar Labs, a startup focused on using light, instead of electricity, to transfer data between chips, today announced they've entered in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

NERSC Scales Scientific Deep Learning to 15 Petaflops

August 28, 2017

A collaborative effort between Intel, NERSC and Stanford has delivered the first 15-petaflops deep learning software running on HPC platforms and is, according Read more…

By Rob Farber

Oracle Layoffs Reportedly Hit SPARC and Solaris Hard

September 7, 2017

Oracle’s latest layoffs have many wondering if this is the end of the line for the SPARC processor and Solaris OS development. As reported by multiple sources Read more…

By John Russell

AMD Showcases Growing Portfolio of EPYC and Radeon-based Systems at SC17

November 13, 2017

AMD’s charge back into HPC and the datacenter is on full display at SC17. Having launched the EPYC processor line in June along with its MI25 GPU the focus he Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Japan Unveils Quantum Neural Network

November 22, 2017

The U.S. and China are leading the race toward productive quantum computing, but it's early enough that ultimate leadership is still something of an open questi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

GlobalFoundries Puts Wind in AMD’s Sails with 12nm FinFET

September 24, 2017

From its annual tech conference last week (Sept. 20), where GlobalFoundries welcomed more than 600 semiconductor professionals (reaching the Santa Clara venue Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Amazon Debuts New AMD-based GPU Instances for Graphics Acceleration

September 12, 2017

Last week Amazon Web Services (AWS) streaming service, AppStream 2.0, introduced a new GPU instance called Graphics Design intended to accelerate graphics. The Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

IBM Begins Power9 Rollout with Backing from DOE, Google

December 6, 2017

After over a year of buildup, IBM is unveiling its first Power9 system based on the same architecture as the Department of Energy CORAL supercomputers, Summit a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Perspective: What Really Happened at SC17?

November 22, 2017

SC is over. Now comes the myriad of follow-ups. Inboxes are filled with templated emails from vendors and other exhibitors hoping to win a place in the post-SC thinking of booth visitors. Attendees of tutorials, workshops and other technical sessions will be inundated with requests for feedback. Read more…

By Andrew Jones

EU Funds 20 Million Euro ARM+FPGA Exascale Project

September 7, 2017

At the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre on Wednesday (Sept. 6), 16 partners gathered to launch the EuroEXA project, which invests €20 million over three-and-a-half years into exascale-focused research and development. Led by the Horizon 2020 program, EuroEXA picks up the banner of a triad of partner projects — ExaNeSt, EcoScale and ExaNoDe — building on their work... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tensors Come of Age: Why the AI Revolution Will Help HPC

November 13, 2017

Thirty years ago, parallel computing was coming of age. A bitter battle began between stalwart vector computing supporters and advocates of various approaches to parallel computing. IBM skeptic Alan Karp, reacting to announcements of nCUBE’s 1024-microprocessor system and Thinking Machines’ 65,536-element array, made a public $100 wager that no one could get a parallel speedup of over 200 on real HPC workloads. Read more…

By John Gustafson & Lenore Mullin

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Flipping the Flops and Reading the Top500 Tea Leaves

November 13, 2017

The 50th edition of the Top500 list, the biannual publication of the world’s fastest supercomputers based on public Linpack benchmarking results, was released Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Launches Software Tools to Ease FPGA Programming

September 5, 2017

Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have a reputation for being difficult to program, requiring expertise in specialty languages, like Verilog or VHDL. Easin Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This