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!

Weekly Twitter Roundup (Dec. 8, 2016)

December 8, 2016

Here at HPCwire, we aim to keep the HPC community apprised of the most relevant and interesting news items that get tweeted throughout the week. Read more…

By Thomas Ayres

Qualcomm Targets Intel Datacenter Dominance with 10nm ARM-based Server Chip

December 8, 2016

Claiming no less than a reshaping of the future of Intel-dominated datacenter computing, Qualcomm Technologies, the market leader in smartphone chips, announced the forthcoming availability of what it says is the world’s first 10nm processor for servers, based on ARM Holding’s chip designs. Read more…

By Doug Black

Which Schools Produce the Top Coders in the World?

December 8, 2016

Ever wonder which universities worldwide produce the best coders? The answers may surprise you, at least as judged by the results of a competition posted yesterday on the HackerRank blog. Read more…

By John Russell

Enlisting Deep Learning in the War on Cancer

December 7, 2016

Sometime in Q2 2017 the first ‘results’ of the Joint Design of Advanced Computing Solutions for Cancer (JDACS4C) will become publicly available according to Rick Stevens. He leads one of three JDACS4C pilot projects pressing deep learning (DL) into service in the War on Cancer. The pilots, supported in part by DOE exascale funding, not only seek to do good by advancing cancer research and therapy but also to advance deep learning capabilities and infrastructure with an eye towards eventual use on exascale machines. Read more…

By John Russell

DDN Enables 50TB/Day Trans-Pacific Data Transfer for Yahoo Japan

December 6, 2016

Transferring data from one data center to another in search of lower regional energy costs isn’t a new concept, but Yahoo Japan is putting the idea into transcontinental effect with a system that transfers 50TB of data a day from Japan to the U.S., where electricity costs a quarter of the rates in Japan. Read more…

By Doug Black

Infographic Highlights Career of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

December 5, 2016

Dr. Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was an early pioneer of computer science and one of the most famous women achievers in a field dominated by men. Read more…

By Staff

Ganthier, Turkel on the Dell EMC Road Ahead

December 5, 2016

Who is Dell EMC and why should you care? Glad you asked is Jim Ganthier’s quick response. Ganthier is SVP for validated solutions and high performance computing for the new (even bigger) technology giant Dell EMC following Dell’s acquisition of EMC in September. In this case, says Ganthier, the blending of the two companies is a 1+1 = 5 proposition. Not bad math if you can pull it off. Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Embraces FPGAs, ‘Elastic’ GPUs

December 2, 2016

A new instance type rolled out this week by Amazon Web Services is based on customizable field programmable gate arrays that promise to strike a balance between performance and cost as emerging workloads create requirements often unmet by general-purpose processors. Read more…

By George Leopold

Enlisting Deep Learning in the War on Cancer

December 7, 2016

Sometime in Q2 2017 the first ‘results’ of the Joint Design of Advanced Computing Solutions for Cancer (JDACS4C) will become publicly available according to Rick Stevens. He leads one of three JDACS4C pilot projects pressing deep learning (DL) into service in the War on Cancer. The pilots, supported in part by DOE exascale funding, not only seek to do good by advancing cancer research and therapy but also to advance deep learning capabilities and infrastructure with an eye towards eventual use on exascale machines. Read more…

By John Russell

Ganthier, Turkel on the Dell EMC Road Ahead

December 5, 2016

Who is Dell EMC and why should you care? Glad you asked is Jim Ganthier’s quick response. Ganthier is SVP for validated solutions and high performance computing for the new (even bigger) technology giant Dell EMC following Dell’s acquisition of EMC in September. In this case, says Ganthier, the blending of the two companies is a 1+1 = 5 proposition. Not bad math if you can pull it off. Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Launches Massive 100 Petabyte ‘Sneakernet’

December 1, 2016

Amazon Web Services now offers a way to move data into its cloud by the truckload. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lighting up Aurora: Behind the Scenes at the Creation of the DOE’s Upcoming 200 Petaflops Supercomputer

December 1, 2016

In April 2015, U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary Franklin Orr announced that Intel would be the prime contractor for Aurora: Read more…

By Jan Rowell

Seagate-led SAGE Project Delivers Update on Exascale Goals

November 29, 2016

Roughly a year and a half after its launch, the SAGE exascale storage project led by Seagate has delivered a substantive interim report – Data Storage for Extreme Scale. Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Sees Bright Future for AI Supercomputing

November 23, 2016

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia made a strong showing at SC16 in Salt Lake City last week. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE-SGI to Tackle Exascale and Enterprise Targets

November 22, 2016

At first blush, and maybe second blush too, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) purchase of SGI seems like an unambiguous win-win. SGI’s advanced shared memory technology, its popular UV product line (Hanna), deep vertical market expertise, and services-led go-to-market capability all give HPE a leg up in its drive to remake itself. Bear in mind HPE came into existence just a year ago with the split of Hewlett-Packard. The computer landscape, including HPC, is shifting with still unclear consequences. One wonders who’s next on the deal block following Dell’s recent merger with EMC. Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Details AI Hardware Strategy for Post-GPU Age

November 21, 2016

Last week at SC16, Intel revealed its product roadmap for embedding its processors with key capabilities and attributes needed to take artificial intelligence (AI) to the next level. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Why 2016 Is the Most Important Year in HPC in Over Two Decades

August 23, 2016

In 1994, two NASA employees connected 16 commodity workstations together using a standard Ethernet LAN and installed open-source message passing software that allowed their number-crunching scientific application to run on the whole “cluster” of machines as if it were a single entity. Read more…

By Vincent Natoli, Stone Ridge Technology

IBM Advances Against x86 with Power9

August 30, 2016

After offering OpenPower Summit attendees a limited preview in April, IBM is unveiling further details of its next-gen CPU, Power9, which the tech mainstay is counting on to regain market share ceded to rival Intel. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AWS Beats Azure to K80 General Availability

September 30, 2016

Amazon Web Services has seeded its cloud with Nvidia Tesla K80 GPUs to meet the growing demand for accelerated computing across an increasingly-diverse range of workloads. The P2 instance family is a welcome addition for compute- and data-focused users who were growing frustrated with the performance limitations of Amazon's G2 instances, which are backed by three-year-old Nvidia GRID K520 graphics cards. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Think Fast – Is Neuromorphic Computing Set to Leap Forward?

August 15, 2016

Steadily advancing neuromorphic computing technology has created high expectations for this fundamentally different approach to computing. Read more…

By John Russell

The Exascale Computing Project Awards $39.8M to 22 Projects

September 7, 2016

The Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) hit an important milestone today with the announcement of its first round of funding, moving the nation closer to its goal of reaching capable exascale computing by 2023. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Gobbles SGI for Larger Slice of $11B HPC Pie

August 11, 2016

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced today that it will acquire rival HPC server maker SGI for $7.75 per share, or about $275 million, inclusive of cash and debt. The deal ends the seven-year reprieve that kept the SGI banner flying after Rackable Systems purchased the bankrupt Silicon Graphics Inc. for $25 million in 2009 and assumed the SGI brand. Bringing SGI into its fold bolsters HPE's high-performance computing and data analytics capabilities and expands its position... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ARM Unveils Scalable Vector Extension for HPC at Hot Chips

August 22, 2016

ARM and Fujitsu today announced a scalable vector extension (SVE) to the ARMv8-A architecture intended to enhance ARM capabilities in HPC workloads. Fujitsu is the lead silicon partner in the effort (so far) and will use ARM with SVE technology in its post K computer, Japan’s next flagship supercomputer planned for the 2020 timeframe. This is an important incremental step for ARM, which seeks to push more aggressively into mainstream and HPC server markets. Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Debuts Power8 Chip with NVLink and Three New Systems

September 8, 2016

Not long after revealing more details about its next-gen Power9 chip due in 2017, IBM today rolled out three new Power8-based Linux servers and a new version of its Power8 chip featuring Nvidia’s NVLink interconnect. Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

Vectors: How the Old Became New Again in Supercomputing

September 26, 2016

Vector instructions, once a powerful performance innovation of supercomputing in the 1970s and 1980s became an obsolete technology in the 1990s. But like the mythical phoenix bird, vector instructions have arisen from the ashes. Here is the history of a technology that went from new to old then back to new. Read more…

By Lynd Stringer

US, China Vie for Supercomputing Supremacy

November 14, 2016

The 48th edition of the TOP500 list is fresh off the presses and while there is no new number one system, as previously teased by China, there are a number of notable entrants from the US and around the world and significant trends to report on. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Launches Silicon Photonics Chip, Previews Next-Gen Phi for AI

August 18, 2016

At the Intel Developer Forum, held in San Francisco this week, Intel Senior Vice President and General Manager Diane Bryant announced the launch of Intel's Silicon Photonics product line and teased a brand-new Phi product, codenamed "Knights Mill," aimed at machine learning workloads. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CPU Benchmarking: Haswell Versus POWER8

June 2, 2015

With OpenPOWER activity ramping up and IBM’s prominent role in the upcoming DOE machines Summit and Sierra, it’s a good time to look at how the IBM POWER CPU stacks up against the x86 Xeon Haswell CPU from Intel. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Beyond von Neumann, Neuromorphic Computing Steadily Advances

March 21, 2016

Neuromorphic computing – brain inspired computing – has long been a tantalizing goal. The human brain does with around 20 watts what supercomputers do with megawatts. And power consumption isn’t the only difference. Fundamentally, brains ‘think differently’ than the von Neumann architecture-based computers. While neuromorphic computing progress has been intriguing, it has still not proven very practical. Read more…

By John Russell

Dell EMC Engineers Strategy to Democratize HPC

September 29, 2016

The freshly minted Dell EMC division of Dell Technologies is on a mission to take HPC mainstream with a strategy that hinges on engineered solutions, beginning with a focus on three industry verticals: manufacturing, research and life sciences. "Unlike traditional HPC where everybody bought parts, assembled parts and ran the workloads and did iterative engineering, we want folks to focus on time to innovation and let us worry about the infrastructure," said Jim Ganthier, senior vice president, validated solutions organization at Dell EMC Converged Platforms Solution Division. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Container App ‘Singularity’ Eases Scientific Computing

October 20, 2016

HPC container platform Singularity is just six months out from its 1.0 release but already is making inroads across the HPC research landscape. It's in use at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), where Singularity founder Gregory Kurtzer has worked in the High Performance Computing Services (HPCS) group for 16 years. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Micron, Intel Prepare to Launch 3D XPoint Memory

August 16, 2016

Micron Technology used last week’s Flash Memory Summit to roll out its new line of 3D XPoint memory technology jointly developed with Intel while demonstrating the technology in solid-state drives. Micron claimed its Quantx line delivers PCI Express (PCIe) SSD performance with read latencies at less than 10 microseconds and writes at less than 20 microseconds. Read more…

By George Leopold

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