New Moab HPC Suite Turns Up Knob on Scalability, Ease of Use

By Michael Feldman

March 13, 2012

Adaptive Computing has released Moab HPC Suite 7.0, a major revision that scales the popular workload management suite to be able to handle system with more than 100 thousand nodes. The new release also adds a host of new features aimed at commercial HPC, including a new web services interface, more flexible accounting support, and a new admin dashboard.

The new HPC suite will be the first major Moab release since Robert Clyde took over as CEO of Adaptive Computing back in July 2011. In his previous tenure as CTO at Symantec, the company grew its revenues from under $1 billion to over $5 billion, which suggests what Adaptive’s board of directors had in mind when they brought Clyde aboard.

The HPC workload management business has been good to the company, in large part thanks Adaptive’s popularity at the big national labs and universities. Moab is currently running on 4 of the top 10 supercomputers in the world and 14 of the top 50. But according to Chad Harrington, Adaptive’s VP of Marketing, they see the big growth happening in commercial HPC.

“Our academic and research institutions have always been our bread and butter and they still will be,” says Harrington. “But it’s a fixed size market.”

Clyde agrees and sees the most recent gyrations in the HPC industry favoring the commercial side of the business. According to him, demand is flat or down in the academic sphere of HPC, while the government space is basically treading water. But for commercial HPC systems, they’ve been installing a lot of new software.

Mirroring their counterparts in research and academia, businesses are moving to larger HPC clusters as they ride the ever-improving price-performance curve. And although the price of flops continues to drop, the cost of running these big machines is heading in the opposite direction. So companies are looking to squeeze as many job cycles out of the hardware as possible.

That’s where Adaptive can press its advantage. The company is infused with $20 million worth of new funding and is looking to go after its expanding base of commercial HPC users. “We are in a high-growth mode.” says Clyde. In particular, the company has its sights set on broadening its footprint in manufacturing and oil & gas, where high performance computing is already well established.

“It’s not like we’re trying to figure out how to get Mom-and-Pop shops to do HPC,” Clyde told HPCwire. “That would be a big stretch.”

Turning Moab into a more enterprise-friendly offering drove much of the feature development of version 7.0, and led to a seamless integration between TORQUE (the open source resource manager) and Moab proper (Adaptive’s workload manager). Prior to version 7.0, the two components were on separate release schedules and were treated, more or less, as independent products.

Although TORQUE will still be maintained as an open-source project, bringing the resource manager under the Moab fold for the purpose of productization was just a logical move if they were going to drive deeper into the commercial realm. Whereas academics and national labs can throw grad students at tweaking TORQUE for their own purposes, businesses do not have that luxury. They expect shrink-wrapped software and a high level of usability.

To meet some of those particular needs, 7.0 added a dashboard to simplify the admin tasks like tracking running jobs and node status. For example, an administrator is now able to filter on categories like user name, job run-time, or node utilization to get particular snapshots of the system. Although all of this information was accessible before, a lot of it had to be dug out via command lines or custom-built scripts. In conjunction with the new dashboard, Moab has updated its user portal to simplify job submission and tracking.

The new suite also provides a single universal Web Services interface (in this case, the RESTful APIs) to integrate user portals, plug-ins, and scripts, which replaces the various low-level C, Java, and Perl APIs supported in the past. Now essentially any script or external package can be plugged into Moab, without regard to programming environment.

Accounting management has been spruced up too. System usage can be tracked (and controlled) with arbitrarily complex department hierarchies. This is most important for businesses that need to budget system time down to the penny, but also for research labs and universities that increasingly have to account for HPC resource allocations across their user base.

Moab 7.0 also adds a nifty job cancellation feature, whereby an array of jobs can be terminated once an answer is found. In this scenario, a bunch of jobs are submitted to ferret out a particular result, like a facial recognition match or a drug molecule match on a protein. Whichever job finds the answer first terminates with a special exit code that Moab recognizes as a signal to kill all associated jobs. The idea is to save time and resources that could be spent on other work waiting in the queue.

Despite the focus on commercial HPC, the new suite continues to serve the high end of the market, and in fact now has the capability to scale beyond any current supercomputer deployed today. Thanks to some rearchitecting in the latest TORQUE software (version 4.0), Moab is able to support systems with over 100 thousand nodes. Today, the number one ranked K system, at 10 petaflops, has 80,000 nodes, but 100K-plus-node configurations will almost certainly become commonplace at the top end over the next several years as double-digit, and then triple-digit, petaflop systems start to roll out.

Moab 7.0 can also manage over 10 thousand users and more than a million jobs — something apparently Adaptive’s customers have already been clamoring for. According to Harrington, Moab’s competitors, in many cases, can handle a large number of jobs, a large number of users, or a large number of nodes, but not all three.

Not everyone is going to be able to take advantage of those capabilities, but Clyde expects that even mainstream commercial clusters will eventually scale to the dimensions that Adaptive is targeting. As the demand for HPC continues to pump up system sizes, user numbers and job counts, Adaptive wants Moab to be ready. As Clyde puts it: “We want to skate to where the puck is going.”

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!

Graphcore Readies Launch of 16nm Colossus-IPU Chip

July 20, 2017

A second $30 million funding round for U.K. AI chip developer Graphcore sets up the company to go to market with its “intelligent processing unit” (IPU) in 2017 with scale-up production for enterprise datacenters and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fine-Tuning Severe Hail Forecasting with Machine Learning

July 20, 2017

Depending on whether you’ve been caught outside during a severe hail storm, the sight of greenish tinted clouds on the horizon may cause serious knots in the pit of your stomach, or at least give you pause. There’s g Read more…

By Sean Thielen

Trinity Supercomputer’s Haswell and KNL Partitions Are Merged

July 19, 2017

Trinity supercomputer’s two partitions – one based on Intel Xeon Haswell processors and the other on Xeon Phi Knights Landing – have been fully integrated are now available for use on classified work in the Nationa Read more…

By HPCwire Staff

Fujitsu Continues HPC, AI Push

July 19, 2017

Summer is well under way, but the so-called summertime slowdown, linked with hot temperatures and longer vacations, does not seem to have impacted Fujitsu's output. The Japanese multinational has made a raft of HPC and A Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE Servers Deliver High Performance Remote Visualization

Whether generating seismic simulations, locating new productive oil reservoirs, or constructing complex models of the earth’s subsurface, energy, oil, and gas (EO&G) is a highly data-driven industry. Read more…

Researchers Use DNA to Store and Retrieve Digital Movie

July 18, 2017

From abacus to pencil and paper to semiconductor chips, the technology of computing has always been an ever-changing target. The human brain is probably the computer we use most (hopefully) and understand least. This mon Read more…

By John Russell

The Exascale FY18 Budget – The Next Step

July 17, 2017

On July 12, 2017, the U.S. federal budget for its Exascale Computing Initiative (ECI) took its next step forward. On that day, the full Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives voted to accept the recomme Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Summer Reading: IEEE Spectrum’s Chip Hall of Fame

July 17, 2017

Take a trip down memory lane – the Mostek MK4096 4-kilobit DRAM, for instance. Perhaps processors are more to your liking. Remember the Sh-Boom processor (1988), created by Russell Fish and Chuck Moore, and named after Read more…

By John Russell

Women in HPC Luncheon Shines Light on Female-Friendly Hiring Practices

July 13, 2017

The second annual Women in HPC luncheon was held on June 20, 2017, during the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany. The luncheon provides participants the opportunity to network with industry lea Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphcore Readies Launch of 16nm Colossus-IPU Chip

July 20, 2017

A second $30 million funding round for U.K. AI chip developer Graphcore sets up the company to go to market with its “intelligent processing unit” (IPU) in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fine-Tuning Severe Hail Forecasting with Machine Learning

July 20, 2017

Depending on whether you’ve been caught outside during a severe hail storm, the sight of greenish tinted clouds on the horizon may cause serious knots in the Read more…

By Sean Thielen

Fujitsu Continues HPC, AI Push

July 19, 2017

Summer is well under way, but the so-called summertime slowdown, linked with hot temperatures and longer vacations, does not seem to have impacted Fujitsu's out Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Researchers Use DNA to Store and Retrieve Digital Movie

July 18, 2017

From abacus to pencil and paper to semiconductor chips, the technology of computing has always been an ever-changing target. The human brain is probably the com Read more…

By John Russell

The Exascale FY18 Budget – The Next Step

July 17, 2017

On July 12, 2017, the U.S. federal budget for its Exascale Computing Initiative (ECI) took its next step forward. On that day, the full Appropriations Committee Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Women in HPC Luncheon Shines Light on Female-Friendly Hiring Practices

July 13, 2017

The second annual Women in HPC luncheon was held on June 20, 2017, during the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany. The luncheon provid Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Satellite Advances, NSF Computation Power Rapid Mapping of Earth’s Surface

July 13, 2017

New satellite technologies have completely changed the game in mapping and geographical data gathering, reducing costs and placing a new emphasis on time series Read more…

By Ken Chiacchia and Tiffany Jolley

Intel Skylake: Xeon Goes from Chip to Platform

July 13, 2017

With yesterday’s New York unveiling of the new “Skylake” Xeon Scalable processors, Intel made multiple runs at multiple competitive threats and strategic Read more…

By Doug Black

Google Pulls Back the Covers on Its First Machine Learning Chip

April 6, 2017

This week Google released a report detailing the design and performance characteristics of the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), its custom ASIC for the inference Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Just how close real-wo Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the cam Read more…

By John Russell

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

In this contributed perspective piece, Intel’s Jim Jeffers makes the case that CPU-based visualization is now widely adopted and as such is no longer a contrarian view, but is rather an exascale requirement. Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

Nvidia’s Mammoth Volta GPU Aims High for AI, HPC

May 10, 2017

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC17) in San Jose, Calif., this morning, CEO Jensen Huang announced the company's much-anticipated Volta architecture a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Facebook Open Sources Caffe2; Nvidia, Intel Rush to Optimize

April 18, 2017

From its F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., today, Facebook announced Caffe2, a new open-source, cross-platform framework for deep learning. Caffe2 is the successor to Caffe, the deep learning framework developed by Berkeley AI Research and community contributors. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Reinders: “AVX-512 May Be a Hidden Gem” in Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

June 29, 2017

Imagine if we could use vector processing on something other than just floating point problems.  Today, GPUs and CPUs work tirelessly to accelerate algorithms Read more…

By James Reinders

MIT Mathematician Spins Up 220,000-Core Google Compute Cluster

April 21, 2017

On Thursday, Google announced that MIT math professor and computational number theorist Andrew V. Sutherland had set a record for the largest Google Compute Engine (GCE) job. Sutherland ran the massive mathematics workload on 220,000 GCE cores using preemptible virtual machine instances. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Debuts TPU v2 and will Add to Google Cloud

May 25, 2017

Not long after stirring attention in the deep learning/AI community by revealing the details of its Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), Google last week announced the Read more…

By John Russell

Russian Researchers Claim First Quantum-Safe Blockchain

May 25, 2017

The Russian Quantum Center today announced it has overcome the threat of quantum cryptography by creating the first quantum-safe blockchain, securing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, along with classified government communications and other sensitive digital transfers. Read more…

By Doug Black

Groq This: New AI Chips to Give GPUs a Run for Deep Learning Money

April 24, 2017

CPUs and GPUs, move over. Thanks to recent revelations surrounding Google’s new Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), the computing world appears to be on the cusp of Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Six Exascale PathForward Vendors Selected; DoE Providing $258M

June 15, 2017

The much-anticipated PathForward awards for hardware R&D in support of the Exascale Computing Project were announced today with six vendors selected – AMD Read more…

By John Russell

Top500 Results: Latest List Trends and What’s in Store

June 19, 2017

Greetings from Frankfurt and the 2017 International Supercomputing Conference where the latest Top500 list has just been revealed. Although there were no major Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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