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!

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

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

Weekly Twitter Roundup (Dec. 1, 2016)

December 1, 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

HPC Career Notes (Dec. 2016)

December 1, 2016

In this monthly feature, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high performance computing community. Read more…

By Thomas Ayres

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

IBM and NSF Computing Pioneer Erich Bloch Dies at 91

November 30, 2016

Erich Bloch, a computational pioneer whose competitive zeal and commercial bent helped transform the National Science Foundation while he was its director, died last Friday at age 91. Bloch was a productive force to be reckoned. During his long stint at IBM prior to joining NSF Bloch spearheaded development of the “Stretch” supercomputer and IBM’s phenomenally successful System/360. 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

SC Says Farewell to Salt Lake City, See You in Denver

November 18, 2016

After an intense four-day flurry of activity (and a cold snap that brought some actual snow flurries), the SC16 show floor closed yesterday (Thursday) and the always-extensive technical program wound down today. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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