The Power of the HPC Cluster Software Stack

By Nicole Hemsoth

March 26, 2012

The recent growth of the HPC market, powered almost exclusively by the adoption of Linux clusters, has been dramatic. But the expanding complexity of technical clusters that is the dominant species of many HPC systems can have a diminishing effect if it is not effectively addressed. A major cause of cluster complexity is proliferating hardware parallelism with systems  averaging thousands of processors, each of them a multi-core chip whose core count can double every other year. Add to this trend the additional issues of third-party software costs, the difficulty of scaling many applications and cluster management complexity quickly begins to augment.

Market research firms emphasize the importance of alleviating cluster complexity through a coordinated strategy of investment and innovation to produce an HPC integrated system. They stress that software advances will be more important for HPC leadership than hardware to advance to Exascale-class systems.  This provides the urgency to highlight the need to build, plan and design supercomputer cluster architectures by choosing the right external partnerships, cluster software and management tools. In addition, complete system integration should include professional services and support team expertise to provide easier and faster results for datacenter administrators and end-users.

Appro Supercomputers 

For 2012, IDC forecasts server revenue will reach a record level of $10.6 billion, en route to $13.4 billion in 2015 (7.2% CAGR).

Appro, www.appro.com for over 20 years has led innovation of common and open platform integration which provided exceptional supercomputing solutions while enabling researchers and scientists across the globe to fuel discovery through the use of HPC. Appro is well positioned to address the HPC cluster market growth and has amassed the in-house domain expertise needed to act as a trusted advisor to HPC users.

The Appro Xtreme-X™ Supercomputer is tightly integrated with the Appro HPC Software Stack providing cluster management, compilers, tools, schedulers, and libraries. 

The Appro Cluster Engine™ (ACE) management software offers server, cluster, storage and network management features combined with job scheduling, failover, load balancing and revision control capabilities with multiple Linux OS support. ACE includes a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that is intuitive and easy-to-use, connecting directly to the ACE Daemon on the management server and can be executed from multiple operating systems.

As an overview, the following is a list of the essential HPC software and management tools required for cluster architecture:

The HPC Software Stack
1) Operating System
2) Cluster Management System
3) HPC programming tools

Appro HPC Software Stack

The Operating System is the first level of the software stack. Most HPC systems use a variant of the commodity Linux operating system.  The popular versions of Linux are Red Hat, CentOS, and SuSE.  Since they are all derived from a common root, the main differences in these versions are the installation programs and the support provided by these companies.  The most important factor that will drive your choice of operating system is the applications that you need to run on your cluster. Check with your application provider (or your application developer, if you are using a custom application) for supported operating systems and requirements for additional drivers.

The Cluster Management System is the second level of the software stack. ACE provides the management for the operation and maintenance of an Appro supercomputing cluster.  ACE is an essential level of the Appro Software Stack. It is designed from the ground up for cluster scalability and performance, and for high-performance capacity and supercomputing capability based on open standards hardware.  ACE manages a set of independent physical computers and networking connections that are interconnected by high-speed networks, allowing the individual computers to function as a single and integrated computing system. It also manages the redundant hardware and software components required to provide the fault-tolerance needed to meet enterprise level availability requirements. This total management capability is critical to the reliable operation and availability of a high-performance enterprise class capability supercomputer.

 Appro Applications

 

The HPC programming tools are the third level of the software stack. They support the generation, execution, and debugging of applications that run on the cluster.  The HPC programming tools consist of the compilers, libraries, and special software used to develop and test application software.  Included are library codes that perform common processes that are common to many applications.  These common processes such as math functions are optimized to make the most efficient use of a particular processor’s capability.  These libraries simplify user programs since they can be included where required and with little programming effort.  The HPC stack may also include programs that can be used to debug programs and test system performance.  These tools are all critical to the efficient use of an HPC cluster.

Appro products and solutions combine hardware, software, professional services and partnerships to offer a complete end-to-end supercomputing performance to various industries. Appro has a remarkable record of delivering scalable production deployments and is ranked in the Top500 list as the world’s fastest supercomputers based on open-standards cluster architecture using x86 processing technologies. Appro is leading the way in enabling technical applications and business results through outstanding power-efficient Petascale systems with fast time-to-market solutions based on the latest open standards technologies coupled with innovative HPC software cluster tools wrapped with HPC professional services and support.

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!

RSC Reports 500Tflops, Hot Water Cooled System Deployed at JINR

April 18, 2018

RSC, developer of supercomputers and advanced HPC systems based in Russia, today reported deployment of “the world's first 100% ‘hot water’ liquid cooled supercomputer” at Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JI Read more…

By Staff

New Device Spots Quantum Particle ‘Fingerprint’

April 18, 2018

Majorana particles have been observed by university researchers employing a device consisting of layers of magnetic insulators on a superconducting material. The advance opens the door to controlling the elusive particle Read more…

By George Leopold

Cray Rolls Out AMD-Based CS500; More to Follow?

April 18, 2018

Cray was the latest OEM to bring AMD back into the fold with introduction today of a CS500 option based on AMD’s Epyc processor line. The move follows Cray’s introduction of an ARM-based system (XC-50) last November. Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPC and AI Convergence is Accelerating New Levels of Intelligence

Data analytics is the most valuable tool in the digital marketplace – so much so that organizations are employing high performance computing (HPC) capabilities to rapidly collect, share, and analyze endless streams of data. Read more…

Hennessy & Patterson: A New Golden Age for Computer Architecture

April 17, 2018

On Monday June 4, 2018, 2017 A.M. Turing Award Winners John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson will deliver the Turing Lecture at the 45th International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) in Los Angeles. The Read more…

By Staff

Cray Rolls Out AMD-Based CS500; More to Follow?

April 18, 2018

Cray was the latest OEM to bring AMD back into the fold with introduction today of a CS500 option based on AMD’s Epyc processor line. The move follows Cray’ Read more…

By John Russell

IBM: Software Ecosystem for OpenPOWER is Ready for Prime Time

April 16, 2018

With key pieces of the IBM/OpenPOWER versus Intel/x86 gambit settling into place – e.g., the arrival of Power9 chips and Power9-based systems, hyperscaler sup Read more…

By John Russell

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cloud-Readiness and Looking Beyond Application Scaling

April 11, 2018

There are two aspects to consider when determining if an application is suitable for running in the cloud. The first, which we will discuss here under the title Read more…

By Chris Downing

Transitioning from Big Data to Discovery: Data Management as a Keystone Analytics Strategy

April 9, 2018

The past 10-15 years has seen a stark rise in the density, size, and diversity of scientific data being generated in every scientific discipline in the world. Key among the sciences has been the explosion of laboratory technologies that generate large amounts of data in life-sciences and healthcare research. Large amounts of data are now being stored in very large storage name spaces, with little to no organization and a general unease about how to approach analyzing it. Read more…

By Ari Berman, BioTeam, Inc.

IBM Expands Quantum Computing Network

April 5, 2018

IBM is positioning itself as a first mover in establishing the era of commercial quantum computing. The company believes in order for quantum to work, taming qu Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

FY18 Budget & CORAL-2 – Exascale USA Continues to Move Ahead

April 2, 2018

It was not pretty. However, despite some twists and turns, the federal government’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget is complete and ended with some very positi Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Nvidia Ups Hardware Game with 16-GPU DGX-2 Server and 18-Port NVSwitch

March 27, 2018

Nvidia unveiled a raft of new products from its annual technology conference in San Jose today, and despite not offering up a new chip architecture, there were still a few surprises in store for HPC hardware aficionados. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem

January 17, 2018

"The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved," proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fast Forward: Five HPC Predictions for 2018

December 21, 2017

What’s on your list of high (and low) lights for 2017? Volta 100’s arrival on the heels of the P100? Appearance, albeit late in the year, of IBM’s Power9? Read more…

By John Russell

Russian Nuclear Engineers Caught Cryptomining on Lab Supercomputer

February 12, 2018

Nuclear scientists working at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) have been arrested for using lab supercomputing resources to mine crypto-currency, according to a report in Russia’s Interfax News Agency. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How the Cloud Is Falling Short for HPC

March 15, 2018

The last couple of years have seen cloud computing gradually build some legitimacy within the HPC world, but still the HPC industry lies far behind enterprise I Read more…

By Chris Downing

Chip Flaws ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Loom Large

January 4, 2018

The HPC and wider tech community have been abuzz this week over the discovery of critical design flaws that impact virtually all contemporary microprocessors. T Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How Meltdown and Spectre Patches Will Affect HPC Workloads

January 10, 2018

There have been claims that the fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, named the KPTI (aka KAISER) patches, are going to affect applicatio Read more…

By Rosemary Francis

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

Leading Solution Providers

Deep Learning at 15 PFlops Enables Training for Extreme Weather Identification at Scale

March 19, 2018

Petaflop per second deep learning training performance on the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) Cori supercomputer has given climate Read more…

By Rob Farber

Lenovo Unveils Warm Water Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 in Rampup to LRZ Install

February 22, 2018

This week Lenovo took the wraps off the ThinkSystem SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with par Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Cloud Competition Heats Up: Google’s TPUs, Amazon Building AI Chip

February 12, 2018

Competition in the white hot AI (and public cloud) market pits Google against Amazon this week, with Google offering AI hardware on its cloud platform intended Read more…

By Doug Black

HPC and AI – Two Communities Same Future

January 25, 2018

According to Al Gara (Intel Fellow, Data Center Group), high performance computing and artificial intelligence will increasingly intertwine as we transition to Read more…

By Rob Farber

New Blueprint for Converging HPC, Big Data

January 18, 2018

After five annual workshops on Big Data and Extreme-Scale Computing (BDEC), a group of international HPC heavyweights including Jack Dongarra (University of Te Read more…

By John Russell

Google Chases Quantum Supremacy with 72-Qubit Processor

March 7, 2018

Google pulled ahead of the pack this week in the race toward "quantum supremacy," with the introduction of a new 72-qubit quantum processor called Bristlecone. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Momentum Builds for US Exascale

January 9, 2018

2018 looks to be a great year for the U.S. exascale program. The last several months of 2017 revealed a number of important developments that help put the U.S. Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

HPE Wins $57 Million DoD Supercomputing Contract

February 20, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today revealed details of its massive $57 million HPC contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The deal calls for HP Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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