Grid Software Creates Virtual Windows Supercomputer

By Tiffany Trader

November 20, 2012

What if you could combine the benefits of virtualization, grid and cloud computing to accelerate Windows-based applications? An Israeli company, Xoreax, is doing just that. We spoke with Xoreax at SC12 in Salt Lake City, Utah, last week to learn more about their offering.

Xoreax got its start back in 2002 and for the last 10 years, they’ve been accelerating software in the Windows environment, using distributed, aka grid, computing technology. Their IncrediBuild-XGE (Xoreax Grid Engine) software uses a unique technology called process level virtualization to create a virtual HPC machine. The software harnesses unutilized CPUs to create a private grid. It runs on a company’s existing Windows infrastructure and extends into the public cloud if more resources are required.

Typical server and CPU utilization rates are notoriously low; IncrediBuild finds all that spare compute capability and exposes it.

“It’s like having virtual HPC – every workstation in this network can scale out to tap into the amount of resources that is in the entire network,” says CTO Dori Exterman.

“We have an agent in every machine and create a private grid out of all these machines and can also scale out to the cloud. The solution is currently Windows-only, and there aren’t many Windows solutions for this kind of cycle scavenging.”

Unlike other grid and virtualization solutions, IncrediBuild works out of the box. Traditional grid solutions require the user to change the source code and target an API. This extra work makes sense for very demanding applications like real-time financial trading, but Xoreax is targeting more general-purpose workloads that are also process-intensive.

The solution combines grid and virtualization, but instead of virtualizing entire machines like VMware does, the technology virtualizes a single process.

“We can take a process and virtualize it on the network. When the process needs some files from the local machine, the software acts like a middleman between the process and the operating system and we can take all that environment that the process requires on demand from the initial machine, cache it on the remote machine and give the process everything it needs in order to work on the remote machine,” explains Exterman.

“The process does not care where it’s running because we will create all the environment for it. You don’t need to install any software on the remote machines,” he adds.

Traditional HPC usually requires costly investments of time and resources in hardware, training and expertise, whereas process virtualization leverages the customers own resources. Potential customers are interested in ease of implementation and integration and they don’t want to be vendor-bound, the CTO notes, adding that integration takes less than an hour and requires only a small 2-line xml file.

Next >>

Perhaps owing to Xoreax’s niche as a code-build accelerator, the company is not that widely known despite healthy deployment numbers. Over 100,000 users from some 50 countries rely on XGE-based products, and customers include big-name corporations like Cisco, NVIDIA, Google, Microsoft, eBay and IBM.

Under the OEM model, a software vendor integrates with IncrediBuild-XGE and then provides the product to their end users. One such example is the large diamond grading outfit Sarin, which uses the software to accelerate diamond analysis for tens of thousands of customers. Instead of running all the simulations on a single dedicated server they can scale out across all their in-house resources and into the cloud. With the XGE client, Sarin has achieve a 20x speedup in system performance. The time required for complex analyses has shrunk from 40-60 hours down to 2-4 hours, while simpler 1-2 hour analyses now complete in 10-15 minutes.

As with most grid or cloud solutions, IncrediBuild is intended for applications that are compute-intensive as opposed to I/O-intensive. It’s well-suited for computational tasks that take a lot of time, such as batch processing or near real-time. Gaming, financial services and manufacturing are some key verticals.

While early use cases revolved around computation acceleration, the software development space has evolved into their main customer base. IncrediBuild reduces the time of many development environment tasks, including code analysis, unit testing, QA script, stress tests and code verification. The company states it is the most popular off-the-shelf accelerator for Visual Studio code builds.

Another interesting IncrediBuild-XGE use case is the follow-the-moon scenario, where two manufacturing centers located in opposite hemispheres distribute their resources to balance workloads.

On the OEM side, IncrediBuild-XGE has added support for GPUs. This capability offers a lot of potential to engineers working with graphics-intensive workloads, like rendering or CFD. Running an application on a remote server with a dedicated discrete GPU can take minutes instead of hours versus running on a local workstation with an on-board GPU.

IncrediBuild-XGE is compatible with virtually any IaaS offering. Because the engine works with VMware, it runs everywhere you can mount a machine and have VMware run it as part of your subnet. During times of high demand, users can add virtually unlimited resources to their IncrediBuild grid.

On the subject of competition, both the CEO Eyal Maor and the CTO respond that the process virtualization technology is unique and that there aren’t really any comparable offerings. When I inquire about Windows-based grid vendor Digipede specifically, they acknowledge the similarities, but state that they “don’t run into them.”

As for their future roadmap, Xoreax doesn’t want to reveal too much, but the company hints at several announcements that are coming down the pike that could significantly expand their user ecosystem, including plans around Linux and tablets.

Xoreax offers separate pricing terms for its OEM and off-the-shelf products. The cost of the OEM version is negotiated on a per-customer basis, while the off-the-shelf pricing is per agent and based on the total number of cores that the agent is using. The company also offers different product packages, depending on the type of acceleration desired. Interested users can download a trial license, which gives them a chance to kick the tires and decide if the solution is right for them.

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!

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 “pre-exascale” award), parsed out additional information ab Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tsinghua Crowned Eight-Time Student Cluster Champions at ISC

June 22, 2017

Always a hard-fought competition, the Student Cluster Competition awards were announced Wednesday, June 21, at the ISC High Performance Conference 2017. Amid whoops and hollers from the crowd, Thomas Sterling presented t Read more…

By Kim McMahon

GPUs, Power9, Figure Prominently in IBM’s Bet on Weather Forecasting

June 22, 2017

IBM jumped into the weather forecasting business roughly a year and a half ago by purchasing The Weather Company. This week at ISC 2017, Big Blue rolled out plans to push deeper into climate science and develop more gran Read more…

By John Russell

Intersect 360 at ISC: HPC Industry at $44B by 2021

June 22, 2017

The care, feeding and sustained growth of the HPC industry increasingly is in the hands of the commercial market sector – in particular, it’s the hyperscale companies and their embrace of AI and deep learning – tha Read more…

By Doug Black

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Creating a Roadmap for HPC Innovation at ISC 2017

In an era where technological advancements are driving innovation to every sector, and powering major economic and scientific breakthroughs, high performance computing (HPC) is crucial to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow. Read more…

At ISC – Goh on Go: Humans Can’t Scale, the Data-Centric Learning Machine Can

June 22, 2017

I've seen the future this week at ISC, it’s on display in prototype or Powerpoint form, and it’s going to dumbfound you. The future is an AI neural network designed to emulate and compete with the human brain. In thi Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray Brings AI and HPC Together on Flagship Supers

June 20, 2017

Cray took one more step toward the convergence of big data and high performance computing (HPC) today when it announced that it’s adding a full suite of big data and artificial intelligence software to its top-of-the-l Read more…

By Alex Woodie

AMD Charges Back into the Datacenter and HPC Workflows with EPYC Processor

June 20, 2017

AMD is charging back into the enterprise datacenter and select HPC workflows with its new EPYC 7000 processor line, code-named Naples, announced today at a “global” launch event in Austin TX. In many ways it was a fu Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion: Deep Learning, AI Helping Drive Healthy HPC Industry Growth

June 20, 2017

To be at the ISC conference in Frankfurt this week is to experience deep immersion in deep learning. Users want to learn about it, vendors want to talk about it, analysts and journalists want to report on it. Deep learni Read more…

By Doug Black

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

Tsinghua Crowned Eight-Time Student Cluster Champions at ISC

June 22, 2017

Always a hard-fought competition, the Student Cluster Competition awards were announced Wednesday, June 21, at the ISC High Performance Conference 2017. Amid wh Read more…

By Kim McMahon

GPUs, Power9, Figure Prominently in IBM’s Bet on Weather Forecasting

June 22, 2017

IBM jumped into the weather forecasting business roughly a year and a half ago by purchasing The Weather Company. This week at ISC 2017, Big Blue rolled out pla Read more…

By John Russell

Intersect 360 at ISC: HPC Industry at $44B by 2021

June 22, 2017

The care, feeding and sustained growth of the HPC industry increasingly is in the hands of the commercial market sector – in particular, it’s the hyperscale Read more…

By Doug Black

At ISC – Goh on Go: Humans Can’t Scale, the Data-Centric Learning Machine Can

June 22, 2017

I've seen the future this week at ISC, it’s on display in prototype or Powerpoint form, and it’s going to dumbfound you. The future is an AI neural network Read more…

By Doug Black

Cray Brings AI and HPC Together on Flagship Supers

June 20, 2017

Cray took one more step toward the convergence of big data and high performance computing (HPC) today when it announced that it’s adding a full suite of big d Read more…

By Alex Woodie

AMD Charges Back into the Datacenter and HPC Workflows with EPYC Processor

June 20, 2017

AMD is charging back into the enterprise datacenter and select HPC workflows with its new EPYC 7000 processor line, code-named Naples, announced today at a “g Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion: Deep Learning, AI Helping Drive Healthy HPC Industry Growth

June 20, 2017

To be at the ISC conference in Frankfurt this week is to experience deep immersion in deep learning. Users want to learn about it, vendors want to talk about it Read more…

By Doug Black

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

US Supercomputing Leaders Tackle the China Question

March 15, 2017

Joint DOE-NSA report responds to the increased global pressures impacting the competitiveness of U.S. supercomputing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

DOE Supercomputer Achieves Record 45-Qubit Quantum Simulation

April 13, 2017

In order to simulate larger and larger quantum systems and usher in an age of “quantum supremacy,” researchers are stretching the limits of today’s most advanced supercomputers. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Messina Update: The US Path to Exascale in 16 Slides

April 26, 2017

Paul Messina, director of the U.S. Exascale Computing Project, provided a wide-ranging review of ECP’s evolving plans last week at the HPC User Forum. Read more…

By John Russell

Knights Landing Processor with Omni-Path Makes Cloud Debut

April 18, 2017

HPC cloud specialist Rescale is partnering with Intel and HPC resource provider R Systems to offer first-ever cloud access to Xeon Phi "Knights Landing" processors. The infrastructure is based on the 68-core Intel Knights Landing processor with integrated Omni-Path fabric (the 7250F Xeon Phi). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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