Research Roundup: Toward a More Efficient Cloud

By Tiffany Trader

May 10, 2013

In this week’s hand-picked assortment, researchers explore the path to more energy-efficient cloud datacenters, investigate new frameworks and runtime environments that are compatible with Windows Azure, and design a unified programming model for diverse data-intensive cloud computing paradigms.

Cloud and datacenter are converging terms, and as “the cloud” grows so does the datacenter. The move to centralized pools of computing resources has fast-tracked the creation of mega-sized datacenters with the energy appetites to match. It’s an issue that’s becoming more and more critical – as resources are limited and power requirements grow. The subject area will require significant research and development and computer scientists are stepping up to the plate to identify innovative solutions. One of these researchers is Jing SiYuan from the School of Computer Science at Leshan Normal University in China.

In a new research paper SiYuan observes that the most common way of saving energy is a dynamic on-demand resource provisioning system that shuts off idle servers to save energy. But it’s also important to maximize resource utilization by minimizing the number of servers that are required at a given time. The paper lays out a method to both minimize energy consumption and optimize VM migration. The proposed solution utilizes a network-flow-theory based approximate algorithm.

The findings show that compared to existing approaches, the algorithm can slightly decrease the energy consumption but greatly decrease the number of VM placement change (by almost 75 percent). By limiting VM migrations and starts/stops, resource overhead is reduced and system performance is improved.

Next >> HPC on Azure

HPC on Azure

Georgia State University researcher Dinesh Agarwal is adding to the growing body of information on HPC cloud with his dissertation on the “Scientific High Performance Computing (HPC) Applications On The Azure Cloud Platform.”

The accessibility of cloud computing resources like Amazon Web Services and Windows Azure makes for an attractive option for researchers across a wide range of discipline. Elasticity, pay-per-use and on-demand provisioning are desirable traits, but when it comes to performance, these offerings do not come with any guarantees. There’s also a lack of development tools, which hamper their use for HPC purposes. Insufficient portability is another roadblock.

“Among all clouds,” writes Agarwal, “the emerging Azure cloud from Microsoft in particular remains a challenge for HPC program development both due to lack of its support for traditional parallel programming support such as Message Passing Interface (MPI) and map-reduce and due to its evolving application programming interfaces (APIs).”

In light of this, Agarwal and his team created new frameworks and runtime environments to assist HPC application developers. The idea is to provide developers with tools like the ones from traditional parallel and distributed computing environments, such as MPI, to use for scientific application development on the Azure cloud platform. Agarwal notes that creating an efficient framework for any cloud platform is a challenging problem because the services are offered as a black-boxes accessible only via application programming interfaces (APIs).

The main components of this PhD thesis are: “(i) creating a generic framework for bag-of-tasks HPC applications to serve as the basic building block for application development on the Azure cloud platform, (ii) creating a set of APIs for HPC application development over the Azure cloud platform, which is similar to message passing interface (MPI) from traditional parallel and distributed setting, and (iii) implementing Crayons using the proposed APIs as the first end-to-end parallel scientific application to parallelize the fundamental GIS operations.”

Next >> Unified Programming Model

Data-Focused Unified Programming Model

Faced with the need to process large volumes of data, researchers have several computational paradigms to select from, including batch processing, iterative, interactive, memory-based, data flow oriented, relational, structured, among others. These different techniques are mostly incompatible with each other, but what if there was a unified framework that could support these different approaches? That’s exactly what research duo Maneesh Varshney and Vishwa Goudar from the Computer Science Department of the University of California, Los Angeles, had in mind when they developed Blue.

Figure 1: Blue framework provides a generic programming model for developing diverse cluster computing paradigms (Source)

The researchers lay out their findings in a new technical report, “Blue: A Unified Programming Model for Diverse Data-intensive Cloud Computing Paradigms.”

They write: “The motivation for this paper is to ease the development of new cluster applications, by introducing an intermediate layer (Figure 1) between resource management and applications. This layer [serves as] a generic programming model upon which any arbitrary cluster application can be built. Not only will this significantly diminish the cost of developing applications, the users will be able to easily select the computation paradigm that best meets their needs.”

In developing the Blue framework and programming model, the researchers aimed for a solution that was neither too low-level and difficult to implement, nor too high-level and fixed. The paper includes an outline for implementation strategy, and points out the framework’s key strengths (notably efficiency and fault-tolerance for cluster programs) and limitations (while it targets data-intensive computational problems, it is not the best choice for task parallelism).

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