Research Roundup: Expanding the Science Cloud

By Nicole Hemsoth

July 7, 2013

This week’s hand-picked assortment focuses on advancements made to improve the performance of scientific applications in the cloud, touching on issues such as fault tolerance, workflow management, and 2D and 3D cellular simulation. 

Cloud Service Fault Tolerance

Cloud computing presents a unique opportunity for science and engineering with benefits compared to traditional high-performance computing, especially for smaller compute jobs and entry-level users to parallel computing. However, according to researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne, doubts remain for production high-performance computing in the cloud, the so-called science cloud, as predictable performance, reliability and therefore costs remain elusive for many applications.

Their paper used parameterized architectural patterns to assist with fault tolerance and cost predictions for science clouds, in which a single job typically holds many virtual machines for a long time, communication can involve massive data movements, and buffered streams allow parallel processing to proceed while data transfers are still incomplete.

They utilized predictive models, simulation and actual runs to estimate run times with acceptable accuracy for two of the most common architectural patterns for data-intensive scientific computing: MapReduce and Combinational Logic. Run times were fundamental to understand fee-for-service costs of clouds.

These are typically charged by the hour and the number of compute nodes or cores used. The researchers evaluated their models using realistic cloud experiments from collaborative physics research projects and showed that proactive and reactive fault tolerance is manageable, predictable and composable, in principle, especially at the architectural level.

Next–Cloud Computing and Cellular Automata Simulation->

Cloud Computing and Cellular Automata Simulation

Cellular automata can be applied to solve several problems in a variety of areas, such as biology, chemistry, medicine, physics, astronomy, economics, and urban planning.

The automata are defined by simple rules that give rise to behavior of great complexity running on very large matrices. 2D applications may require more than 106 × 106 matrix cells, which are usually beyond the computational capacity of local clusters of computers.

A paper from Brazilian researchers out of Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and the Federal University of Espirito Santo presented a solution for traditional cellular automata simulations. They proposed a scalable software framework, based on cloud computing technology, which is capable of dealing with very large matrices.

The use of the framework facilitated the instrumentation of simulation experiments by non-computer experts, as it removed the burden related to the configuration of MapReduce jobs, so that researchers need only be concerned with their simulation algorithms.

Next–Managing Computational Workflows in the Cloud->

Managing Computational Workflows in the Cloud

Scientists today are exploring the use of new tools and computing platforms to do their science. They are using workflow management tools to describe and manage complex applications and are evaluating the features and performance of clouds to see if they meet their computational needs, argue researchers out of the USC Information Sciences Institute.

Although today, hosting is limited to providing virtual resources and simple services, one can imagine that in the future entire scientific analyses will be hosted for the user. The latter would specify the desired analysis, the timeframe of the computation, and the available budget.

Hosted services would then deliver the desired results within the provided constraints. Their paper described current work on managing scientific applications on the cloud, focusing on workflow management and related data management issues.

Frequently, applications are not represented by single workflows but rather as sets of related workflow ensembles. Thus, hosted services need to be able to manage entire workflow ensembles, evaluating tradeoffs between completing as many high-value ensemble members as possible and delivering results within a certain time and budget.

Their paper gives an overview of existing hosted science issues, presents the current state of the art on resource provisioning that can support it, as well as outlines future research directions in this field.

Next–Optimizing Data Analysis in the Cloud->

Optimizing Data Analysis in the Cloud

A research team out of Duke University presented Cumulon, a system designed to help users rapidly develop and intelligently deploy matrix-based big-data analysis programs in the cloud.

Cumulon, according to the research, features a flexible execution model and new operators especially suited for such workloads. In the paper, they show how to implement Cumulon on top of Hadoop/HDFS while avoiding limitations of MapReduce, and demonstrate Cumulon’s performance advantages over existing Hadoop-based systems for statistical data analysis.

To support intelligent deployment in the cloud according to time/budget constraints, Cumulon goes beyond database style optimization to make choices automatically on not only physical operators and their parameters, but also hardware provisioning and configuration settings, according to the Duke researchers.

 They applied a suite of benchmarking, simulation, modeling, and search techniques to support effective cost-based optimization over this rich space of deployment plans.

Next–Business Integration as a Service: The Case Study of the University of Southampton->

Business Integration as a Service: The Case Study of the University of Southampton

Finally, a paper out of the University of Southampton presented Business Integration as a Service (BIaaS) to allow two services to work together in the Cloud to achieve a streamline process. They illustrated this integration using two services; Return on Investment (ROI) Measurement as a Service (RMaaS) and Risk Analysis as a Service (RAaaS) in the case study at the University of Southampton.

The case study demonstrated the cost-savings and the risk analysis achieved, so two services can work as a single service. Advanced techniques were used to demonstrate statistical services and 3D Visualisation services under the remit of RMaaS and Monte Carlo Simulation as a Service behind the design of RAaaS.

Computational results were presented with their implications discussed. Different types of risks associated with Cloud adoption can be calculated easily, rapidly and accurately with the use of BIaaS. This case study confirmed the benefits of BIaaS adoption, including cost reduction and improvements in efficiency and risk analysis. Implementation of BIaaS in other organisations is also discussed.

Important data arising from the integration of RMaaS and RAaaS are useful for management and stakeholders of University of Southampton.

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!

Fluid HPC: How Extreme-Scale Computing Should Respond to Meltdown and Spectre

February 15, 2018

The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities are proving difficult to fix, and initial experiments suggest security patches will cause significant performance penalties to HPC applications. Even as these patches are rolled o Read more…

By Pete Beckman

Intel Touts Silicon Spin Qubits for Quantum Computing

February 14, 2018

Debate around what makes a good qubit and how best to manufacture them is a sprawling topic. There are many insistent voices favoring one or another approach. Referencing a paper published today in Nature, Intel has offe Read more…

By John Russell

Brookhaven Ramps Up Computing for National Security Effort

February 14, 2018

Last week, Dan Coats, the director of Director of National Intelligence for the U.S., warned the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia was likely to meddle in the 2018 mid-term U.S. elections, much as it stands accused of doing in the 2016 Presidential election. Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Safeguard Your HPC Environment with the World’s Most Secure Industry Standard Servers

Today’s organizations operate in an environment with ever-evolving threats, and in order to protect themselves they must continuously bolster their security strategy. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Intel® are addressing modern security challenges with the world’s most secure industry standard servers powered by the latest generation of Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors. Read more…

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 to make it easier, faster and cheaper to train and run machi Read more…

By Doug Black

Fluid HPC: How Extreme-Scale Computing Should Respond to Meltdown and Spectre

February 15, 2018

The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities are proving difficult to fix, and initial experiments suggest security patches will cause significant performance penal Read more…

By Pete Beckman

Brookhaven Ramps Up Computing for National Security Effort

February 14, 2018

Last week, Dan Coats, the director of Director of National Intelligence for the U.S., warned the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia was likely to meddle in the 2018 mid-term U.S. elections, much as it stands accused of doing in the 2016 Presidential election. Read more…

By John Russell

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

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

The Food Industry’s Next Journey — from Mars to Exascale

February 12, 2018

Global food producer and one of the world's leading chocolate companies Mars Inc. has a unique perspective on the impact that exascale computing will have on the food industry. Read more…

By Scott Gibson, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Singularity HPC Container Start-Up – Sylabs – Emerges from Stealth

February 8, 2018

The driving force behind Singularity, the popular HPC container technology, is bringing the open source platform to the enterprise with the launch of a new vent Read more…

By George Leopold

Dell EMC Debuts PowerEdge Servers with AMD EPYC Chips

February 6, 2018

AMD notched another EPYC processor win today with Dell EMC’s introduction of three PowerEdge servers (R6415, R7415, and R7425) based on the EPYC 7000-series p Read more…

By John Russell

‘Next Generation’ Universe Simulation Is Most Advanced Yet

February 5, 2018

The research group that gave us the most detailed time-lapse simulation of the universe’s evolution in 2014, spanning 13.8 billion years of cosmic evolution, is back in the spotlight with an even more advanced cosmological model that is providing new insights into how black holes influence the distribution of dark matter, how heavy elements are produced and distributed, and where magnetic fields originate. 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

Japan Unveils Quantum Neural Network

November 22, 2017

The U.S. and China are leading the race toward productive quantum computing, but it's early enough that ultimate leadership is still something of an open questi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Showcases Growing Portfolio of EPYC and Radeon-based Systems at SC17

November 13, 2017

AMD’s charge back into HPC and the datacenter is on full display at SC17. Having launched the EPYC processor line in June along with its MI25 GPU the focus he Read more…

By John Russell

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

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

IBM Begins Power9 Rollout with Backing from DOE, Google

December 6, 2017

After over a year of buildup, IBM is unveiling its first Power9 system based on the same architecture as the Department of Energy CORAL supercomputers, Summit a 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

Leading Solution Providers

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

Perspective: What Really Happened at SC17?

November 22, 2017

SC is over. Now comes the myriad of follow-ups. Inboxes are filled with templated emails from vendors and other exhibitors hoping to win a place in the post-SC thinking of booth visitors. Attendees of tutorials, workshops and other technical sessions will be inundated with requests for feedback. Read more…

By Andrew Jones

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

GlobalFoundries, Ayar Labs Team Up to Commercialize Optical I/O

December 4, 2017

GlobalFoundries (GF) and Ayar Labs, a startup focused on using light, instead of electricity, to transfer data between chips, today announced they've entered in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tensors Come of Age: Why the AI Revolution Will Help HPC

November 13, 2017

Thirty years ago, parallel computing was coming of age. A bitter battle began between stalwart vector computing supporters and advocates of various approaches to parallel computing. IBM skeptic Alan Karp, reacting to announcements of nCUBE’s 1024-microprocessor system and Thinking Machines’ 65,536-element array, made a public $100 wager that no one could get a parallel speedup of over 200 on real HPC workloads. Read more…

By John Gustafson & Lenore Mullin

Flipping the Flops and Reading the Top500 Tea Leaves

November 13, 2017

The 50th edition of the Top500 list, the biannual publication of the world’s fastest supercomputers based on public Linpack benchmarking results, was released Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

V100 Good but not Great on Select Deep Learning Aps, Says Xcelerit

November 27, 2017

Wringing optimum performance from hardware to accelerate deep learning applications is a challenge that often depends on the specific application in use. A benc Read more…

By John Russell

2017 Gordon Bell Prize Finalists Named

October 23, 2017

The three finalists for this year’s Gordon Bell Prize in High Performance Computing have been announced. They include two papers on projects run on China’s Read more…

By John Russell

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