Cycle Helps HGST Stand Up 70,000 Core AWS Cloud

By Tiffany Trader

November 11, 2014

Cycle Computing CEO Jason Stowe revealed today what is being called the largest Fortune 500 cloud cluster run, performed by HGST, a Western Digital company.

HGST’s engineering team was working to identify an optimal advanced drive head design. Essentially, the job involves 1 million simulations for designs based upon 22 different design parameters running on 3 drive media. Running these simulations using an in-house, specially built simulator, the workload takes about 30 days to complete. But using the AWS cloud, it took just 8 hours.

Writes Stowe: “To solve this problem, our CycleCloud software created a compute environment out of AWS Spot Instances. Over 50,000 Intel IvyBridge cores of Spot instances were available in the first 23 minutes, across three regions (US-EAST, US-WEST1, US-WEST2). At peak the cluster had 70,908 IvyBridge cores, with an rPeak performance of 729 TeraFLOPS, greater than the rPeak on #63 of the Top 500 Supercomputer list. We named this cluster “Gojira” in honor of its scale and power.”

Total infrastructure price tag: $5,594

While most of Cycle’s users only need to deploy between 64 to 6,400 cores, this use case of more than 70,000 cores demonstrates Cycle’s commitment to facilitating scale. Stowe says the company will be “helping more Fortune 500s, start-ups, and public research folks run important workloads at scale.”

Cycle Computing R500 run Gojira

At AWS re:Invent, this Friday at 10:30 a.m., David Hinz, Global Director, Cloud Computing Engineering at HGST, will reveal more details about the use case as he discusses workloads that enable innovations in drive head design. Stowe and his team will also be at SC14 next week (booth #1529).

For in-depth coverage of this HPC cloud success story, check out EnterpriseTech Editor Timothy Prickett Morgan’s feature article here.

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