Knights Landing Processor with Omni-Path Makes Cloud Debut

By Tiffany Trader

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).

“It is a three-way joint initiative,” Tyler Smith, head of partnerships at Rescale told HPCwire. R Systems is hosting and managing the Intel technology at its HPC datacenters in Champaign, Illinois, with access to the cluster available through Rescale’s “big compute” ScaleX Pro platform.

R Systems Principal Brian Kucic said his company is committed to offering advanced, bare metal technologies to the HPC research community through its partnership with Intel and Rescale. At Intel, General Manager of the Accelerated Workgroup Barry Davis emphasized that the partnership is intended to support increased adoption of HPC applications to drive discovery and innovation.

Starting today, the Xeon Phi cloud is being made available at no cost for four weeks on a first-come-first-serve basis. Via a single queue, end users can submit one job at a time for up to six single-socket Knights Landing nodes. Running follow-up jobs will entail getting back in the queue. Rescale has plans to offer a premium, priority queue that will allow users to run multiple jobs simultaneously. Initially, however, Smith said the effort should be viewed as a test lab that brings next-generation computation power to the cloud.

After the complimentary period expires, the cost will be $0.03 / core / hour, so for the 68-core platform, the price will be about $2 per CPU.

While the new Intel gear is initially targeting dev and test environments, at least two Rescale customers have expressed interest in running larger workloads, according to the company. “We can reserve a certain number of nodes for a specific customer to do a POC if they’d like but I think that’s all going to come with time,” said Smith.

The KNL cloud offering is part of new effort called ScaleX Labs, and Rescale expects this one to be the first of many, anticipating future opportunities both with Intel and with other hardware providers. “The [larger] initiative is reflective of what we’ve done [here] with Intel, to provide customers with access to pre-release or early-release hardware or be the first to offer a product in the cloud,” Smith explained. “Depending on the hardware partner, the lab can be used in a few different ways: it can hopefully create demand from software partners, to optimize their code, or create demand from the public cloud provider. And it allows Rescale to provide a platform in which our customers can test the latest and greatest hardware.”

Rescale offers the cloud labs through its ScaleX Pro platform, which features an intuitive GUI for job management and collaboration and secure SSL data transfer and encryption at rest, according to the company. ScaleX Labs users will also receive beta access to ScaleX Developer, Rescale’s product that allows software developers to integrate and deploy their own software on the ScaleX platform. ScaleX Developer is currently on track for general availability in Q3.

“I think one thing that attracted Intel to partner with Rescale on this initiative was our ability to enable developers to have beta access to our ScaleX Developer product so they can deploy their applications directly to the ScaleX platform and then end users could bring proprietary code in a bring-your-own-software model and run it on the KNL,” said Smith.

A single-socket 68-core Knights Landing CPU running at 1.60 GHz, with two AVX-512 vector units (512-bit) per core, provides around 3 teraflops of double-precision (peak) performance. The bootable Knights Landing chips, based on the second generation of Intel’s Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture, are largely competing against Nvidia’s Pascal-generation P100 GPUs released last year.

Rescale doesn’t own or operate any of its infrastructure. Instead the San Francisco company partners with cloud providers, both major IaaS purveyors and others that are more regional in nature. And with ScaleX Labs, Rescale also has a path to work directly with hardware suppliers.

“Once we do the API integration, that’s where our secret sauce is, where we can quickly add our software application portfolio to that cloud provider and within a very short period of time make those software applications available in that cloud provider,” said Smith.

He also emphasized the advantages of a multi-cloud strategy. “[The only way to have] access to an “infinite” amount of resources, [is to] partner with multiple cloud providers. Google had access to the Skylake processor first; AWS came out with a bigger GPU offering. If you’re locked into one public cloud provider, you’re limited. It’s a competitive world out there and folks are worried about time-to-market and performance is highly sensitive. It’s also about scalability. If you’re ever bound or constrained by computing you’re not really a cloud provider; it kind of goes against the ethos of it, at least in my opinion.”

Although Rescale supports 220 software applications, the ScaleX Labs with Intel Knights Landing will launch with only a few software packages at the outset. The aim is to have it grow organically through customer demand. “We want to offer it within the parameters that Intel has set out to target applications that have been optimized for KNLs and will see a performance boost or will see a performance boost from the Omni-Path fabric,” said Smith. “There’s also a lot of proprietary code out there and this will be a way for end users to test out how it performs on KNL. We’ll expect to grow the software as more commercial software vendors support KNL, which is coming, and secondly, as other customers request it, which our sales guys are already starting to see happen.”

AI and deep learning frameworks won’t be there at launch, but according to Smith, a proactive effort is underway to build up this support over the next couple of months. Given Intel’s AI ambitions and proclamations for Knights Landing’s machine learning chops, it makes sense that this would be a priority.

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!

Insights from Optimized Codes on Cineca’s Marconi

February 15, 2019

What can you do with 381,392 CPU cores? For Cineca, it means enabling computational scientists to expand a large part of the world’s body of knowledge from the nanoscale to the astronomic, from calculating quantum effe Read more…

By Ken Strandberg

What Will IBM’s AI Debater Learn from Its Loss?

February 14, 2019

The utility of IBM’s latest man-versus-machine gambit is debatable. At the very least its Project Debater got us thinking about the potential uses of artificial intelligence as a way of helping humans sift through al Read more…

By George Leopold

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst of bankruptcy proceedings. According to Dutch news site Drimb Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE Systems With Intel Omni-Path: Architected for Value and Accessible High-Performance Computing

Today’s high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) users value high performing clusters. And the higher the performance that their system can deliver, the better. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Medical Research Powered by Data

“We’re all the same, but we’re unique as well. In that uniqueness lies all of the answers….”

  • Mark Tykocinski, MD, Provost, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Thomas Jefferson University

Getting the answers to what causes some people to develop diseases and not others is driving the groundbreaking medical research being conducted by the Computational Medicine Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Read more…

South African Weather Service Doubles Compute and Triples Storage Capacity of Cray System

February 13, 2019

South Africa has made headlines in recent years for its commitment to HPC leadership in Africa – and now, Cray has announced another major South African HPC expansion. Cray has been awarded contracts with Eclipse Holdings Ltd. to upgrade the supercomputing system operated by the South African Weather Service (SAWS). Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Insights from Optimized Codes on Cineca’s Marconi

February 15, 2019

What can you do with 381,392 CPU cores? For Cineca, it means enabling computational scientists to expand a large part of the world’s body of knowledge from th Read more…

By Ken Strandberg

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

UC Berkeley Paper Heralds Rise of Serverless Computing in the Cloud – Do You Agree?

February 13, 2019

Almost exactly ten years to the day from publishing of their widely-read, seminal paper on cloud computing, UC Berkeley researchers have issued another ambitious examination of cloud computing - Cloud Programming Simplified: A Berkeley View on Serverless Computing. The new work heralds the rise of ‘serverless computing’ as the next dominant phase of cloud computing. Read more…

By John Russell

Iowa ‘Grows Its Own’ to Fill the HPC Workforce Pipeline

February 13, 2019

The global workforce that supports advanced computing, scientific software and high-speed research networks is relatively small when you stop to consider the magnitude of the transformative discoveries it empowers. Technical conferences provide a forum where specialists convene to learn about the latest innovations and schedule face-time with colleagues from other institutions. Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake, STEM-Trek

Trump Signs Executive Order Launching U.S. AI Initiative

February 11, 2019

U.S. President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) today launching a U.S Artificial Intelligence Initiative. The new initiative - Maintaining American L Read more…

By John Russell

Celebrating Women in Science: Meet Four Women Leading the Way in HPC

February 11, 2019

One only needs to look around at virtually any CS/tech conference to realize that women are underrepresented, and that holds true of HPC. SC hosts over 13,000 H Read more…

By AJ Lauer

IBM Bets $2B Seeking 1000X AI Hardware Performance Boost

February 7, 2019

For now, AI systems are mostly machine learning-based and “narrow” – powerful as they are by today's standards, they're limited to performing a few, narro Read more…

By Doug Black

Assessing Government Shutdown’s Impact on HPC

February 6, 2019

After a 35-day federal government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, government agencies are taking stock of the damage -- and girding for a potential secon Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Quantum Computing Will Never Work

November 27, 2018

Amid the gush of money and enthusiastic predictions being thrown at quantum computing comes a proposed cold shower in the form of an essay by physicist Mikhail Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Unveils Shasta, Lands NERSC-9 Contract

October 30, 2018

Cray revealed today the details of its next-gen supercomputing architecture, Shasta, selected to be the next flagship system at NERSC. We've known of the code-name "Shasta" since the Argonne slice of the CORAL project was announced in 2015 and although the details of that plan have changed considerably, Cray didn't slow down its timeline for Shasta. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

The Case Against ‘The Case Against Quantum Computing’

January 9, 2019

It’s not easy to be a physicist. Richard Feynman (basically the Jimi Hendrix of physicists) once said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourse Read more…

By Ben Criger

AMD Sets Up for Epyc Epoch

November 16, 2018

It’s been a good two weeks, AMD’s Gary Silcott and Andy Parma told me on the last day of SC18 in Dallas at the restaurant where we met to discuss their show news and recent successes. Heck, it’s been a good year. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Reportedly in $6B Bid for Mellanox

January 30, 2019

The latest rumors and reports around an acquisition of Mellanox focus on Intel, which has reportedly offered a $6 billion bid for the high performance interconn Read more…

By Doug Black

US Leads Supercomputing with #1, #2 Systems & Petascale Arm

November 12, 2018

The 31st Supercomputing Conference (SC) - commemorating 30 years since the first Supercomputing in 1988 - kicked off in Dallas yesterday, taking over the Kay Ba Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Looking for Light Reading? NSF-backed ‘Comic Books’ Tackle Quantum Computing

January 28, 2019

Still baffled by quantum computing? How about turning to comic books (graphic novels for the well-read among you) for some clarity and a little humor on QC. The Read more…

By John Russell

Contract Signed for New Finnish Supercomputer

December 13, 2018

After the official contract signing yesterday, configuration details were made public for the new BullSequana system that the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

SC 18 Virtual Booth Video Tour

Advania @ SC18 AMD @ SC18
ASRock Rack @ SC18
DDN Storage @ SC18
HPE @ SC18
IBM @ SC18
Lenovo @ SC18 Mellanox Technologies @ SC18
NVIDIA @ SC18
One Stop Systems @ SC18
Oracle @ SC18 Panasas @ SC18
Supermicro @ SC18 SUSE @ SC18 TYAN @ SC18
Verne Global @ SC18

Deep500: ETH Researchers Introduce New Deep Learning Benchmark for HPC

February 5, 2019

ETH researchers have developed a new deep learning benchmarking environment – Deep500 – they say is “the first distributed and reproducible benchmarking s Read more…

By John Russell

ClusterVision in Bankruptcy, Fate Uncertain

February 13, 2019

ClusterVision, European HPC specialists that have built and installed over 20 Top500-ranked systems in their nearly 17-year history, appear to be in the midst o Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Reflections and (Mostly Hopeful) Predictions

December 19, 2018

So much ‘spaghetti’ gets tossed on walls by the technology community (vendors and researchers) to see what sticks that it is often difficult to peer through Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Quantum Update: Q System One Launch, New Collaborators, and QC Center Plans

January 10, 2019

IBM made three significant quantum computing announcements at CES this week. One was introduction of IBM Q System One; it’s really the integration of IBM’s Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia’s Jensen Huang Delivers Vision for the New HPC

November 14, 2018

For nearly two hours on Monday at SC18, Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, presented his expansive view of the future of HPC (and computing in general) as only he can do. Animated. Backstopped by a stream of data charts, product photos, and even a beautiful image of supernovae... Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Bets $2B Seeking 1000X AI Hardware Performance Boost

February 7, 2019

For now, AI systems are mostly machine learning-based and “narrow” – powerful as they are by today's standards, they're limited to performing a few, narro Read more…

By Doug Black

The Deep500 – Researchers Tackle an HPC Benchmark for Deep Learning

January 7, 2019

How do you know if an HPC system, particularly a larger-scale system, is well-suited for deep learning workloads? Today, that’s not an easy question to answer Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Confirms 48-Core Cascade Lake-AP for 2019

November 4, 2018

As part of the run-up to SC18, taking place in Dallas next week (Nov. 11-16), Intel is doling out info on its next-gen Cascade Lake family of Xeon processors, specifically the “Advanced Processor” version (Cascade Lake-AP), architected for high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and infrastructure-as-a-service workloads. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This