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!

AI-Focused ‘Genius’ Supercomputer Installed at KU Leuven

April 24, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has deployed a new approximately half-petaflops supercomputer, named Genius, at Flemish research university KU Leuven. The system is built to run artificial intelligence (AI) workloads and, as Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Exascale System for Earth Simulation Introduced

April 23, 2018

After four years of development, the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) will be unveiled today and released to the broader scientific community this month. The E3SM project is supported by the Department of Energy Read more…

By Staff

RSC Reports 500Tflops, Hot Water Cooled System Deployed at JINR

April 18, 2018

RSC, developer of supercomputers and advanced HPC systems based in Russia, today reported deployment of “the world's first 100% ‘hot water’ liquid cooled supercomputer” at Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JI Read more…

By Staff

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Hybrid HPC is Speeding Time to Insight and Revolutionizing Medicine

High performance computing (HPC) is a key driver of success in many verticals today, and health and life science industries are extensively leveraging these capabilities. Read more…

New Device Spots Quantum Particle ‘Fingerprint’

April 18, 2018

Majorana particles have been observed by university researchers employing a device consisting of layers of magnetic insulators on a superconducting material. The advance opens the door to controlling the elusive particle Read more…

By George Leopold

AI-Focused ‘Genius’ Supercomputer Installed at KU Leuven

April 24, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has deployed a new approximately half-petaflops supercomputer, named Genius, at Flemish research university KU Leuven. The system is Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cray Rolls Out AMD-Based CS500; More to Follow?

April 18, 2018

Cray was the latest OEM to bring AMD back into the fold with introduction today of a CS500 option based on AMD’s Epyc processor line. The move follows Cray’ Read more…

By John Russell

IBM: Software Ecosystem for OpenPOWER is Ready for Prime Time

April 16, 2018

With key pieces of the IBM/OpenPOWER versus Intel/x86 gambit settling into place – e.g., the arrival of Power9 chips and Power9-based systems, hyperscaler sup Read more…

By John Russell

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cloud-Readiness and Looking Beyond Application Scaling

April 11, 2018

There are two aspects to consider when determining if an application is suitable for running in the cloud. The first, which we will discuss here under the title Read more…

By Chris Downing

Transitioning from Big Data to Discovery: Data Management as a Keystone Analytics Strategy

April 9, 2018

The past 10-15 years has seen a stark rise in the density, size, and diversity of scientific data being generated in every scientific discipline in the world. Key among the sciences has been the explosion of laboratory technologies that generate large amounts of data in life-sciences and healthcare research. Large amounts of data are now being stored in very large storage name spaces, with little to no organization and a general unease about how to approach analyzing it. Read more…

By Ari Berman, BioTeam, Inc.

IBM Expands Quantum Computing Network

April 5, 2018

IBM is positioning itself as a first mover in establishing the era of commercial quantum computing. The company believes in order for quantum to work, taming qu Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

FY18 Budget & CORAL-2 – Exascale USA Continues to Move Ahead

April 2, 2018

It was not pretty. However, despite some twists and turns, the federal government’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget is complete and ended with some very positi Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

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

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

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

How the Cloud Is Falling Short for HPC

March 15, 2018

The last couple of years have seen cloud computing gradually build some legitimacy within the HPC world, but still the HPC industry lies far behind enterprise I Read more…

By Chris Downing

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

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

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

Deep Learning at 15 PFlops Enables Training for Extreme Weather Identification at Scale

March 19, 2018

Petaflop per second deep learning training performance on the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) Cori supercomputer has given climate Read more…

By Rob Farber

Leading Solution Providers

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

Lenovo Unveils Warm Water Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 in Rampup to LRZ Install

February 22, 2018

This week Lenovo took the wraps off the ThinkSystem SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with par Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC and AI – Two Communities Same Future

January 25, 2018

According to Al Gara (Intel Fellow, Data Center Group), high performance computing and artificial intelligence will increasingly intertwine as we transition to Read more…

By Rob Farber

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

New Blueprint for Converging HPC, Big Data

January 18, 2018

After five annual workshops on Big Data and Extreme-Scale Computing (BDEC), a group of international HPC heavyweights including Jack Dongarra (University of Te Read more…

By John Russell

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Momentum Builds for US Exascale

January 9, 2018

2018 looks to be a great year for the U.S. exascale program. The last several months of 2017 revealed a number of important developments that help put the U.S. Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Google Chases Quantum Supremacy with 72-Qubit Processor

March 7, 2018

Google pulled ahead of the pack this week in the race toward "quantum supremacy," with the introduction of a new 72-qubit quantum processor called Bristlecone. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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