Increasingly, leading edge technology is turning up first in the big public clouds which can be frustrating for academic users. The San Diego Supercomputer Center announced this week that its widely-used CyberInfrastructure for Phylogenetic REsearch (CIPRES) has been award a one-year Internet2 grant from the National Science Foundation to provide access to faster processors available from commercial cloud providers.
“This award will allow us to take the first step in cloud bursting: to let users access the latest graphics processing units (GPUs) at AWS,” said SDSC Bioinformatics Researcher Mark Miller, principal investigator for CIPRES in the official anouncment. “GPUs can speed up some CIPRES analyses by tens of times compared to traditional CPU cores. However, currently CIPRES has access to only a modest number of older-generation GPUs. The availability of more GPUs that are also faster will allow our users to ask much harder questions, and will increase research throughput and productivity as well.”
The cloud provider will be Amazon Web Services (AWS), a subsidiary of Amazon. Access to AWS will be free for researchers using CIPRES during the period of the award. CIPRES supports more than 10,000 researchers who are investigating a wide range of topics about life on earth, including how viruses and bacteria mutate through time, how many species are there are and how they work together to create functional ecosystems, and how animals and plants evolve and adapt to a changing environment.
“The long-term vision is to allow CIPRES users to cloud burst to AWS compute resources for any analysis, including those on CPU cores as well as on GPUs. Demand for compute time via CIPRES currently exceeds 20 million core hours per year and is growing,” said Miller. “That’s a lot of time, but with so many users, we still have to limit the amount any individual can use. The ability to cloud burst to AWS for all codes will help us meet the growing demand for core hours as well as that for GPU hours.”
Link to SDSC article: https://www.sdsc.edu/News%20Items/PR20190408_CIPRES.html