OnDemand Portal Accelerates HPC Work for Academic and Industrial Users

By Linda Barney

December 21, 2020

Editor’s note: This special guest post explores the use of the OnDemand and Open OnDemand web interfaces, developed by Ohio Supercomputer Center to facilitate use of powerful HPC resources, and used by academia and industry, including NASCAR.

Historically, the HPC community has done their work via a command-line interface to enter system commands and move through files or directories, as well as run programs. To facilitate greater use of its significant computational resources, Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) developed OnDemand, an accessible web interface that allows anyone with OSC access to log into and use one of the OSC supercomputer clusters. With funding through the National Science Foundation (NSF), OSC created an open source version called Open OnDemand (OOD) that allows research institutions and universities to run their own instance of OnDemand. In addition, OSC created a special OnDemand portal for commercial customers called AweSim OnDemand.

OSC addresses the computational demands of academic and industrial research communities with a robust shared infrastructure. Pictured is OSC’s Dell/Intel Owens cluster.  “Owens” is the namesake of J.C. “Jesse” Owens, who won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics.

OSC’s OnDemand high performance computing environment includes clusters based on Intel Xeon processors. Pitzer, OSC’s newest system, is an Intel Xeon processor-based cluster built by Dell. When students and customers log onto OSC OnDemand, they have access to a supercomputer capable of running large workloads with advanced processing capabilities not typically available to all users on their own computers. Running on an OSC cluster accelerates the time to insight during data analysis and lowers the cost-per-terabyte during data processing. One AweSim user, NASCAR, uses workflows developed by TotalSim to perform simulations of race cars.

According to Alan Chalker, Ph.D., director of OSC Strategic Programs, “The inspiration behind OSC’s OnDemand is two-fold: Every other technology developed web-based user interfaces so end-users could easily interact with the technology. Lack of a web-interface in HPC led to the perception that HPC work was lagging behind in ease of use. Scientists and engineers would rather spend their time advancing their disciplines than learn HPC. Many students have always used web-based graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and are not interested in spending time learning about file systems, directories, and command line entries. Developing an easy-to-use web-based interface is lowering the barrier to entry so that students, commercial clients, and government researchers have access to OSC supercomputer cluster systems.”

Making HPC Modeling and Simulation Available to Commercial Customers

Designers and engineers who use common computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided engineering (CAE) software on desktop computers often encounter limitations in the modeling and simulation they can efficiently perform on those systems. OSC realized that access to OnDemand would provide commercial engineering and design firms with increased power and processing speed and allow more detailed models to be created faster.

OSC worked with modeling and simulation (M&S) experts to create AweSim with M&S-as-a-service. This program provides small-to-mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) with simulation-driven design to enhance innovation and strengthen economic competitiveness.

According to Chase Eyster,  business development manager for Ohio Supercomputer Center, “There are currently six commercial Engineering Service Providers (ESPs) with expertise in multi-physics, finite element analysis, structural/welding engineering, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) that help a variety of AweSim clients in academic research, government non-profit as well as other commercial users. We feel like we have a very deep bench to go to for assistance to help HPC users.”

Ray Leto and Naethan Eagles, executives from TotalSim US, are part of that group of providers. “TotalSim, one of OSC OnDemand’s largest users, is an expert in CFD and Leto and Eagles have done massive amounts of work on OSC systems, help with technical issues, and create modeling and simulation workflows for use by customers,” states Eyster.

NASCAR: Using Simulations to Model and Test Race Cars

NASCAR Research and Development works with TotalSim who developed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) workflows and scripts specifically for NASCAR. Members of NASCAR technical team log into the OSC AweSim OnDemand portal to run their Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations using the TotalSim workflows.

NASCAR uses CFD simulations running through OnDemand for a number of projects. For example, NASCAR is developing its next-generation car coming in 2022 that was aerodynamically developed in OpenFOAM open source software. NASCAR uses CFD for things that are difficult to test, including running multiple vehicles together in different configurations on a race track, testing liftoff, and developing new safety devices. NASCAR found strong correlations between CFD simulations and work with actual cars in a wind tunnel. NASCAR makes final conclusions based on work in the wind tunnel, but most of the preliminary work is based on CFD computer simulations.

NASCAR uses the ANSA pre-processing program to locally prepare the geometry and meshes used in the calculations. The information is uploaded to OSC via OnDemand. TotalSim developed a web-based tool that shows NASCAR images and, files and reduces the need to download files. NASCAR can run up to 50 separate CFD cases per day at times of heavy development, so having a web-based tool that allows the results and images to be quickly reviewed on the cluster saves data transfer time.

According to Dr. Eric Jacuzzi, NASCAR’s senior director of aerodynamics, simulation and design at NASCAR, “Running on supercomputing clusters at OSC allows us to run more simulation cases, run them more quickly, and save computer job processing time. We were originally running about 50 cases a month with 1 terabyte (TB) of storage, but we can now run 250 CFD simulations a month using 15TB of storage.

Running on the OSC Owens cluster provides NASCAR with 2,000 Intel Xeon Scalable processing cores. A single car CFD simulation run takes 6 or 7 hours to run. Simulations with multiple cars in varying positions relative to one another take 12-15 hours. These multi-car simulations of varying positions are combined together into maps that give insight into the aerodynamic effects each car exerts on the other. A typical map is around 40 different vehicle positions and takes 2.5 days to complete.

“The amount of data in each run has grown massively and is approximately 100  percent larger than runs done in the past. It would not be possible to run these CFD simulations without the use of OSC’s supercomputer clusters. Running CFD simulations on OSC clusters is a cost-effective way for NASCAR to be on the cutting edge of testing and developing car technology and which we could not afford otherwise,” states Jacuzzi.

OSC Supercomputer Cluster and OnDemand Architecture

All OSC supercomputer clusters use Intel Xeon processors, which provide high performance, advanced reliability and hardware-enhanced security optimized for demanding workloads. In addition, the clusters have GPUs, interconnects, huge memory nodes, and shared data storage. The OSC cluster architecture is able to handle the most demanding HPC modeling and simulation jobs.

Pitzer, OSC’s newest system, is a Dell-built cluster that leverages Intel Xeon Gold and Platinum processors and Nvidia V100 GPUs

OOD provides system administers with an easy-to-install web access to HPC resources, resulting in intuitive access to supercomputing. Tools include job management and monitoring applications along with graphics desktop environments and desktop applications including RStudio Server, Jupyter Notebook, Matlab, Abaqus/CAE and other tools.

An OnDemand instance can be installed at other supercomputer centers, institutions, or research centers without connecting to OSC supercomputers.

OnDemand, Open OnDemand, and AweSim OnDemand are used by a number of global institutions. As of 2019, OnDemand was used in 136 US locations and 70 international locations. OnDemand is being used in major universities, national laboratories, hospitals, and in commercial industry.

Chalker has big aspirations for Open OnDemand, “We hope it will become the default interface for accessing HPC modeling and simulation resources to lower the learning curve and broaden the base for users. The NSF eXtreme Digital (XSEDE) program leadership has a vision of making OnDemand available to XSEDE users. A single front-end XSEDE login to OnDemand would allow the user to run OnDemand on any supercomputer on the XSEDE system.”

About the Author

Linda Barney is the founder and owner of Barney and Associates, a technical/marketing writing, training, and web design firm in Beaverton, Ore.


Header image: NASCAR race car CFD simulation running on OSC Owens supercomputer

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!

Nvidia Rolls Out Certified Server Program Targeting AI Applications

January 26, 2021

Nvidia today launched a certified systems program in which participating vendors can offer Nvidia-certified servers with up to eight A100 GPUs. Separate support contracts directly from Nvidia for the certified systems ar Read more…

By John Russell

XSEDE Supercomputers Square Off Against Ebola

January 26, 2021

COVID-19 may have dominated headlines and occupied much of the world’s scientific computing capacity over the last year, but many researchers continued their work to keep other deadly viruses at bay. One of those, Ebol Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

What’s New in HPC Research: Galaxies, Fugaku, Electron Microscopes & More

January 25, 2021

In this regular feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From parallel programming to exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Red Hat’s Disruption of CentOS Unleashes Storm of Dissent

January 22, 2021

Five weeks after angering much of the CentOS Linux developer community by unveiling controversial changes to the no-cost CentOS operating system, Red Hat has unveiled alternatives for affected users that give them severa Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

China Unveils First 7nm Chip: Big Island

January 22, 2021

Shanghai Tianshu Zhaoxin Semiconductor Co. is claiming China’s first 7-nanometer chip, described as a leading-edge, general-purpose cloud computing chip based on a proprietary GPU architecture. Dubbed “Big Island Read more…

By George Leopold

AWS Solution Channel

Fire Dynamics Simulation CFD workflow on AWS

Modeling fires is key for many industries, from the design of new buildings, defining evacuation procedures for trains, planes and ships, and even the spread of wildfires. Read more…

HiPEAC Keynote: In-Memory Computing Steps Closer to Practical Reality

January 21, 2021

Pursuit of in-memory computing has long been an active area with recent progress showing promise. Just how in-memory computing works, how close it is to practical application, and what are some of the key opportunities a Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Rolls Out Certified Server Program Targeting AI Applications

January 26, 2021

Nvidia today launched a certified systems program in which participating vendors can offer Nvidia-certified servers with up to eight A100 GPUs. Separate support Read more…

By John Russell

Red Hat’s Disruption of CentOS Unleashes Storm of Dissent

January 22, 2021

Five weeks after angering much of the CentOS Linux developer community by unveiling controversial changes to the no-cost CentOS operating system, Red Hat has un Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

HiPEAC Keynote: In-Memory Computing Steps Closer to Practical Reality

January 21, 2021

Pursuit of in-memory computing has long been an active area with recent progress showing promise. Just how in-memory computing works, how close it is to practic Read more…

By John Russell

HiPEAC’s Vision for a New Cyber Era, a ‘Continuum of Computing’

January 21, 2021

Earlier this week (Jan. 19), HiPEAC — the European Network on High Performance and Embedded Architecture and Compilation — published the 8th edition of the HiPEAC Vision, detailing an increasingly interconnected computing landscape where complex tasks are carried out across multiple... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Saudi Aramco Unveils Dammam 7, Its New Top Ten Supercomputer

January 21, 2021

By revenue, oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco is one of the largest companies in the world, and it has historically employed commensurate amounts of supercomputing Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

President-elect Biden Taps Eric Lander and Deep Team on Science Policy

January 19, 2021

Last Friday U.S. President-elect Joe Biden named The Broad Institute founding director and president Eric Lander as his science advisor and as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Lander, 63, is a mathematician by training and distinguished life sciences... Read more…

By John Russell

Pat Gelsinger Returns to Intel as CEO

January 14, 2021

The Intel board of directors has appointed a new CEO. Intel alum Pat Gelsinger is leaving his post as CEO of VMware to rejoin the company that he parted ways with 11 years ago. Gelsinger will succeed Bob Swan, who will remain CEO until Feb. 15. Gelsinger previously spent 30 years... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

By John Russell

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

By John Russell

Esperanto Unveils ML Chip with Nearly 1,100 RISC-V Cores

December 8, 2020

At the RISC-V Summit today, Art Swift, CEO of Esperanto Technologies, announced a new, RISC-V based chip aimed at machine learning and containing nearly 1,100 low-power cores based on the open-source RISC-V architecture. Esperanto Technologies, headquartered in... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Azure Scaled to Record 86,400 Cores for Molecular Dynamics

November 20, 2020

A new record for HPC scaling on the public cloud has been achieved on Microsoft Azure. Led by Dr. Jer-Ming Chia, the cloud provider partnered with the Beckman I Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

NICS Unleashes ‘Kraken’ Supercomputer

April 4, 2008

A Cray XT4 supercomputer, dubbed Kraken, is scheduled to come online in mid-summer at the National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS). The soon-to-be petascale system, and the resulting NICS organization, are the result of an NSF Track II award of $65 million to the University of Tennessee and its partners to provide next-generation supercomputing for the nation's science community. Read more…

Is the Nvidia A100 GPU Performance Worth a Hardware Upgrade?

October 16, 2020

Over the last decade, accelerators have seen an increasing rate of adoption in high-performance computing (HPC) platforms, and in the June 2020 Top500 list, eig Read more…

By Hartwig Anzt, Ahmad Abdelfattah and Jack Dongarra

Aurora’s Troubles Move Frontier into Pole Exascale Position

October 1, 2020

Intel’s 7nm node delay has raised questions about the status of the Aurora supercomputer that was scheduled to be stood up at Argonne National Laboratory next year. Aurora was in the running to be the United States’ first exascale supercomputer although it was on a contemporaneous timeline with... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Programming the Soon-to-Be World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Frontier

January 5, 2021

What’s it like designing an app for the world’s fastest supercomputer, set to come online in the United States in 2021? The University of Delaware’s Sunita Chandrasekaran is leading an elite international team in just that task. Chandrasekaran, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, recently was named... Read more…

By Tracey Bryant

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Top500: Fugaku Keeps Crown, Nvidia’s Selene Climbs to #5

November 16, 2020

With the publication of the 56th Top500 list today from SC20's virtual proceedings, Japan's Fugaku supercomputer – now fully deployed – notches another win, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Texas A&M Announces Flagship ‘Grace’ Supercomputer

November 9, 2020

Texas A&M University has announced its next flagship system: Grace. The new supercomputer, named for legendary programming pioneer Grace Hopper, is replacing the Ada system (itself named for mathematician Ada Lovelace) as the primary workhorse for Texas A&M’s High Performance Research Computing (HPRC). Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

At Oak Ridge, ‘End of Life’ Sometimes Isn’t

October 31, 2020

Sometimes, the old dog actually does go live on a farm. HPC systems are often cursed with short lifespans, as they are continually supplanted by the latest and Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Gordon Bell Special Prize Goes to Massive SARS-CoV-2 Simulations

November 19, 2020

2020 has proven a harrowing year – but it has produced remarkable heroes. To that end, this year, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) introduced the Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Nvidia and EuroHPC Team for Four Supercomputers, Including Massive ‘Leonardo’ System

October 15, 2020

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU) serves as Europe’s concerted supercomputing play, currently comprising 32 member states and billions of euros in funding. I Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Intel Xe-HP GPU Deployed for Aurora Exascale Development

November 17, 2020

At SC20, Intel announced that it is making its Xe-HP high performance discrete GPUs available to early access developers. Notably, the new chips have been deplo Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia-Arm Deal a Boon for RISC-V?

October 26, 2020

The $40 billion blockbuster acquisition deal that will bring chipmaker Arm into the Nvidia corporate family could provide a boost for the competing RISC-V architecture. As regulators in the U.S., China and the European Union begin scrutinizing the impact of the blockbuster deal on semiconductor industry competition and innovation, the deal has at the very least... Read more…

By George Leopold

HPE, AMD and EuroHPC Partner for Pre-Exascale LUMI Supercomputer

October 21, 2020

Not even a week after Nvidia announced that it would be providing hardware for the first four of the eight planned EuroHPC systems, HPE and AMD are announcing a Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

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