How Google and Intel Removed a Key Barrier to Entry for HPC in the Cloud

August 9, 2021

Enterprises and research organizations alike are eager to adopt cloud computing to expand computing capacity and access the latest technologies. But too often, setting up robust HPC environments in the cloud has meant wrangling with unfamiliar concepts and tools, resulting in slow deployments, software incompatibilities, and subpar performance.

Now, Intel and Google have teamed up to make cloud-based HPC familiar, compatible, and performant. Building on Google’s HPC VM image and the Intel® Select Solutions for Simulation & Modeling specification, Google has produced a turnkey solution that automates creation of Intel Select Solution-compliant HPC clusters on Google Cloud.

“Through our collaboration, we’re making it simpler than ever to have an HPC environment in the cloud that runs your workloads without modification, delivers optimized performance, and lowers the barriers to cloud adoption for HPC,” explains Bill Magro, chief technologist for HPC at Google Cloud. “With this turnkey solution, customers can create an auto-scaling HPC cluster that has achieved Intel Select verification and provides performance and compatibility with a wide range of HPC applications.”

Ongoing Teamwork

Intel and Google collaborate regularly to advance HPC in the cloud. This latest round of innovation grows out of an ongoing collaboration stream focused on aligning with the Intel Select Solutions Simulation & Modeling specification and delivering optimal HPC experiences for C2 instances based on 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors.

In February, Google introduced a CentOS-based VM image for HPC, providing preconfigured operating system and network settings tuned for HPC performance, particularly on tightly coupled MPI workloads. Phase 2 of the collaboration moved to node-level compliance with the Intel HPC Platform specification, incorporating Intel runtime libraries into the HPC VM image and making Intel’s software optimizations for Intel Xeon Scalable processors easily available to user applications running on Google Cloud. Node-level compliance also provides dependencies needed for compatibility in many open source, in-house, and off-the-shelf applications.

Now, by providing full, platform-level compliance and making it easy for Google Cloud users to spin up validated Intel Select Solution clusters, Google Cloud can onboard new customers quickly and provide them with an extra layer of compatibility, confidence, and performance.

“Intel Select clusters provide a known environment,” says Magro. “We are working with Altair, Omnibond and SchedMD, for example, to develop turnkey, compliant HPC environments. With these solutions, customers can proceed with a high degree of confidence. ISVs can grow their revenue without the burden of supporting their software in unknown environments.”

Every Intel Select Solution HPC cluster complies with the Intel HPC Platform specification. This provides Google Cloud users the benefit of validated compatibility with popular applications in Intel’s HPC Application Catalog.

“We are excited that Slurm customers can now use the Slurm-GCP solution to easily and quickly stand up auto-scaling Intel Select clusters,” says Nick Ihli, director, cloud sales and engineering at SchedMD. “Having an optimized HPC Slurm environment, even down to the node level, further solidifies the value and flexibility of running your HPC workloads in the cloud.”

“Customers worldwide rely on Altair’s PBS Professional and Grid Engine software for their workload management needs,” said Piush Patel, senior vice president, strategic relationships, Altair. “We are pleased to be working with Google and Intel to bring turnkey Intel Select Solutions for HPC to Google Cloud.”

Engineer-to-Engineer Collaboration

Google’s experts worked closely with Intel throughout the development cycle, starting with creating and optimizing the C2 instance. “It was an end-to-end, hands-on collaboration that involved a number of different teams,” Magro recalls. For example, software engineers worked together on performance-focused details such as how to expose the platform in the highest performance to MPI applications.

Another area of collaboration: in contrast to many cloud service offerings, C2 instances provide OS-level visibility into many low-level details of the Intel Xeon Scalable platform, including NUMA topology and C states. “We’re using techniques that have been developed to optimize HPC on premises and making them available to applications in the cloud. It makes a huge performance difference for HPC workloads,” says Magro.

Compatibility and ease of use were also a focus. For example, the Google team added a new tool to the HPC VM image to ensure customers would have the required libraries installed. They coordinated with Intel to make sure customers would always be pointed to the latest versions of those libraries. They also worked with SchedMD to automate the setup activities so customers can establish an Intel Select Solutions-compliant cloud within minutes.

“Intel has so much experience in performance-oriented engagements with customers and vendors, and so much knowledge about how to get the best performance from their products,” Magro adds. “Our collaboration has accelerated our product and helped us deliver the highest possible performance while maintaining supportability and compatibility. The result is easier and more powerful cloud access for HPC.”

With the platform-level solution on Google Cloud, customers can create Intel Select Solution verified clusters with Slurm, and with additional solutions from Altair and Omnibond in the near future. You can learn more and get started today with Google’s quickstart guide.

Read more about deploying optimized HPC Clusters on Google Cloud with Intel Select Solutions.

See how Intel strategies and technologies are accelerating HPC in the cloud.


Performance varies by use, configuration and other factors. Learn more at www.Intel.com/PerformanceIndex​​.

Performance results are based on testing as of dates shown in configurations and may not reflect all publicly available updates. See backup for configuration details. No product or component can be absolutely secure.

Your costs and results may vary.

Intel technologies may require enabled hardware, software, or service activation.

Intel does not control or audit third-party data. You should consult other sources to evaluate accuracy.

© Intel Corporation. Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the properties of others.

 

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!

Intel Reorgs HPC Group, Creates Two ‘Super Compute’ Groups

October 15, 2021

Following on changes made in June that moved Intel’s HPC unit out of the Data Platform Group and into the newly created Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) business unit, led by Raja Koduri, Intel is making further updates to the HPC group and announcing... Read more…

Royalty-free stock illustration ID: 1938746143

MosaicML, Led by Naveen Rao, Comes Out of Stealth Aiming to Ease Model Training

October 15, 2021

With more and more enterprises turning to AI for a myriad of tasks, companies quickly find out that training AI models is expensive, difficult and time-consuming. Finding a new approach to deal with those cascading challenges is the aim of a new startup, MosaicML, that just came out of stealth... Read more…

NSF Awards $11M to SDSC, MIT and Univ. of Oregon to Secure the Internet

October 14, 2021

From a security standpoint, the internet is a problem. The infrastructure developed decades ago has cracked, leaked and been patched up innumerable times, leaving vulnerabilities that are difficult to address due to cost Read more…

SC21 Announces Science and Beyond Plenary: the Intersection of Ethics and HPC

October 13, 2021

The Intersection of Ethics and HPC will be the guiding topic of SC21's Science & Beyond plenary, inspired by the event tagline of the same name. The evening event will be moderated by Daniel Reed with panelists Crist Read more…

Quantum Workforce – NSTC Report Highlights Need for International Talent

October 13, 2021

Attracting and training the needed quantum workforce to fuel the ongoing quantum information sciences (QIS) revolution is a hot topic these days. Last week, the U.S. National Science and Technology Council issued a report – The Role of International Talent in Quantum Information Science... Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Cost optimizing Ansys LS-Dyna on AWS

Organizations migrate their high performance computing (HPC) workloads from on-premises infrastructure to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for advantages such as high availability, elastic capacity, latest processors, storage, and networking technologies; Read more…

Eni Returns to HPE for ‘HPC4’ Refresh via GreenLake

October 13, 2021

Italian energy company Eni is upgrading its HPC4 system with new gear from HPE that will be installed in Eni’s Green Data Center in Ferrera Erbognone (a province in Pavia, Italy), and delivered “as-a-service” via H Read more…

Intel Reorgs HPC Group, Creates Two ‘Super Compute’ Groups

October 15, 2021

Following on changes made in June that moved Intel’s HPC unit out of the Data Platform Group and into the newly created Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) business unit, led by Raja Koduri, Intel is making further updates to the HPC group and announcing... Read more…

Royalty-free stock illustration ID: 1938746143

MosaicML, Led by Naveen Rao, Comes Out of Stealth Aiming to Ease Model Training

October 15, 2021

With more and more enterprises turning to AI for a myriad of tasks, companies quickly find out that training AI models is expensive, difficult and time-consuming. Finding a new approach to deal with those cascading challenges is the aim of a new startup, MosaicML, that just came out of stealth... Read more…

Quantum Workforce – NSTC Report Highlights Need for International Talent

October 13, 2021

Attracting and training the needed quantum workforce to fuel the ongoing quantum information sciences (QIS) revolution is a hot topic these days. Last week, the U.S. National Science and Technology Council issued a report – The Role of International Talent in Quantum Information Science... Read more…

Eni Returns to HPE for ‘HPC4’ Refresh via GreenLake

October 13, 2021

Italian energy company Eni is upgrading its HPC4 system with new gear from HPE that will be installed in Eni’s Green Data Center in Ferrera Erbognone (a provi Read more…

The Blueprint for the National Strategic Computing Reserve

October 12, 2021

Over the last year, the HPC community has been buzzing with the possibility of a National Strategic Computing Reserve (NSCR). An in-utero brainchild of the COVID-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium, an NSCR would serve as a Merchant Marine for urgent computing... Read more…

UCLA Researchers Report Largest Chiplet Design and Early Prototyping

October 12, 2021

What’s the best path forward for large-scale chip/system integration? Good question. Cerebras has set a high bar with its wafer scale engine 2 (WSE-2); it has 2.6 trillion transistors, including 850,000 cores, and was fabricated using TSMC’s 7nm process on a roughly 8” x 8” silicon footprint. Read more…

What’s Next for EuroHPC: an Interview with EuroHPC Exec. Dir. Anders Dam Jensen

October 7, 2021

One year after taking the post as executive director of the EuroHPC JU, Anders Dam Jensen reviews the project's accomplishments and details what's ahead as EuroHPC's operating period has now been extended out to the year 2027. Read more…

University of Bath Unveils Janus, an Azure-Based Cloud HPC Environment

October 6, 2021

The University of Bath is upgrading its HPC infrastructure, which it says “supports a growing and wide range of research activities across the University.” Read more…

Ahead of ‘Dojo,’ Tesla Reveals Its Massive Precursor Supercomputer

June 22, 2021

In spring 2019, Tesla made cryptic reference to a project called Dojo, a “super-powerful training computer” for video data processing. Then, in summer 2020, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted: “Tesla is developing a [neural network] training computer... Read more…

Enter Dojo: Tesla Reveals Design for Modular Supercomputer & D1 Chip

August 20, 2021

Two months ago, Tesla revealed a massive GPU cluster that it said was “roughly the number five supercomputer in the world,” and which was just a precursor to Tesla’s real supercomputing moonshot: the long-rumored, little-detailed Dojo system. Read more…

Esperanto, Silicon in Hand, Champions the Efficiency of Its 1,092-Core RISC-V Chip

August 27, 2021

Esperanto Technologies made waves last December when it announced ET-SoC-1, a new RISC-V-based chip aimed at machine learning that packed nearly 1,100 cores onto a package small enough to fit six times over on a single PCIe card. Now, Esperanto is back, silicon in-hand and taking aim... Read more…

CentOS Replacement Rocky Linux Is Now in GA and Under Independent Control

June 21, 2021

The Rocky Enterprise Software Foundation (RESF) is announcing the general availability of Rocky Linux, release 8.4, designed as a drop-in replacement for the soon-to-be discontinued CentOS. The GA release is launching six-and-a-half months... Read more…

US Closes in on Exascale: Frontier Installation Is Underway

September 29, 2021

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, held by Zoom this week (Sept. 29-30), it was revealed that the Frontier supercomputer is currently being installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The staff at the Oak Ridge Leadership... Read more…

Intel Completes LLVM Adoption; Will End Updates to Classic C/C++ Compilers in Future

August 10, 2021

Intel reported in a blog this week that its adoption of the open source LLVM architecture for Intel’s C/C++ compiler is complete. The transition is part of In Read more…

Hot Chips: Here Come the DPUs and IPUs from Arm, Nvidia and Intel

August 25, 2021

The emergence of data processing units (DPU) and infrastructure processing units (IPU) as potentially important pieces in cloud and datacenter architectures was Read more…

AMD-Xilinx Deal Gains UK, EU Approvals — China’s Decision Still Pending

July 1, 2021

AMD’s planned acquisition of FPGA maker Xilinx is now in the hands of Chinese regulators after needed antitrust approvals for the $35 billion deal were receiv Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

HPE Wins $2B GreenLake HPC-as-a-Service Deal with NSA

September 1, 2021

In the heated, oft-contentious, government IT space, HPE has won a massive $2 billion contract to provide HPC and AI services to the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA). Following on the heels of the now-canceled $10 billion JEDI contract (reissued as JWCC) and a $10 billion... Read more…

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…

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…

Quantum Roundup: IBM, Rigetti, Phasecraft, Oxford QC, China, and More

July 13, 2021

IBM yesterday announced a proof for a quantum ML algorithm. A week ago, it unveiled a new topology for its quantum processors. Last Friday, the Technical Univer Read more…

The Latest MLPerf Inference Results: Nvidia GPUs Hold Sway but Here Come CPUs and Intel

September 22, 2021

The latest round of MLPerf inference benchmark (v 1.1) results was released today and Nvidia again dominated, sweeping the top spots in the closed (apples-to-ap Read more…

Frontier to Meet 20MW Exascale Power Target Set by DARPA in 2008

July 14, 2021

After more than a decade of planning, the United States’ first exascale computer, Frontier, is set to arrive at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) later this year. Crossing this “1,000x” horizon required overcoming four major challenges: power demand, reliability, extreme parallelism and data movement. Read more…

Intel Unveils New Node Names; Sapphire Rapids Is Now an ‘Intel 7’ CPU

July 27, 2021

What's a preeminent chip company to do when its process node technology lags the competition by (roughly) one generation, but outmoded naming conventions make i Read more…

Intel Launches 10nm ‘Ice Lake’ Datacenter CPU with Up to 40 Cores

April 6, 2021

The wait is over. Today Intel officially launched its 10nm datacenter CPU, the third-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processor, codenamed Ice Lake. With up to 40 Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire