Azure Joins the Graph500 with Top 20 Showing

November 19, 2020

Nov. 19, 2020 — At SC20, Azure is proud to join the ranks of the world’s most powerful data-intensive supercomputers by placing 17th on the prestigious Graph500. To our knowledge, this is the first time a public cloud has placed on the Graph500. With HBv2 VMs yielding 1,151 GTEPS (Giga-Traversed Edges Per Second), Azure’s placement on the Graph500 ranks among the top 6 percent all-time for published submissions.

As opposed to the TOP500 Linpack benchmark, the Graph500 focuses on data-intensive workloads. As the work of every sector of government, enterprise, and research becomes increasingly data-centric, the Graph500 serves as a useful barometer for customers and partners looking to migrate challenging data problems to the Cloud.

The breadth-first search (BFS) test within the Graph500 benchmark stresses HPC and supercomputing environments in multiple ways with a consistent emphasis on the ability to move data. It also uses the “popcount” CPU instruction that is particularly useful for customer workloads in the fields of cryptography, molecular fingerprinting, and extremely dense data storage.

Azure H-series VMs for HPC are a particularly compelling platform for this kind of workload because of Azure’s leadership memory bandwidth and InfiniBand networking. HBv2 VMs, for example, feature up to 84 percent more memory bandwidth and 10x lower network latencies compared to other public cloud HPC platforms. In addition, Azure’s InfiniBand-equipped VMs support hardware-accelerated MPI collectives.

Dr. Jithin Jose of the Azure HPC team scaled the BFS test to 640 HBv2 VMs using 64 parallel processes per VM, as the BFS test strongly prefers to use process counts based on power-of-2 configurations. In total, these 640 VMs leveraged more than 287 terabytes of distributed memory, 218 terabytes/s of aggregate memory bandwidth, and 230 terabits/s of bisection network bandwidth.

Visit Jithin’s blog on the Azure Tech Community to learn how to run Graph500 benchmarks on our family of H-series Virtual Machines.


Source: Evan Burness, Azure HPC

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