Google Cloud Announces ‘Pre-Tuned’ HPC VM Images

February 2, 2021

Over on the Google Cloud blog, Pavan Kumar (product manager) and Jason Zhang (software engineering manager) announce a new solution for helping customers easily create HPC-ready VMs, and optimize HPC and MPI workloads on Google Cloud. An excerpt follows below.


Today, we’re excited to announce the Public Preview of a CentOS 7-based Virtual Machine (VM) image optimized for high performance computing (HPC) workloads, with a focus on tightly-coupled MPI workloads.

In 2020, we introduced several features and best-practice tunings to help achieve optimal MPI performance on Google Cloud. With these best practices, we demonstrated that MPI ping-pong latency falls into single-digits of microseconds (us) and small MPI messages are delivered in 10us or less.

Improved MPI performance translates directly to improved application scaling, expanding the set of HPC workloads that run efficiently on Google Cloud. However, building a VM image that includes these best practices requires systems expertise and knowledge of Google Cloud. Starting with an HPC-optimized image can make it easier to maintain an image.

The HPC VM image makes it easy and quick to instantiate VMs that are tuned to achieve optimal CPU and network performance on Google Cloud. The HPC VM image is available at no additional cost via the Google Cloud Marketplace.

Benefits of using the HPC VM image

The HPC VM image is pre-configured and regularly maintained, providing the following advantages to HPC customers on Google Cloud:

  1. Easily create HPC-ready VMs out-of the-box that incorporate our best practices for tightly-coupled HPC applications. You can quickly create HPC-ready VMs and always stay up-to-date with the latest tunings.
  2. Networking optimizations for tightly-coupled workloads help reduce latency for small messages, and benefit applications that are heavily dependent on point-to-point and collective communications.
  3. Compute optimizations for HPC workloads allow more predictable single-node high performance by reducing system jitter that can lead to performance variation.
  4. Consistent and reproducible multi-node performance by using a set of tunings which have been tested across a range of HPC workloads.

Using the HPC VM image is simple and easy, as it is a drop-in replacement for the standard CentOS 7 image.

The HPC VM image is available in Preview for all customers through the Google Cloud Marketplace today. Check out our documentation and quickstart guide for more details on creating instances using the HPC VM image.

Read the rest of the blog here for a customer story out of Caltech, additional details on what’s included in the HPC VM image, and benchmarking tests.


Source: Google Cloud blog

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