Best Practices for Running Ansys Fluent Using AWS ParallelCluster

By Nicola Venuti (HPC Specialist Solution Architect, AWS)

August 1, 2019

Using HPC (High Performance Computing) to solve Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) challenges has become common practice. As the growth from HPC workstation to supercomputer has slowed over the last decade or two, compute clusters have increasingly taken the place of single, big SMP (shared memory processing) supercomputers, and have become the ‘new normal’. Another, more recent innovation, the cloud, has also enabled dramatic growth in total throughput.

This post will show you good practices for setting up an HPC cluster on AWS running Ansys Fluent (a commercial computational fluid dynamics software package) in just a few minutes. In addition, you will find some sample scripts to install Ansys Fluent and run your first job. ‘Best guidance’ is a relative term, and in the cloud even more so, as there are many possibilities (aka services) that can be combined in different ways to achieve the same goal. Whether one option is better than another can only be decided in the context of the specific application characteristics or application features to be used. For example, “a high performance parallel file system is better than NFS share” is true for the vast majority of HPC workloads, but there could be cases (like I/O-intensive applications, or small HPC clusters created to run few and/or small jobs) where NFS share is more than enough, and it’s cheaper and simpler to set up. In this post we will share what we consider good practices, together with some additional options – valid alternatives that you may wish to consider.

The main cluster components we will use are the following AWS services:

  • AWS ParallelCluster, an AWS-supported open source cluster management tool to deploy and manage HPC clusters in the AWS cloud.
  • The new Amazon EC2 C5n instances that can use up to 100 Gbps of network bandwidth.
  • Amazon FSx for Lustre , a highly parallel file system that supports sub-millisecond access to petabyte-scale file systems, designed to deliver 200 MB/s of aggregate throughput at 10,000 IOPS for every 1TiB of provisioned capacity.
  • Nice DCV as the remote visualization protocol.

Note: We announced Elastic Fabric Adapter (EFA) at re:Invent 2018, and have recently launched the service in multiple AWS regions. EFA is a network device that you can attach to your Amazon EC2 instances to accelerate HPC applications, providing lower and more consistent latency and higher throughput than the TCP transport traditionally used in cloud-based HPC systems. It enhances the performance of inter-instance communication critical for scaling HPC applications, and is optimized to work on the existing AWS network infrastructure. Ansys Fluent is not yet ready for use with EFA, so the use of this specific network device will not be extensively covered in this post.

Note: ANSYS Fluent is a commercial software package that requires a license. This post assumes that you already have your Ansys Fluent license on (or accessible from) AWS. Also, the installation script you will find below requires Ansys installation packages. You can download the current release from Ansys under “Downloads → Current Release”.

First step: Create a Custom AMI

To speed up cluster creation and, most importantly, to shorten the time needed to start up the compute nodes, it’s good practice to create a custom AMI that has certain packages preinstalled and settings pre-configured.

  1. Start based on an existing AMI and note down the AMI id appropriate to the region where you plan to deploy your cluster; see our list of AMIs by region. For example, we started with CentOS7 in Virginia (us-east-1), and the AMI ID is ami-0a4d7e08ea5178c02.
  2. Open the AWS Console and launch an instance in your preferred region (the same you chose your AMI from), using the ami-id as before.
  3. Make sure that your instance is accessible from the internet and has a public IP address.
  4. Give the instance an IAM role that allows it to download files from S3 (or from a specific S3 bucket).
  5. Optionally, tag the instance. (i.e., Name = Fluent-AMI-v1)
  6. Configure the security group to allow incoming connections on port 22.
  7. If you need additional details on how to create a custom AMI for AWS ParallelCluster, please refer to Building a custom AWS ParallelCluster AMI. the official documentation.
  8. Once the instance is ready, ssh into it and run the following commands as root:

Read the complete blog and follow along with step-by-step instructions here.

Return to Solution Channel Homepage

AWS Resources

Follow @awscloud

AWS on Facebook

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!

Singularity Moves Up the Container Value Chain

August 20, 2019

The enterprise version of the Singularity HPC container platform released this week by Sylabs is designed to allow users to create, secure and share the high-end containers in self-hosted production deployments. The e Read more…

By George Leopold

IBM Deepens Plunge into Open Source; OpenPOWER to Join Linux Foundation

August 20, 2019

IBM today announced it was contributing the instruction set (ISA) for its Power microprocessor and the designs for the Open Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface (OpenCAPI) and Open Memory Interface (OMI) to the Linux Read more…

By John Russell

Stampede2 ‘Shocks’ with New Shock Turbulence Insights

August 19, 2019

Shockwaves play roles in everything from high-speed aircraft to supernovae – and now, supercomputer-powered research from the Texas A&M University and the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is helping to shed l Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

Efficiency and Cost-Optimization for HPC Workloads – AWS Batch and Amazon EC2 Spot Instances

High Performance Computing on AWS leverages the power of cloud computing and the extreme scale it offers to achieve optimal HPC price/performance. With AWS you can right size your services to meet exactly the capacity requirements you need without having to overprovision or compromise capacity. Read more…

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Bring the combined power of HPC and AI to your business transformation

FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) acceleration cards are not new, as they’ve been commercially available since 1984. Typically, the emphasis around FPGAs has centered on the fact that they’re programmable accelerators, and that they can truly offer workload specific hardware acceleration solutions without requiring custom silicon. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Keys to Attracting the Newest HPC Talent – Post-Millennials

[Connect with HPC users and learn new skills in the IBM Spectrum LSF User Community.]

For engineers and scientists growing up in the 80s, the current state of HPC makes perfect sense. Read more…

Nanosheet Transistors: The Last Step in Moore’s Law?

August 19, 2019

Forget for a moment the clamor around the decline of Moore’s Law. It's had a brilliant run, something to be marveled at given it’s not a law at all. Squeezing out the last bit of performance that roughly corresponds Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Deepens Plunge into Open Source; OpenPOWER to Join Linux Foundation

August 20, 2019

IBM today announced it was contributing the instruction set (ISA) for its Power microprocessor and the designs for the Open Coherent Accelerator Processor Inter Read more…

By John Russell

Ayar Labs to Demo Photonics Chiplet in FPGA Package at Hot Chips

August 19, 2019

Silicon startup Ayar Labs continues to gain momentum with its DARPA-backed optical chiplet technology that puts advanced electronics and optics on the same chip Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Scientists to Tap Exascale Computing to Unlock the Mystery of our Accelerating Universe

August 14, 2019

The universe and everything in it roared to life with the Big Bang approximately 13.8 billion years ago. It has continued expanding ever since. While we have a Read more…

By Rob Johnson

AI is the Next Exascale – Rick Stevens on What that Means and Why It’s Important

August 13, 2019

Twelve years ago the Department of Energy (DOE) was just beginning to explore what an exascale computing program might look like and what it might accomplish. Today, DOE is repeating that process for AI, once again starting with science community town halls to gather input and stimulate conversation. The town hall program... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader and John Russell

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lenovo Drives Single-Socket Servers with AMD Epyc Rome CPUs

August 7, 2019

No summer doldrums here. As part of the AMD Epyc Rome launch event in San Francisco today, Lenovo announced two new single-socket servers, the ThinkSystem SR635 Read more…

By Doug Black

Building Diversity and Broader Engagement in the HPC Community

August 7, 2019

Increasing diversity and inclusion in HPC is a community-building effort. Representation of both issues and individuals matters - the more people see HPC in a w Read more…

By AJ Lauer

High Performance (Potato) Chips

May 5, 2006

In this article, we focus on how Procter & Gamble is using high performance computing to create some common, everyday supermarket products. Tom Lange, a 27-year veteran of the company, tells us how P&G models products, processes and production systems for the betterment of consumer package goods. Read more…

By Michael Feldman

Supercomputer-Powered AI Tackles a Key Fusion Energy Challenge

August 7, 2019

Fusion energy is the Holy Grail of the energy world: low-radioactivity, low-waste, zero-carbon, high-output nuclear power that can run on hydrogen or lithium. T Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cray, AMD to Extend DOE’s Exascale Frontier

May 7, 2019

Cray and AMD are coming back to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to partner on the world’s largest and most expensive supercomputer. The Department of Energy’s Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphene Surprises Again, This Time for Quantum Computing

May 8, 2019

Graphene is fascinating stuff with promise for use in a seeming endless number of applications. This month researchers from the University of Vienna and Institu Read more…

By John Russell

AMD Verifies Its Largest 7nm Chip Design in Ten Hours

June 5, 2019

AMD announced last week that its engineers had successfully executed the first physical verification of its largest 7nm chip design – in just ten hours. The AMD Radeon Instinct Vega20 – which boasts 13.2 billion transistors – was tested using a TSMC-certified Calibre nmDRC software platform from Mentor. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

TSMC and Samsung Moving to 5nm; Whither Moore’s Law?

June 12, 2019

With reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TMSC) and Samsung are moving quickly to 5nm manufacturing, it’s a good time to again ponder whither goes the venerable Moore’s law. Shrinking feature size has of course been the primary hallmark of achieving Moore’s law... Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep Learning Competitors Stalk Nvidia

May 14, 2019

There is no shortage of processing architectures emerging to accelerate deep learning workloads, with two more options emerging this week to challenge GPU leader Nvidia. First, Intel researchers claimed a new deep learning record for image classification on the ResNet-50 convolutional neural network. Separately, Israeli AI chip startup Hailo.ai... Read more…

By George Leopold

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Top500 Purely Petaflops; US Maintains Performance Lead

June 17, 2019

With the kick-off of the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt this morning, the 53rd Top500 list made its debut, and this one's for petafl Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Hardware That Powered the Black Hole Image

June 24, 2019

Two months ago, the first-ever image of a black hole took the internet by storm. A team of scientists took years to produce and verify the striking image – an Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cray – and the Cray Brand – to Be Positioned at Tip of HPE’s HPC Spear

May 22, 2019

More so than with most acquisitions of this kind, HPE’s purchase of Cray for $1.3 billion, announced last week, seems to have elements of that overused, often Read more…

By Doug Black and Tiffany Trader

Chinese Company Sugon Placed on US ‘Entity List’ After Strong Showing at International Supercomputing Conference

June 26, 2019

After more than a decade of advancing its supercomputing prowess, operating the world’s most powerful supercomputer from June 2013 to June 2018, China is keep Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

In Wake of Nvidia-Mellanox: Xilinx to Acquire Solarflare

April 25, 2019

With echoes of Nvidia’s recent acquisition of Mellanox, FPGA maker Xilinx has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Solarflare Communications, provider Read more…

By Doug Black

Qualcomm Invests in RISC-V Startup SiFive

June 7, 2019

Investors are zeroing in on the open standard RISC-V instruction set architecture and the processor intellectual property being developed by a batch of high-flying chip startups. Last fall, Esperanto Technologies announced a $58 million funding round. Read more…

By George Leopold

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