[Beowulf] Using commercial clouds for HPC

stephen mulcahy smulcahy at atlanticlinux.ie
Thu May 7 12:19:02 PDT 2009


I'm pretty sure this came up in some shape or form at some stage on this 
list but after extensive Googling and Swishing(!?) of the list I can't 
find anything concrete so apologies if I'm restarting an old thread.

Has anyone done any investigation into using commerical clouds such as 
Amazon's EC2 for HPC type loads?

I'm still not entirely clear on whether they are a suitable alternative 
from a software/hardware perspective or whether they have lots of hidden 
bottlenecks due to their virtual nature that HPC codes would run badly 
and/or not at all (obviously depending on the specific code).

Also, if anyone is using these for HPC type loads, how does the pricing 
work out relative to owning your own similar sized cluster (if anyone 
has done those numbers)? I notice that EC2 has different pricing for 
"high cpu" - but I wonder is this typical business app "high cpu" 
(little 25% spikes every few minutes) or typical hpc app "high cpu" 
(long 90% spikes all the time :)

Experiences and thoughts welcome.



Stephen Mulcahy     Atlantic Linux         http://www.atlanticlinux.ie
Registered in Ireland, no. 376591 (144 Ros Caoin, Roscam, Galway)

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