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Rethinking Hpc Platforms For 'second Gen' Applications

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The cHPC architecture combines existing HPC platforms with LXC and platform analytics.

new paper posted last week by researchers from the University of Edinburgh and University of St. Andrews suggests the emergence of second generation HPC applications (and users) requires a new approach to supporting infrastructure that draws on contain

Credit: Rethinking HPC Platforms: Challenges, Opportunities and Recommendations

Researchers at the universities of Edinburgh and St. Andrews in the U.K. suggest a new approach to high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure involving containerization is necessitated by second-generation applications.

"Many of the emerging second-generation HPC applications move beyond tightly-coupled, compute-centric methods and algorithms and embrace more heterogeneous, multi-component workflows, dynamic and ad-hoc computation, and data-centric methodologies," the researchers say.

They define a set of "container HPC" (cHPC) services as an array "of operating-system-level services and [application programming interfaces] that can run alongside and integrate with existing job via Linux containers to provide isolated, user-deployed application environment containers, application introspection, and resource throttling via the cgroups kernel extension."

The researchers also note the main thrust of their work is assessing a prototype system "to carry out detailed measurements and benchmarks to analyze the overhead and scalability of our approach."

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