[Beowulf] Station wagon full of tapes

Gerry Creager gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Tue May 26 08:27:09 EDT 2009


There was an interesting brainstorming session at Rocks-A-Palooza a 
couple of weeks ago.  Someone wants to offer Amazon resources.  Problem 
remains for me: How can I get sufficient cloud resources for computing 
(I'll hammer on dataset transport in a moment) that will handle 
reasonable weather models with their small message MPI chatter, and lots 
of file I/O?  I've been assured that Amazon's ready to accommodate that.

However, getting data into S3 for availability, when a daily 
multi-gigabyte dataset is used for initiation, and another is created as 
output, is going to be expensive, and likely slow.  I think there are 
other approaches that have to be evaluated.  I am not sure the cloud is 
ready for MPI play on a significant basis, just yet.

I can envision it for small, embarrassingly parallel, low-communications 
jobs.  *atHome comes to mind, but they're already tapping spare cycles 
-- at peoples home PCs -- and aren't likely to pay for this.

Another potential use: A company or research group doesn't know if they 
want to dip into HPC.  They can "rent" a virtual cluster in the cloud, 
and if the results warrant, consider getting their own real cluster, or 
buying into a campus infrastructure condominium model.

gerry

John Hearns wrote:
> There was a discussion recently on cloud computing, and how effective
> it would be for HPC.
> I made the comment that the time for getting large data sets to/from
> the cloud provider would be
> a limiting factor. I think Amazon was listening to me:
> 
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/22/amazon_cloud_drive_mail_in/
> 
> They will accept hard drives shipped in the mail.
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-- 
Gerry Creager -- gerry.creager at tamu.edu
Texas Mesonet -- AATLT, Texas A&M University	
Cell: 979.229.5301 Office: 979.458.4020 FAX: 979.862.3983
Office: 1700 Research Parkway Ste 160, TAMU, College Station, TX 77843
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