How to Build Clusters for Scientific Applications-as-a-Service

How can we make a workload easier on cloud? In a previous article we presented the lay of the land for HPC workload management in an OpenStack environment. A substantial part of the work done to date focuses on automating the creation of a software-defined workload management environment – SLURM-as-a-Service.

SLURM is only one narrow (but widely used) use case in a broad ecosystem of multi-node scientific application clusters: let’s not over-specialize. It raises the question of what is needed to make a generally useful, flexible system for creating Cluster-as-a-Service?

What do users really want?

A user of the system will not care how elegantly the infrastructure is orchestrated:

  • Users will want support for the science tools they need, and when new tools are needed, the users will want support for those too.
  • Users will want to get started with minimal effort. The learning curve they must climb to deploy tools needs to be shallow.
  • Users will want easy access to the datasets upon which their research is based.

Read more at OpenStack SuperUser

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