Accelerated Computing Platforms

While accelerated computing instances providing access to NVIDIA™ GPUs are already available since a couple of years in commercial public clouds like Amazon EC2, the EGI Federated Cloud has put in production its first OpenStack-based site providing GPU-equipped instances at the end of 2015. However, many EGI sites which are providing GPUs or MIC coprocessors to enable high performance processing are not directly supported yet in a federated manner by the EGI HTC and Cloud platforms. In fact, to use the accelerator cards capabilities available at resource centre level, users must directly interact with the local provider to get information about the type of resources and software libraries available, and which submission queues must be used to submit accelerated computing workloads.

EGI since March 2015 has worked to implement the support to accelerated computing on both its HTC and Cloud platforms addressing two levels: the information system, based on the OGF GLUE standard, and the middleware. By developing a common extension of the information system structure, it was possible to expose the correct information about the accelerated computing technologies available, both software and hardware, at site level. Accelerator capabilities can now be published uniformly, so that users can extract all the information directly from the information system without interacting with the sites, and easily use resources provided by multiple sites. On the other hand, HTC and Cloud middleware support for accelerator cards has been extended, where needed, in order to provide a transparent and uniform way to allocate these resources together with CPU cores efficiently to the users.

Some West-Life applications have been pioneers on exploting the first prototypal interfaces to accelerator resources developed by EGI, both in HTC and Cloud environments: