May 16, 2019
University of Basel
Europe/Zurich timezone
hpc-ch forum

Playlist with all video presentations can be viewed here.


The HPC landscape changed enormously over the last years; traditionally, it was led by computational physics, chemistry and other disciplines requiring huge processing performance and running on large number of nodes. Nowadays more and more scientific disciplines need computing resources and introduce new requirements for the HPC environments. Many of these new applications necessitate only a fraction of one compute node for a short time while others need more powerful nodes than those regularly available. At the same time, software development and distribution increasingly develop towards portable virtualization technologies required for research reproducibility, and scientists rely more and more on containers to run their experiments. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) addresses many of the requirements needed by the researchers of the different scientific disciplines. In this context, OpenStack one of the leading open source IaaS platforms, support virtualized infrastructures, bare-metal infrastructures, GPU devices, I/O virtualization, and containers orchestration.

In this forum, we would like to explore how system architects and system managers can build HPC environment on top of IaaS infrastructures like OpenStack.

Key questions


  • What are the differences between traditional HPC clusters and IaaS cloud based HPC clusters?
  • What are the advantages and the limitations of HPC infrastructures built on top of OpenStack?
  • How to handle big data in an OpenStack environment in term of scalability, confidentiality and performance.
  • How to deploy containers (docker, singularity, …) on OpenStack
  • What is the overhead of the virtualization, how does this affect the performance on the CPU, on the I/O or on the network. Which workloads/processes are affected?
  • How to deploy and manage the containerized applications. Which automation tool fills the requirements, kubernetes, ansible, mesos. …?
  • What are the new skills needed by the system administrators and the users to work on these environments?
  • How to best share the knowledge between the different HPC centers?


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