A comparative study of high-performance computing on the cloud

Aniruddha Marathe, Rachel Harris, David K. Lowenthal, Bronis R. De Supinski, Barry Rountree, Martin Schulz, Xin Yuan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

58 Scopus citations

Abstract

The popularity of Amazon's EC2 cloud platform has increased in recent years. However, many high-performance computing (HPC) users consider dedicated high-performance clusters, typically found in large compute centers such as those in national laboratories, to be far superior to EC2 because of significant communication overhead of the latter. Our view is that this is quite narrow and the proper metrics for comparing high-performance clusters to EC2 is turnaround time and cost. In this paper, we compare the top-of-the-line EC2 cluster to HPC clusters at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) based on turnaround time and total cost of execution. When measuring turnaround time, we include expected queue wait time on HPC clusters. Our results show that although as expected, standard HPC clusters are superior in raw performance, EC2 clusters may produce better turnaround times. To estimate cost, we developed a pricing model - relative to EC2's node-hour prices - to set node-hour prices for (currently free) LLNL clusters. We observe that the cost-effectiveness of running an application on a cluster depends on raw performance and application scalability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages239-250
Number of pages12
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013
Event22nd ACM International Symposium on High-Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing, HPDC 2013 - New York, NY, United States
Duration: Jun 17 2013Jun 21 2013

Other

Other22nd ACM International Symposium on High-Performance Parallel and Distributed Computing, HPDC 2013
CountryUnited States
CityNew York, NY
Period6/17/136/21/13

Keywords

  • cloud
  • cost
  • high-performance computing
  • turnaround time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

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