The Portland Group
CSCS Top Right Frontpage

Since 1986 - Covering the Fastest Computers
in the World and the People Who Run Them

Language Flags

Visit additional Tabor Communication Publications

Enterprise Tech
HPCwire Japan

StarCluster 101

Without a proper toolkit, running HPC applications and computations in the cloud can be a tedious exercise, especially for those who run those with relative infrequency.

StarCluster may help with that problem. StarCluster, according to Admin Magazine's Gavin Burris, is a project developed by MIT's Software Tools for Academics and Researchers team, hence the STAR. It caters to those in the scientific and researching fields and in particular those who wish to utilize clusters to perform computations but have not the tools in house to do so.

In order to get started on StarCluster, one must, according to Burris, have an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account, as the toolkit that codes in Python runs on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

Burris proceeded to walk through the process of installing and configuring StarCluster before ultimately showing how a test computation would run. He used a fairly common test case, using a Monte Carlo simulation to approximate the value of pi.

Understanding how to set up these clusters and perform jobs and tasks on them on a case-by-case basis can be critical for system programmers who only intermittently require the use of an HPC cluster and thus have no use for an onsite cluster.

"The cloud has become a key resource in the support of HPC," said Burris has he discussed the value of StarCluster within HPC in the cloud in his conclusion. "Given the proper use case, cloud offerings are an affordable fit for a variety of different workflows. A key tool in any systems programmer's arsenal should be the StarCluster toolkit, which provides a powerful interface for harnessing these cloud resources in an effective manner."

Burris espoused the notion of utilizing cloud-based high performance computing in general, noting that it allows programmers and administrators to build and develop custom ecosystems for researchers. "Cloud computing is the next level of abstraction, allowing for the programmable out-sourcing of the data center," Burris mentioned in his endorsement of using HPC in the cloud. "What would traditionally be a locally managed room, full of physical hardware with a three- to five-year life cycle, situated within a managed facility that provides electricity and cooling, is now available through a programmable API."

Other advantages according to Burris include outsourcing the task of chasing loose red lights and failed servers to a group in Amazon that specifically is trained for that.

Most Read Features

Most Read Around the Web

Most Read This Just In

Most Read Blogs

Sponsored Whitepapers

Breaking I/O Bottlenecks

10/30/2013 | Cray, DDN, Mellanox, NetApp, ScaleMP, Supermicro, Xyratex | Creating data is easy… the challenge is getting it to the right place to make use of it. This paper discusses fresh solutions that can directly increase I/O efficiency, and the applications of these solutions to current, and new technology infrastructures.

A New Ultra-Dense Hyper-Scale x86 Server Design

10/01/2013 | IBM | A new trend is developing in the HPC space that is also affecting enterprise computing productivity with the arrival of “ultra-dense” hyper-scale servers.

Sponsored Multimedia

Xyratex, presents ClusterStor at the Vendor Showdown at ISC13

Ken Claffey, SVP and General Manager at Xyratex, presents ClusterStor at the Vendor Showdown at ISC13 in Leipzig, Germany.

HPCwire Live! Atlanta's Big Data Kick Off Week Meets HPC

Join HPCwire Editor Nicole Hemsoth and Dr. David Bader from Georgia Tech as they take center stage on opening night at Atlanta's first Big Data Kick Off Week, filmed in front of a live audience. Nicole and David look at the evolution of HPC, today's big data challenges, discuss real world solutions, and reveal their predictions. Exactly what does the future holds for HPC?


Stay informed! Subscribe to HPCwire email Newsletters.

HPCwire Weekly Update
HPC in the Cloud Update
Digital Manufacturing Report
HPCwire Conferences & Events
Job Bank
HPCwire Product Showcases


HPC Job Bank

Featured Events

HPCwire Events