StarCluster Brings HPC to the Amazon Cloud

Published in "High Performance Computing (HPC) in the Cloud" by Justin Riley, Programmer Analyst III, OEIT

Three computers on a cloudSetting up an HPC cluster in the cloud can be a daunting task for new users looking to utilize the cloud to run their HPC applications. Learning the ins and outs of the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) model in addition to configuring and installing a typical HPC system is not an easy task.

In order to use the cloud effectively users need to be able to automate the process of requesting and configuring new resources and also terminate resources when they're no longer required without losing data. These concerns can be a challenge even for advanced users and require some level of cloud programming in order to get it right. In an effort to improve this situation, the Software Tools for Academics and Researchers (STAR) group at MIT has created an open-source project called StarCluster that allows anyone to create and manage their own HPC clusters hosted on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) without needing to be a cloud expert.

Read complete HPC in the Cloud article