high performance computing

Ohio Supercomputer Center flattens HPC learning curve

The Ohio Supercomputer Center has launched  an open-source version of its OnDemand service, the Center's online, single-point-of-entry application for high-performance computing.

Through Open OnDemand, HPC clients can use a web browser to upload and download files, create, edit, submit and monitor jobs, run GUI applications and connect via SSH, with no client software to install and configure.

"Up until this point, clients had to install software, use a cryptic file editor and learn batch system commands," said David Hudak, interim executive director of OSC. "Our objective with the Open OnDemand project has been to build a portal that will allow them to use HPC without a big learning curve. It's about lowering the barrier of entry to the world of supercomputing."

"In my mind, the biggest benefit of Open OnDemand for us is the ability for our users to run graphical applications like Matlab, Ansys, etc., on HPC resources without having to log into these resources directly," said Martin Cuma, a scientific consultant at the Center for High Performance Computing at the University of Utah, where staff already have deployed Open OnDemand. "Learning the basics of the HPC resource use (basic Linux terminal operation, queue manager, etc.) can be a hurdle which Open OnDemand should at least partially reduce."

So far, about a half-dozen HPC centers have installed and deployed the package, and another half-dozen have installed the portal for testing and evaluation.

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