OpenHPC Progress Report – v2.0, More Recipes, Cloud and Arm Support, Says Schulz


Launched in late 2015 and transitioned to a Linux Basis Undertaking in 2016, OpenHPC has marched quietly however steadily ahead. Its objective “to offer a reference assortment of open-source HPC software program elements and greatest practices, decreasing obstacles to deployment, development, and use of contemporary HPC strategies and tools” was at all times greeted with enthusiasm though there was wariness with Intel because the early driver. Since then OpenHPC has fared nicely by sticking to open supply street (whereas nonetheless having fun with Intel’s help).

Earlier this month OpenHPC launched model 2.zero focusing on new Linux working system distributions and together with new help for cloud and Arm. SC20 would have been v2.zero’s popping out celebration had the pandemic not transformed HPC’s annual extravaganza right into a digital gathering. OpenHPC continues to be planning to supply SC20 actions. The older 1.zero department (now v1.39) is prone to get one other minor replace after which transfer into upkeep mode.

Karl Schulz, OpenHPC

Karl Schulz, the challenge lead for OpenHPC since its begin and presently a analysis professor (Oden Institute) at UT Austin, offered HPCwire with an replace of OpenHPC actions and plans. Amongst different issues Schulz touched on rising traction within the cloud and rising demand for Arm builds; why it’s powerful to tightly combine GPU tech; effort to develop the variety of tutorials provided; and ideas on together with processor-specific recipes down the street.

Offered here’s a lightly-edited portion of Schulz’s dialog with HPCwire.

HPCwire: It’s been fairly some time since we’ve talked. I do know v2.zero was simply launched and I’m pondering the final launch of 1.39 was nicely earlier than that, possibly a full yr in the past. Are you able to briefly deliver us up to the mark?

Karl Schulz: That’s proper, the final full launch would have been proper earlier than supercomputing of 2019, after which we type of made a dedication to attempt to work on the two.zero launch. The 1.3x department was focusing on older distro variations. It supported RHEL 7 (Purple Hat Enterprise Linux) or CentOS 7 and SLES 12 (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server). We’ve been mainly working since then to place out a 2.zero launch towards newer distro variations. It did take a short time for us to get that out the door?

HPCwire: It appears to be like like v2.zero isn’t backward appropriate; possibly discuss in regards to the pondering there and what are a few of the main adjustments?

Karl Schulz: It’s not meant to be backwards appropriate. The first motive for that’s as a result of the OSs themselves aren’t precisely meant to be upgradeable, that means it’s fairly tough and not likely a supported path to go from RHEL 7 to RHEL eight, for instance. SLES has a bit extra help, they are saying, however even they get type of nervous anytime you wish to go from a serious distro model and attempt to improve it. In order that’s the true motive 2.zero isn’t backwards appropriate. We additionally took the chance to make some important adjustments. The large half is 2.zero targets the brand new distros. We’re nonetheless sticking with CentOS (open supply) which is by far our hottest of the recipes which can be downloaded, however we did change from SLES to Leap (non-commercial model of SLES).

I don’t understand how carefully you comply with that world. SUSE has at all times had its enterprise version, and open SUSE nevertheless it was not precisely 100% appropriate with the enterprise distribution. They now have a model of open SUSE known as Leap. So, for instance, there’s a leap 15.1 which roughly maps to SLES 15 Service Pack 1, and they’re the truth is binary appropriate. We took the chance to type of change, being an open supply challenge, to construct towards open SUSE Leap 15 versus SLES 15, although you need to use OpenHPC with both one.

HPCwire: What different important adjustments are there in v2.zero?

Karl Schulz: Nicely, there’s a variety of stuff occurring in HPC area round community interfaces and small issues on the MPI stack. We’ve adopted the newer CH4 interface in MPICH which is coming down the pipe. As you might know, a variety of the industrial MPI installs begin from MPICH as a base. It is a newer interface popping out of Argonne (Nationwide Laboratory) that we’ve adopted.

On the identical time that offers us the flexibleness to make the most of newer material transport interfaces. OpenHPC 2.zero introduces two new material interfaces, Libfabric and UCX. We try to help each as greatest we will; which means for MPICH builds we’ve variations of each. The identical factor for open MPI which helps each of these transport layers. These are fairly important adjustments in 2.zero. From the end-user perspective it shouldn’t matter an excessive amount of, however from an administrator perspective, we’re type of assuming that individuals are going to wish to be utilizing Libfabric and doubtlessly UCX as nicely.

HPCwire: OpenHPC has come a great distance since its begin in 2015 with Intel because the driving pressure. The fear was Intel would exert undue affect it. Has it?

Karl Schulz: I’ve been concerned because the starting and we had been involved upfront with attempting to verify the challenge received going as a real neighborhood challenge. There’s been a few issues which have actually helped alongside the way in which. Getting a number of distributors who’re in type of the identical area, if you’ll, to be a part of the challenge has been very optimistic serving to spur development and adoption. We had been very happy Arm joined and we began doing builds towards Arm processors and including recipes for that. That was an vital milestone for the challenge to point out that it actually meant to help a number of architectures.

Identical factor with a number of distros. We’ve had a number of distro of us concerned because the get go, however sustaining that and rising the variety of recipes inside open HPC has been vital. After we began again in 2016, we had one set up recipe; it was for CentOS and it was for Slurm and used one provisioner. With 2.zero, we’ve one thing like 10 recipes, which span two architectures, two distros, two provisioners, and a number of forms of recipes utilizing these provisioners whether or not you need stateless or stateful. I feel that’s one other vital development level for the challenge.

HPCwire: Who’s the goal consumer? At key message at the beginning of the challenge was the notion of creating it simpler to deploy HPC capabilities which implied adoption of HPC by much less skilled customers.

Karl Schulz: One of many issues we’ve at all times been delicate to offer constructing blocks for HPC and there’s at all times this Catch 22 between, are you’re you focusing on the highest-end of oldsters, the DOE labs and actually huge supercomputing facilities who’ve a variety of experience, or are you focusing on people who find themselves possibly in smaller outlets, who’re constructing their first cluster. We wished to perform a little little bit of each, which is actually tough, however I feel the way in which we’ve organized the challenge and the way in which that we’ve organized the packaging does permit individuals to type of decide and select what they’d like to make use of.

We’ve additionally been very completely satisfied to see continued development within the tutorial area. You see a variety of tutorial establishments who’re we’re utilizing open HPC just about straight up or simply customizing a bit bit. That’s the vital half [that] we didn’t wish to prohibit that customization. It’s the identical for OEMs. We’ve some OEMs who’re taking OpenHPC packages, rebuilding it and, offering a model to their prospects with help, which we at all times thought was vital as a result of that that’s a technique to preserve the OEMs engaged within the challenge and really to assist fund the challenge, frankly.

HPCwire: Who’re examples of OEMs and universities working with OpenHPC?

Karl Schulz: Lenovo is an instance. QCT is a member group that has a few of that as nicely. These two to return to thoughts. I imagine, you’ll be able to you should buy a cluster from Dell and have them pre-install OpenHPC. These are a couple of examples. When it comes to academia, it’s an enormous variety of universities, and I can ship you a hyperlink our cluster registry,

HPCwire: What’s OpenHPC doing with regard to rising demand for AI compute functionality and the infusion of machine studying and frameworks into HPC?

Karl Schulz: We’ve seen this actually. One factor I’ll add is we’ve seen the need to not simply do on-premise kind of installations, but additionally spinning up HPC environments within the cloud and on prime of that working totally different sorts of workloads, and machine studying is actually a type of. That’s one thing within the final yr we’ve spent type of extra time on.

OpenHPC positively began specializing in on-premise forms of installations and to be used in containerization. The final time we talked, I used to be huge on containerization and definitely nonetheless am, that hasn’t gone anyplace. However I feel you combine all this stuff collectively, and you’ve got this want for widespread HPC software program working within the cloud, utilizing containers to run workloads. That’s actually what we’ve seen. We’ve executed some latest work, having tutorials – we’re attempting to develop our tutorial efforts – and had a tutorial on the PEARC (Observe and Expertise in Superior Analysis Computing) convention this summer time. It was targeted on utilizing OpenHPC packaging, however putting in it within the cloud. We had all people work via increase a dynamic cluster that might hearth up compute nodes mechanically while you submit a job to the useful resource supervisor and doing all that via AWS in that case.

We’re increasing on that may have one other tutorial at supercomputing; it’s once more going to stroll individuals via use OpenHPC packages within the cloud, however then we’ll [also] do a hands-on tutorial, now that we’ve this setting spun up, on use containerization and run some machine studying workloads like TensorFlow. We’re positively seeing increasingly more of that type of use case and we’ve been attempting to place collectively documentation and tutorial efforts to assist individuals with no less than utilizing bits and items from OpenHPC.

HPCwire: Are you getting assist from a few of the huge cloud suppliers as nicely? Are they providing OpenHPC as a means wherein you possibly can spin up a cluster at AWS utilizing their tools?

Karl Schulz: Not but. We’re lucky [in that] we’ve one in every of our committee members is at AWS and we’ve good traction getting technical experience to assist us with their tools. In truth, this was a part of the tutorial at PEARC; we had assist utilizing some AWS tools to do the cluster set up. In the intervening time, we’re actually focusing on directors who wish to leverage cloud sources to do this. I might think about sooner or later, maybe it turns into a bit bit extra of a push button kind of exercise. We’re making photos accessible, that are pre-built photos that individuals can entry within the cloud to make it little simpler, however they nonetheless have to stroll via the method of tying cluster nodes along with a head node and a logging node and all that type of stuff.

HPCwire: Now that 2.zero is out, will you try to transfer again to a quarterly launch schedule?

Karl Schulz: I do suppose it [release schedule] will change into extra frequent once more. Earlier than we got here out with 2.zero we realized we needed to set expectations for the earlier department and the brand new department. I’ll say I’ve been type of shocked at how briskly 2.zero has been picked up. We put out a launch candidate in June, as a result of we knew when anyone’s putting in a brand new system, [such as] RHEL eight, you wish to go along with the newest doable [HPC stack]. In about three months, we noticed 2.zero packages getting used as a lot the 1.three packages. Now it’s surpassed that. So in 4 months, we have already got extra use of this new department. We did have some [1.3 branch] requests. We’ll most likely put out yet one more launch within the 1.three sequence to repair a couple of issues and replace a couple of packages individuals have requested for. Then the 1.three three sequence will go right into a upkeep mode [and] actually the one factor that we push out [then] is are safety fixes. Seeing the fast uptake of two.zero additionally helps justify that call, however we’ll hopefully have one other 1.three launch by the top of the yr.

HPCwire: Are you able to present some numbers round OpenHPC customers total? How many individuals are utilizing it now and what’s the expansion been?

Karl Schulz: That’s a tough query to reply. What I’ve been doing to have some metric for having the ability to watch development is have a look at what number of websites hit our repository each month. It’s simply one thing that must be constant or no less than measurable. We’re averaging about 10,000 IPs per thirty days hitting our repository, and folk are downloading a bit over 5 terabytes of packages each month. Simply to place it in perspective, on the finish of 2016, we had possibly 1000 IPs a month hitting the location. So it’s about 10x development.

HPCwire: You’re happy with the traction and the way OpenHPC has change into accepted throughout the neighborhood?

Karl Schulz: I’m very happy. I’m completely satisfied it has type of transitioned from a single firm challenge to a real neighborhood effort, and we’ve an excellent group of oldsters who take part on our technical steering committee, we’ve an excellent governing board, all people appears to be concerned with it for the suitable causes. To this point, I’m gonna knock on my wooden desk right here, we haven’t encountered politics.

HPCwire: Does Intel nonetheless play a management function?

Karl Schulz: They do have a management function. The governing board member from Intel in the meanwhile is serving as our chair and so they’ve continued to be energetic. Intel has contributors on the technical steering committee from their open supply group inside Intel.

HPCwire: One motive I ask is we’re following Intel’s efforts with OneAPI watching to see if blooms into a real open supply exercise.

Karl Schulz: We’ve been very appreciative of their help and, as I stated, it has been constant all through the challenge. On the oneAPI stuff, it’s laborious to say how that may go. Clearly we perceive the significance of vendor compilers, specifically, with the HPC market, which is why although OpenHPC is concentrated on open supply we’ve some compatibility with the seller compilers. From the start we’ve had that with the Intel compiler, the Parallel Studio suite, the place OpenHPC offers a compatibility shim layer the place individuals can go purchase the Intel compiler individually after which allow third celebration builds from OpenHPC that hyperlink towards that compiler.

That was an vital design choice for us as a result of if we didn’t do this I feel OpenHPC would have at all times been perceived as simply type of a pleasant challenge however solely offering builds with GCC, for instance. We actually wish to use the seller compiler for no matter structure we’re constructing on. It was vital for us to design that in from the start. Now, the opposite factor that’s vital about to 2.zero is we’re beginning to introduce that very same kind of functionality for the Arm Allinea compiler. I might say during the last yr we’ve seen a gentle development in downloads for all of the Arm builds we’ve executed. Actually, Intel has the lion’s share, however we’ve seen regular development in Arm curiosity from OpenHPC’s perspective.

HPCwire: What about the entire type of emergence of heterogeneous structure and rising use of GPUs or some type of accelerator? How does how does that, if in any respect, determine into OpenHPC plans?

Karl Schulz: That may be a powerful one for us in the meanwhile. GPUs are clearly extremely popular and are persevering with to develop in recognition and that’s one place that’s tough to type of embrace in the identical performance. it’s not terribly laborious to do what we’ve executed the seller compilers, as a result of that’s actually type of an add-on. You are able to do that after the system is instantiated. However for one thing like GPU drivers, that’s a bit extra sophisticated as a result of you really want to have these at a time if you find yourself provisioning a system. As a result of that’s not open supply, it does make it tough for us to have the ability to combine that.

We’ve seen different individuals put stuff on prime of OpenHPC to do this, and definitely, many customers are working OpenHPC with GPU methods; what they’re doing is grabbing the drivers from Nvidia and including them themselves. We are going to at all times wish to help that kind of operation, however we don’t have a deal with for type of combine [GPU drivers] extra straight in the meanwhile as a result of licensing.

HPCwire: Searching six months to a yr, what are the plans and priorities for OpenHPC?

Karl Schulz: Getting 2.zero has taken up most of our time and pondering. One of many issues we did was attempt to make it a bit bit simpler for individuals to customise their builds. OpenHPC is concentrated on offering binary builds, so individuals can stand up and working shortly and use them in a container and all that stuff. However you’ll be able to think about conditions the place possibly an OEM wished to take these packages and say “I wish to maximize each final little bit of efficiency for my specific structure.” That’s a state of affairs that’s a bit bit totally different than OpenHPC. We don’t know prematurely particular processor particulars, which implies we’ve to be fairly generic in our builds. We attempt to make it now simpler, the place individuals can take the builds from OpenHPC and simply add extra optimization to them, and in addition make it in order that they’ll co-install their custom-made packages towards the OpenHPC packages. That was a request from the neighborhood we did get into 2.zero.

Really, that was a request from either side (vendor and consumer). The primary time that exact dialogue got here up was via interplay with DOE which was standing up an Arm system; they had been ranging from the OpenHPC packages and wished to check what might they get in the event that they turned on all of the bells and whistles from the compiler. It’s positively one thing we wished to help. So we put a bit effort into that.

One factor you possibly can think about maybe farther down the street as OpenHPC continues to develop and achieve traction is we’ll sufficient sources to offer a subset of packages which have optimized builds for a selected structure. We all know it doesn’t make sense, for instance, for the useful resource administration to activate all of the bells and whistles out of your compiler for that, however [it might make sense] for one thing like BLAS or a few of the different linear algebra libraries. Our pondering is farther down the street we’d have a generic OpenHPC repository, after which, maybe, processor-specific repositories which have a really small variety of packages which can be pre-built. Our guess is it’s most likely one thing like 5%-to-10% of the packages which can be actually mission crucial which can be utilized in a variety of scientific functions that might profit from further ranges of optimization.

HPCwire: Karl, thanks very a lot to your time.


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