Breaking Down Barriers in HPC with the OpenFlightHPC Open-Source Project
DescriptionAs High Performance Computing (HPC) moves from a specialist science to an everyday commodity, there is still an unreasonably large barrier to entry for new users. Traditionally, getting access to HPC resources is both expensive and time consuming, and once you get access, moving between clusters is equally as cumbersome.

The Alces Flight team has experimented with various concepts in the pursuit of the question, “How can we lower the barrier to entry for HPC users?” Starting in 2015, the team explored a free subscription model and the impact/usage by an individual user on public cloud, from which the base knowledge of the OpenFlightHPC open-source project emerged in 2019.

OpenFlightHPC is an open-source community developing a flexible, functional and stable HPC stack that can be launched on any platform. The project provides the knowledge and toolsets needed for HPC environment creation in a manner that anyone with basic-level HPC experience can utilize. The toolset assists in helping to create more portable HPC environments using process standardization to promote free interchange of knowledge for shared benefit.

This presentation covers:
- The importance of learning through experimentation and successful failures.
- The community and cultural shifts in people, skills, and sustainability that are feeding the need for greater flexibility in HPC.
- How OpenFlightHPC works, including bare-metal and cloud deployment techniques, process automation using tools including Ansible and Salt, and portability of workloads both in container and shared environments.
Event Type
Exhibitor Forum
TimeWednesday, 16 November 20224:30pm - 5pm CST
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