Very special thanks to Wolfgang Gentzsch and Burak Yenier for making the UberCloud HPC Experiment possible.

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2 Digital manufacturing technology and convenient access to High Performance Computing (HPC) in industry R&D are essential to increase the quality of our products and the competitiveness of our companies. Progress can only be achieved by educating our engineers, especially those in the missing middle, and making HPC easier to access and use for everyone who can benefit from this advanced technology. The UberCloud HPC Experiment actively promotes the wider adoption of digital manufacturing technology. It is an example of a grass roots effort to foster collaboration among engineers, HPC experts, and service providers to address challenges at scale. The UberCloud HPC Experiment started in mid-2012 with the aim of exploring the end-to-end process employed by digital manufacturing engineers to access and use remote computing resources in HPC centers and in the cloud. In the meantime, the UberCloud HPC Experiment has achieved the participation of 500 organizations and individuals from 48 countries. Over 80 teams have been involved so far. Each team consists of an industry end-user and a software provider; the organizers match them with a well-suited resource provider and an HPC expert. Together, the team members work on the end-user s application defining the requirements, implementing the application on the remote HPC system, running and monitoring the job, getting the results back to the end-user, and writing a case study. Intel decided to sponsor a Compendium of 25 case studies, including the one you are reading, to raise awareness in the digital manufacturing community about the benefits and best practices of using remote HPC capabilities. This document is an invaluable resource for engineers, managers and executives who believe in the strategic importance of this technology for their organizations. You can download it at: Very special thanks to Wolfgang Gentzsch and Burak Yenier for making the UberCloud HPC Experiment possible. This HPC UberCloud Compendium of Case Studies has been sponsored by Intel and produced in conjunction with Tabor Communications Custom Publishing, which includes HPCwire, HPC in the Cloud, and Digital Manufacturing Report. If you are interested in participating in this experiment, either actively as a team member or passively as an observer, please register at

3 Two-phase Flow Simulation of a Separation Column Such detailed flow simulations of separation columns provides an insight into the flow phenomena which was previously not possible. MEET THE TEAM End-user Felix Muggli Muggli is with Sulzer Pumps, one of the world's leading pump manufacturers. Its global network encompasses over 20 manufacturing sites and more than 120 service centers and sales offices. Software Provider Jonas Latt Latt is with FlowKit Ltd, a service provider and consulting firm in computational fluid dynamics. It provides open-source simulation software and is recognized for its innovative solutions in computer-based engineering. Resource Provider Marc Levrier Levrier is with Bull Extreme Factory. The first fully integrated on-demand, pay-asyou-go computer simulation offering, Bull Extreme Factory brings computer simulation into the cloud computing era. The company offers both PaaS (Platform as a service) and SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions. USE CASE This use case investigates the dynamics of a vapor-liquid compound in a distillation column with trays. Chemical reactions and phase transitions are not considered, instead the fluid dynamics is resolved with a high level of detail in

4 order to predict properties of the column like the pressure drop, or the residence time of the liquid on a tray. CHALLENGES The main challenge addressed in this use case is the need for computational power, as a consequence of the large mesh resolution. The need for a large mesh (close to 109 mesh nodes an ambitious value in this field) stems from the complex physics of turbulent two-phase flow, and from the complex structure of fine droplet dispersions in the vapor. These difficulties are addressed, in the present case, with help of a highly efficient and scalable computational approach, mixing a so-called lattice Boltzmann method with a volume-of-fluid representation of the two-phase physics. Technology Involved The hardware used was a 128-core cluster with Infiniband interconnection network and an NFS file system. The nodes used 8-core Intel E processors at 2.7GHz. The use case was implemented and executed with help of the open-source Palabos library (www.palabos.org), which is based on the lattice Boltzmann method. Project Execution End-to-end process Finding a match between resource provider, software provider and end-user While the needs for a software solution had been preliminarily analyzed by the end-user, and the match to the software provider was therefore straightforward, some efforts were invested by the organizers of the HPC Experiment to find an adequate resource provider to match the substantial needs for resources brought on the part of the end-user. Team setup and initial organization The project partners agreed on the need for hardware resources and the general organization. Exchange of concepts and needs The resource provider explained his approach to cloud computing. It was agreed that the resource provider would not provide direct ssh access to the computing server. Instead, the application was compiled and installed by the resource provider. The interface provided to the end-user consisted of an online XML editor to set up the parameters of the program, and means of interactivity to launch the program and post-process the results. Benchmarks and feasibility tests The compatibility of the software with the provided hardware resources was carefully tested as described above.

5 Setup of the execution environment (ongoing at the time of this writing) Palabos was recompiled on XF by the resource providers team using gcc and openmpi (including IB support). The team also published a simple Palabos application in extreme Factory Studio by configuring a new job submission web form, including relevant job parameters for this Palabos experiment. Final test run (ongoing at the time of this writing) Encountered and solved challenges that consisted of mostly human interactions no technical challenges. We were concerned about inadequate hard-disk properties. Palabos job submission web form BENEFITS For the software provider The software provider had the opportunity to learn about a new approach to cloud computing, implying the use of efficient dedicated hardware, and the implementation of a lightweight Software-as-a-Service model. At the end of this HPC experiment, the software provider is considering including this new approach into his business model. For the hardware provider This was a great opportunity to host a new, exciting and very scalable CFD software, get in touch with the Flowkit and Palabos user community, and therefore envision a great partnership targeting real customers and real production. For the end-user Such detailed flow simulations of separation columns provides an insight into the flow phenomena which was previously not possible. In order to resolve these results, large computational meshes are absolutely necessary. This HPC experiment allows for an assessment of whether such big simulations are computationally feasible for industry.

6 Furthermore we gained valuable experience in handling of these kinds of bit simulation setups. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Definition of cloud computing Different partners have a different understanding of the term cloud computing. While some consider it a simple remote execution of a given software on pay-as-you-go hardware, others find it useful when it provides a software solution that is fully integrated in the web browser. In this project, we learned about an intermediate viewpoint defended by the resource provider, where an adequate web interface can be custom-tailored to every software/enduser pair. Availability of specialized resources Before entering this experiment, the software provider was familiar with generic cloud computing resources like those provided by Amazon Web Services. The project revealed the existence of custom cloud solutions for high performance computing, with substantially more powerful and cost-effective hardware. Communication with three involved partners The interaction between the partners was dominated by technical aspects that had to be worked out between the software and the resource providers. It appears that such a process leaves little room for the application end-user to impact the choice of the user interface and cloud computing model deployed between the software and the resource provider. Instead, it is likely that in such a framework the application end-user accepts the provided solution as it is, and decides if it is suitable for his needs or not. Notes from the resource provider In our model, the end user can ask for basic improvements to job submission forms for free. More complex ones are charged. Most HPC applications provided neither cloud API nor a web user interface. extreme Factory SaaS-enabling model partnered with the open source science community and software vendors to expose their applications in the cloud Enabling HPC applications in a cloud is not something everyone can do on their own. It requires a lot of experience and R&D plus a team to deploy and tune applications and support software users. This is one reason we think HPC as a Service is not ready yet for total cloud automation and on-line billing.

7 SSH connections are surprisingly less secure than web portal isolation (we optionally add network isolation) because people who know how to use a job scheduler can discover a lot about the architecture and potentially look for security holes. This is because HPC job schedulers are, if not impossible, pretty difficult to secure. Web portal ergonomics coupled to remote visualization make it possible to execute a complete pre-processing/simulation/post-processing workflow on line, which is highly appreciated Improving the HPC Experiment The partners of this team appreciated the structure and management of the HPC experiment and find that its execution was highly appropriate. The following are minor suggestions that might be helpful for future repetition of the Experiment: It appears that the time frame of three month is very short, especially if a large amount of time must be spent finding appropriate partners and connecting them to each other. Participating partners are likely to have both industrial and academic interests in the HPC experiment. In the latter case, a certain amount of conceptual and theoretical guidance could be inspiring. As an example, it might have been more realistic for the participants to contribute and exchange their opinions on topics related to the actual definition of cloud computing if the framework for such a topic had been sketched more precisely by the organizers. It would be highly interesting for all participants, as the project advances, to know more about the content and progress of the project of other teams. Why not conceive a mid-term webinar that is more practically oriented, based on concrete examples of the results achieved so far in the various projects? Case Study Authors Jonas Latt, Marc Levrier, and Felix Muggli

8 Thank you for your interest in the free and voluntary UberCloud HPC Experiment. To download similar case studies go to: If you, or your organization would like to participate in this Experiment to explore hands-on the end-to-end process of HPC as a Service for your business then please register at: If you are interested in promoting your service/product at the UberCloud Exhibit then please register at

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