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Tuesday, October 24 • 2:45pm - 3:00pm
Transforming an Old Supercomputer into a Cloud Platform

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Currently, typical supercomputers have an expected useful life of 3 or 4 years. One way of another, after this time period, infrastructure is typically replaced or upgraded to face the increasing resource demand by users and companies. This always gives rise to the same question, namely, what should be done with the old hardware if it was replaced? Possible solutions come in the form of decommissioning, splitting up and using it for spare parts, or donating it, but in several cases, the hardware can still provide value when used for different tasks. In this talk we will describe how we have converted the old Tier1 Flemish supercomputer https://www.ugent.be/hpc/en/infrastructure/tier1 into a cloud platform using OpenNebula. During this conversion process, we faced several technical challenges. The first and foremost of these was how to recycle hardware that was designed for use in a classical HPC environment to use in a private cloud. We will describe which steps were taken to address isolating VM traffic through the existing InfiniBand interconnect using the VXLAN network technology. We will also address how we managed mapping our internal (university) and external (industry) users using the OpenNebula “remote” authentication plugin. Finally, we will discuss how we used the InfiniBand interconnect to share the Ceph storage backend and VM traffic in a secure manner. After a testbed phase, in which only pilot users are given access and provide feedback, the new UGent HPC Cloud platform called “Grimer” will be available in production.

avatar for Alvaro Simon

Alvaro Simon

HPC system administrator, UGent
Álvaro Simón is a HPC System Administrator at Ghent University in Belgium. He has been involved in European Grid and Cloud projects since 2006 like EGEE or as task leader for EGI Federated Cloud. Currently he is working with UGent HPC team to deploy a new cloud infrastructure for... Read More →

Tuesday October 24, 2017 2:45pm - 3:00pm CEST
Conde/Cepeda Room NH Ventas, Calle Biarritz, 2, 28028 Madrid, Spain