A new high performance computing (HPC) scaling record has been achieved in the Microsoft Azure cloud. There we managed to create a virtual cluster with 86 400 CPU cores. For this, physical servers based on AMD EPYC 7002 with HDR InfiniBand connection were used, which were combined into 720 virtual machines Azure HBv2… This resulted in a peak performance of 5 Pflops.
The cloud provider partnered with the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) to test the limits of Azure’s scalability. The workload was the molecular dynamics modeling tool (NAMD) developed at UIUC. The tool was instrumental in this year’s COVID-19 research.
“The team found that the HBv2 clusters not only met the researchers’ requirements, but that the performance and scalability in Azure competed with and in some cases exceeded the capabilities of the June 2020 Top500 Frontera supercomputer,” said Evan Burness (Evan Burness), Principal Specialist and Program Manager, Azure HPC.
This will allow the power of the cloud to be used for future projects. In simple terms, this could allow faster cure for coronavirus and other diseases to be found. And David Hardy, Senior Research Programmer at UIUC, noted that the Charm ++ library, which allows parallelization of tasks, has achieved good performance and scalability for NAMD on a Microsoft Azure cluster. Moreover, this did not require rewriting the source code.
Recall that earlier in Azure showed new record for I / O performance on the BeeGFS file system.