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UniCloud offers toolset to access Amazon's pay-per-cycle model

Found at HPCwire

UniCloud enables organizations to provision and scale HPC capacity on the proven computing environment of Amazon Web Services, expanding baseline computing resources through the dynamic provisioning of capacity to meet peak demand. An extension to Univa UD’s leading UniCluster and Grid MP products, UniCloud allows organizations to establish workload policies and requirements which dynamically trigger the setup of virtual compute nodes in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), the Web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make Web-scale computing easier for developers.

Univa UD is also offering a whitepaper that describes how the whole thing works. You do have to buy UniCloud as an extension to your existing UniCluster or Grid MP licensing.

Univa UD recently published a how-to white paper addressing how to run UniCluster in Amazon EC2. The paper, along with a Q&A webinar with the author, is available for download at http://univaud.com/hpc/webinar20080917.php.

Amazon EC2 pricing, which you’ll have to pay for after your UniCloud license, starts at $0.10 per instance hour for a small Linux instance ($0.125 per hour for Windows), and goes up to $0.80 per hour ($1.20 for Windows) for the extra large instance. In looking over the Amazon EC2 instance descriptions, it looks like traditional HPTC users would probably need the XL high-cpu instance, based on this description

Amazon EC2 instances are grouped into two families: Standard and High-CPU. Standard Instances have memory to CPU ratios suitable for most general purpose applications; High-CPU instances have proportionally more CPU resources than memory (RAM) and are well suited for compute-intensive applications. When choosing instance types, you should consider the characteristics of your application with regards to resource utilization and select the optimal instance family and size.

This instance features 20 EC2 Compute Units (8 virtual cores with 2.5 EC2 Compute Units each). What’s a Compute Unit?

In order to make it easy for developers to compare CPU capacity between different instance types, we have defined an Amazon EC2 Compute Unit. The amount of CPU that is allocated to a particular instance is expressed in terms of these EC2 Compute Units. We use several benchmarks and tests to manage the consistency and predictability of the performance of an EC2 Compute Unit. One EC2 Compute Unit provides the equivalent CPU capacity of a 1.0-1.2 GHz 2007 Opteron or 2007 Xeon processor. This is also the equivalent to an early-2006 1.7 GHz Xeon processor referenced in our original documentation. Over time, we may add or substitute measures that go into the definition of an EC2 Compute Unit, if we find metrics that will give you a clearer picture of compute capacity.

So I think you’d be getting 20 processors for an hour for $.80. Amazon recommends benchmarking the different instances to figure out which one you need.

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