Over at Admin HPC, Gavin W. Burris writes that virtualization has become a viable option for researchers with a need for cluster computing power thanks in part to StarCluster, MIT’s open-source toolkit for launching, controlling, and orchestrating clusters of virtual servers within the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service. StarCluster provides a number of images pre-rolled and ready to go, as well as a command line tool for wrangling them into functional computing power.
The cloud has become a key resource in the support of HPC. Given the proper use case, cloud offerings are an affordable fit for a variety of different workflows. A key tool in any systems programmer’s arsenal should be the StarCluster toolkit, which provides a powerful interface for harnessing these cloud resources in an effective manner. The toolkit builds from the well-established model of HPC clustering with Linux, providing a clear path to transferring existing skills and code to the cloud.
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