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At ISC Cloud’13, the Answer is Flexibility

ISC Cloud'13Over at International Science Grid This Week, Andrew Purcell writes that recent ISC Cloud’13 conference centered around recurring themes of flexibility and adaptability for utility computing. In other words, why worry about whether or not to do cloud vs. and in-house cluster, when you can intelligently use both in conjunction?

As part of this, Andrés Gómez presented an autonomous and fault-tolerant virtual cluster architecture, developed as part of the European BonFIRE project, which can handle significant variability in computing performance, including the failure of a cloud site. The architecture includes an ‘elasticity engine’, which uses information about application performance to automatically tailor the size of the HPC cluster to meet the expectation of the user. In case of a specific deadline objective, the elasticity engine can start new machines and add them to the virtual cluster. Additionally, if the virtual cluster is deployed on two different cloud sites and one site fails, the cluster at the other site can resize itself to recover from the failure.

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