Video: HPC Containers – Democratizing HPC

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CJ Newburn is Architect of NVIDIA HPC software strategy, roadmap, and developer engagement

In this video from SC18 in Dallas, CJ Newburn from NVIDIA describes how developers can quickly containerize their applications and how users can benefit from running their workloads with containers from the NVIDIA GPU Cloud.

A container essentially creates a self contained environment. Your application lives in that container along with everything the application depends on, so the whole bundle is self contained.”

One of the key problems that that containers solve has to deal with application portability and dependencies. Now, you can essentially deliver a container that basically runs itself, that has all of the dependences, and runs itself with the environment that you intended it to run.

You essentially have a great deal of control over delivering the value. And because that became so much easier for me to take, and build, and deploy, the time that it takes for me to do that is so much lower then I’m much more likely to take all of your latest release. So all that effort that you put in to making it beautiful, to making it optimized, to make it run, to make the best use of the platform. For example, using our latest GPU features and so on. You now get to be able to make that available to me so that I’m much more likely to use it.

NVIDIA is now offering a script as part of an open source project called HPC Container Maker, or HPCCM that makes it easy for developers to select the ingredients they want to go into a container, to provide those ingredients in an optimized way using best-known recipes.

HPCCM takes an HPCCM recipe file in the form of a Python program that makes calls to insert primitives and building blocks as input, and leverages a set of recipes to produce Dockerfiles or Singularity recipe files that can be used to build containers that are optimized for performance, size and reuse. A variety of OEMs, data centers and ingredient providers have found it to be simple, extensible, forward looking and very productive to use.  In the end, HPCCM makes it easier for developers to create optimized containers, and relieves data center admins from the complexities of installing complicated applications.  Finally, since making best use of the entire software stack is a key part of overall value, HPCCM helps deliver the latest, best-optimized version of applications to end users.

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