Scientific computing using virtual high-performance computing

Scott Hazelhurst
2008 Proceedings of the 2008 annual research conference of the South African Institute of Computer Scientists and Information Technologists on IT research in developing countries riding the wave of technology - SAICSIT '08  
High-performance computing systems are important in scientific computing. Clusters of computer systems -which range greatly in size -are a common architecture for highperformance computing. Small, dedicated clusters are affordable and cost-effective, but may not be powerful enough for real applications. Larger dedicated systems are expensive in absolute terms and may be inefficient because many individual groups may not be able to provide sustained workload for the cluster. Shared systems are
more » ... st-effective, but then availability and access become a problem. An alternative model is that of a virtual cluster, as exemplified by Amazon's Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2). This provides customers with storage and CPU power on an ondemand basis, and allows a researcher to dynamically build their own, dedicated cluster of computers when they need it. Used by commercial web services deployers, this technology can be used in scientific computing applications. This paper presents a case study of the use of EC2 for scientific computing. The case study concludes that EC2 provides a feasible, cost-effective model in many application areas.
doi:10.1145/1456659.1456671 dblp:conf/saicsit/Hazelhurst08 fatcat:lh2mhyuqizhnddliume3v53qce