Deep Dive Into Containerization In Relation To HPC

Containerization is a new standardized paradigm for software management that focuses on distributed systems. It helps companies reduce developer involvement and efforts in implementing or deploying software ecosystems on computing infrastructure. 

According to Clovertex, containers allow developers to construct a working HPC environment for a given code, including the base OS type, system libraries, third-party libraries, and environment variables. 

Containers help developers to compile their HPC application at hand. Bear in mind that there is a steady diversification of system architectures and hardware within the HPC community. For instance, hardware and architectures are often coupled with many new software tools for parallel computing. Read on! 

Containerization for HPC 

Containers have gained popularity within the HPC industry because they have considerable applicability in supercomputing resources. However, experts at Clovertex believe that it is necessary to perform a careful examination for evaluation of such system software. 

The purpose is to determine containers’ components that have a significant impact on HPC systems. Containers have different positive attributes, and in this section, we will talk about them. Continue reading! 

BYOE and Composability 

BYOE stands for “bring your own environment.” It allows developers to define the Operating environment and focus on system libraries to run HPC applications. Likewise, composability is another valuable attribute of containerization. 

It allows developers to define their software environment and its composition of modular components, including container images. It enables you to run reproducible HPC environments within different architectures. 

Portability and Version Control Integration 

Containerization offers portability features to developers, meaning they can rebuild, layer, or share containers across multiple computing systems. For example, they can perform these operations on computers, laptops, clouds, and advanced supercomputers. 

Another critical feature of containerization is version control integration. For instance, you can integrate containers with revision control systems. That way, you can build manifests with complete container images using Docker Hub and other container registries. 

Although open-source container technologies within high-performance computing are feasible, various potential warnings are unnecessary or incompatible with HPC resources. These include: 

Overhead

Although you can use some minor overhead through new abstraction levels, high-performance computing applications do not incur significant overhead from different aspects of containers, such as deployment or runtime. 

Micro-Services 

Cloud computing professionals at Clovertex conclude that micro-services containers do not apply to high-performance computing workloads. However, you can use a single application per node with multiple threads or processes per container. It is a better fit for high-performance computing usage models. 

On-Node Partitioning 

Parallel HPC applications are incompatible with on-node resource partitioning, especially with C-groups. However, you can deploy and execute in-situ workload coupling with containers. While the in-situ workload is possible with container utilization, it requires careful planning and preparation. 

Root Operation and Commodity Networking 

Containerization is an excellent way to access root-level control, but this is unnecessary for supercomputers, leading to significant security risks for organizations. Moreover, containers have network control mechanisms developed around commodity networking, such as TCP/IP. Because supercomputers often use custom interconnects, they can use interfaces to bypass the operating system kernel for HPC network operations. 

Final Words 

HPC platforms are diverse, advanced, and have increase hardware capabilities. Containerization enables you to manage increased hardware diversity with software complexity in emerging HPC applications. 

Clovertex has qualified and experienced Cloud Computing professionals who can evaluate and analyze the feasibility of HPC system usability via containerization. Our professional can help define and execute a usage containerization model in HPC. Contact us today

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