Simplifying the Integration, Testing and Validation of a HPC System Management Stack

When you’re installing and managing HPC systems, it’s always a challenge to integrate the individual components and validate the aggregate system software stack. After that, it is a major logistical effort to maintain stable, performance versions of all the necessary software, given the myriad of inter-dependencies and compatibility requirements.

The challenges don’t stop there. With HPC systems, you also have to stay abreast of rapid release cycles while addressing user requests for compatibility with their required software applications.

This is where the new Intel® HPC Orchestrator enters the picture. Intel designed this family of supported products to simplify the implementation and ongoing maintenance of an HPC stack by reducing the amount of work required for testing, integration, and validation. It provides a comprehensive open-source HPC system software middle-ware layer that has been pre-tested, validated, and integrated to reduce issues and inefficiencies across the ecosystem. Developers write their code and use common conventions to enable it to access the HPC Orchestrator layer, which sits above the HPC hardware.

Intel announced the first Intel® HPC Orchestrator this week at the International Super-computing Conference, also known as ISC High Performance, in Frankfurt, Germany.  The product, named Intel® HPC Orchestrator – Advanced, is a modular stack that is offers opportunity for customer customization. It was built to deliver optimized stack performance and scalability, along with improved solution ease of use. It is targeted at the Top 500 technical and commercial users with vertical HPC applications.

Intel® HPC Orchestrator will be sold through our OEM partners and supported by both these partners and Intel. It includes Intel components, such as Intel® Parallel Studio XE Cluster Edition package tools and compilers, as well as additional testing and integration. Organizations using the product will also have the option to purchase incremental professional services.

There’s another important aspect of Intel HPC Orchestration - the integration of open source code and the effort that gave rise to it. At Intel, we recognize that it will take ecosystem-wide innovation to deliver the next level of capability to HPC customers. That is why we actively support the efforts of the OpenHPC community, a collaborative project hosted by the Linux Foundation.

Intel seeded the OpenHPC community by contributing a pre-tested, pre-integrated, and validated software stack to enable users to more efficiently build and test integrated HPC software components and develop enhancements to simplify running on, developing for, and managing HPC systems.  As innovation occurs in the OpenHPC community, Intel will take advantage of those innovations and build them into future Intel® HPC Orchestrator products while simultaneously contributing back to the community. Currently Intel® HPC Orchestrator includes more than 60 open source components and there are many new component suggestions to be added.

Viewed from a broader level, Intel HPC Orchestrator is an important software component within the Intel® Scalable System Framework (Intel® SSF). Designed to work for small clusters to the world’s largest supercomputers, Intel® SSF provides scalability and balance for both compute- and data-intensive applications, including analytics on big data, as well as modeling and simulation, machine learning and visualization. Future releases of the Intel HPC Orchestrator will include testing of other SSF components, such as processors, fabrics, and the Lustre file system.

To learn more about the Intel HPC Orchestrator, visit the Intel HPC Orchestrator site.

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Figen Ulgen

About Figen Ulgen

Figen Ülgen, Ph.D., is General Manager of the Rack Scale Design Group within the Datacenter Group at Intel Corporation. Ülgen oversees solutions roadmap, solutions enablement as well as operations, support and ecosystem and partnership strategy for Rack Scale Design. Ülgen joined Intel in 2014, where she led as General Manager for HPC Software and Cloud developing and promoting HPC Platform Software technologies for the HPC ecosystem. She founded the award-winning OpenHPC Community under Linux Foundation with a group of ecosystem partners to democratize HPC. During her time with the HPC Software and Cloud, the team shipped Intel® HPC Orchestrator, a fully supported production quality software product in less than 18 months—concept to General Availability. Prior to that, she was a Senior Director with Microsoft for over a decade in various leadership roles in Data Science, Azure Public Cloud, and HPC teams. Her 20-year industry experience includes technology innovation, competitive strategy, software product planning and management, as well as driving change across large organizations. Before Microsoft, Ülgen worked at McKinsey & Co., Motorola and at Justsystem Corporation in Japan. With a passion for serving underprivileged youth and women in the technology field, Ülgen sits on the Saturday Academy Board of Directors and is regularly invited to speak on behalf of women in technology. Ülgen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Expert Systems under a Fulbright Scholarship and a Ph.D. in Machine Learning under the Japanese Government Ministry of Education Scholarship. Ülgen holds two U.S. patents.