Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (released in December, 2010) includes new functionality for “burst-mode” integration with Windows Azure worker-role compute nodes. The integrated solution, in it’s current form, is intended primarily for parametric-sweep batch-mode distributed computing. The Service-Oriented-Architecture (SOA) application model is also supported.
There are both Admin and User HPC Server usage scenarios. Admins are responsible for creating “Azure Worker Node” templates which conceptually contain Azure node instances. Admins are also responsible for uploading and installing hosted service packages. Users submit jobs to the HPC Server which specify the hosted service name and may explicitly specify the use of Azure based compute nodes.
Want to “Azure-enable” your current HPC application? Significant considerations include data management in pre-processing, partitioning, execution, and post-processing phases. The options are varied but the most simple data-sync approach is to leverage the Azure Blob Storage API to move data into, within, and out-of the Cloud. More advanced enterprise network integration scenarios may leverage the IPSec based Azure Connect solution.
Getting Started Links and Resources:
- What’s New in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP1
- Release Notes for Microsoft HPC Pack 2008 R2 Service Pack 1
- New Feature Evaluation Guide for Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP1
- Deploying Azure Worker Nodes in Windows HPC Server 2008 R2 SP1 Step-by-Step Guide