Verne Global's hpcDIRECT Service: Bare Metal Powered by Molten Rock

Published: Tue 12 December 2017
Updated: Tue 12 December 2017
By Stig Telfer

In News.

tags: news

After some months of development, prototyping and early customer trials, Verne Global's hpcDIRECT service has been announced. This system builds upon OpenStack Ironic to deliver the performance of bare metal combined with the dynamic flexibility of cloud. Iceland's abundant geothermal energy ensures the energy is clean but the power costs are kept low.

You can find plenty of details about Verne Global's announcement, for example as covered by Inside HPC or The Next Platform. However, we can also talk about some of the transformative technologies going on within the infrastructure.

Working in partnership the with technical team at Verne Global, StackHPC has designed, developed and deployed an OpenStack control plane that pushes the boundaries of OpenStack and Ironic:

  • OpenStack Pike, the latest release, in an agile deployment that tracks upstream closely.
  • Multi-network support, including both Ethernet and Infiniband, with tenant isolation throughout.
  • Custom resource classes for supporting Nova sheduling to multiple bare metal server specs.
  • Kolla-Ansible control plane deployed using Kayobe, the de-facto solution for automating Kolla-Ansible deployments from scratch.

In many other ways, hpcDIRECT is a showcase for the use of OpenStack for HPC applications:

  • Flexible delivery of complex application environments using Ansible and Heat.
  • HPC-oriented storage options, designed to meet a wide range of use cases for HPC and data-intensive analytics.
  • HPC workload telemetry gathered using Monasca or Prometheus and shared with users to provide performance insights into the behaviour of their codes.
  • Consistent management tools everywhere - for the first time, a system that is managed at every level from firmware to OS to application using the same tools (Ansible and friends).

Lewis Tucker, Verne Global Enterprise Solutions Architect, comments "From the outset we had an ambitious goal to provide a bare metal on demand HPC Service. StackHPC's expertise has enabled us to execute our plans to timescales and budget and offer our customers an innovative and agile HPC service to meet their exacting requirements. We look forward to developing our relationship as hpcDIRECT grows".

John Taylor, CEO of StackHPC, adds "the hpcDIRECT project has validated our vision of an HPC-enabled OpenStack and gone even further to make it available as a service. We are thrilled to have been involved in this cutting-edge project."