Adaptive Computing announced an expanding relationship with the University of Birmingham to enhance their HPC service and create an environment that would allow the University to extend the take-up of their existing HPC service by introducing a Windows-based service for Microsoft HPC-aware applications alongside the existing Linux-based service. This move will expand the availability of university's HPC offerings to a wider variety of research disciplines, and is being made possible by the advanced scheduling capabilities of Moab, Adaptive Computing's patented workload management technology.
The Birmingham Environment for Academic Research (BEAR) is replacing its existing Linux HPC cluster with a new, more powerful and more energy-efficient Linux cluster and also introducing a Windows HPC service as part of the requirement to make their services available to more groups within the university. The Windows-based system will allow users to take advantage of a more familiar interface, even potentially enabling HPC access through Microsoft Excel, which will help them attract new users. In order to make this successful, however, they need the advanced scheduling capabilities provided by the Moab HPC Suite on the Windows HPC service as well as on the Linux service. Moab gives them policy-based control of their workloads and resources. Importantly, Moab allows them to work with different sets of policies to match the requirements of different customers. Other options offered by MOAB, such as project-based accounting and resource allocation, are crucial to offering a service to a wide range of users with differing needs which can range from single long-running massively parallel jobs to multiple concurrent parameter-sweep serial jobs.
As part of the initiative, the BEAR group had the opportunity to reevaluate their HPC solution provider. Rather than consider a competitor, they decided to remain with Adaptive Computing because of the personal attention and high level of service they receive.
"To broaden our user base, we needed a more user-friendly HPC interface; however, we found that the native scheduler on the Windows system wasn't well suited to a multi-user environment," said Jonathan Hunt, IT Services University of Birmingham. "In adopting the new system, we decided to stick with the Moab technology from Adaptive. They are continually working to make their products better, and they've always been responsive to our needs."
"We are pleased to be able to help our clients more efficiently utilize their HPC systems," said Rob Clyde, CEO of Adaptive Computing. "This is especially important in an academic environment, where the ability to schedule more projects means important discoveries reach the world sooner."