Kureshi, Ibad, Holmes, Violeta and Liang, Shuo (2010) Hybrid HPC – Establishing a Bi-Stable Dual Boot Cluster for Linux with OSCAR middleware and Windows HPC 2008 R2. In: UK eScience All-Hands Meeting, 13-16 September 2010, Cardiff, Wales. (Unpublished)

The advent of open source software leading to Beowulf clusters has enabled small to medium sized Higher and Further education institutions to remove the “computational power” factor from research ventures. In an effort to catch up with leading Universities in the realm of research, many Universities are investing in small departmental HPC clusters to help with simulations, renders and calculations. These small HE/FE institutions have in the past benefited from cheaper software and operating system licenses. This raises the question as to which platform Linux of Windows should be implemented on the cluster. As the smaller/medium Universities move into research, many Linux based applications and code better suit their research needs, but the teaching base still keeps the department tied to Windows based applications. In such institutions, where it is usually recycled machines that are linked to form the clusters, it is not often feasible to setup more than one cluster.
This paper will propose a method to implement a Linux-Windows Hybrid HPC Cluster that seamlessly and automatically accepts and schedules jobs in both domains. Using Linux CentOS 5.4 with OSCAR 5.2 beta 2 middleware with Windows Server 2008 and Windows HPC 2008 R2 (beta) a bi-stable hybrid system has been deployed at the University of Huddersfield. This hybrid cluster is known as the Queensgate Cluster. We will also examine innovative solutions and practices that are currently being followed in the academic world as well as those that have been recommended by Microsoft® Corp.

Ibad_Kureshi_-_Hybrid_HPC_-_abstract_-_University_of_Huddersfield.pdf - Accepted Version

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