New customer support portal

At Cycle Computing, we understand that our success depends on the success of our customers. Making it easy for our customers to get the answers they need quickly is key to that success. But allowing managers to view and manage their team’s support interactions is important, too. Our Customer Operations team has recently switched to using Freshdesk for managing customer interactions. This gives our customers one of the most-requested features: the ability for their managers to easily view tickets for the entire organization. In addition, tickets can be created, edited, and escalated via the portal at cyclecomputing.freshdesk.com. Freshdesk provides a knowledge base where customers can find the answers they need without having to submit a ticket. We’ve started populating this with answers to some of the most common questions, and will continue to grow the content to better meet customer needs. How to submit a ticket: You can continue to create tickets by emailing support@cyclecomputing.com. To create a ticket via the Freshdesk portal, click the “New support ticket” button. You don’t need to log in to submit a ticket. How to view a ticket: Click “Tickets” across the banner menu or “Check ticket status” on the right side. This will take you to a list of your tickets. You can click on any ticket to see details. By default, only Open or Pending tickets are shown. You must log in to view tickets. The first time you created a ticket, you should have received an email with a link to set your password on the Freshdesk portal. If you did not receive that email, contact support@cyclecomputing.com to request it...

Running MPI applications in Amazon EC2

Despite significant improvements over the years, the same criticisms still color people’s opinion of using cloud environments for high performance computing (HPC). One of the most common things to hear when talking about using Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for HPC is “Sure, Amazon will work fine for pleasantly parallel workloads, but it won’t work for MPI (Message Passing Interface) applications.” While that statement is true for very large MPI workloads, we have seen comparable performance up to 256 cores for most workloads, and even up to 1024 for certain workloads that aren’t as tightly-coupled. Achieving that performance just requires some careful selection of MPI versions and EC2 compute nodes, along with a little network tuning. Note: While it is possible to run MPI applications in Windows on EC2, these recommendations focus on Linux. Enhanced Networking The most important factor in running an MPI workload in EC2 is using an instance type which supports Enhanced Networking (SR-IOV). In a traditional virtualized network interface, the hypervisor has to route packets to specific guest VMs and copy those packets into the VM’s memory so that it can process the data. SR-IOV helps reduce the network latency to the guest OS by making the physical NIC directly available to the VM, essentially circumventing the hypervisor. Fortunately, all of Amazon’s compute-optimized C3 and C4 instance types support SR-IOV as long as they’re launched in a Virtual Private Cluster (VPC). For specific instructions on enabling SR-IOV on Linux instances, see http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/enhanced-networking.html Use of Placement Groups Another important factor in running MPI workloads on EC2 is the use of placement groups. When instances are launched...