High Performance Clusters in the Cloud?


By Bill Harries | April 07, 2020 | HPC, Cloud Computing, Bright Cluster Manager



Now, why would I want to do that? Cloud resources can be expensive; I have to depend on a third party for some of my most important applications; performance may suffer; my data ends up outside my organization…all valid concerns. Which likely explains why most HPC continues to be hosted in-house. But another question is, is it even an option to effectively leverage the cloud for clustered computing? How do I extend my on-premise cluster to cloud servers and still manage them as a single cluster?

Well, the answer is that it is an option, and it's relatively seamless. I’ll explain…

Bright Cluster Manager is the only commercially available cluster management software that views on-premise servers and cloud-based servers as one and the same. So, our customers that have, for example, an 80 node on-premise cluster can buy a 100 node Bright cluster subscription and use up to 20 nodes in the cloud. Bright Cluster Manager simply views all 100 nodes as part of the same cluster and manages that cluster seamlessly.

Now, let’s take the scenario a step further. Let’s say the end-user needs an additional 20 nodes.  So, effectively a 120 node cluster. They can expand the current 100 node cluster to 120 nodes with the purchase of additional nodes on their Bright subscription, and either add another 20 on-premise nodes or access 40 nodes in the cloud…whichever makes sense for their needs.  But let’s say they don’t have the budget for another 20 nodes, or they only need those additional nodes for a short period of time. This is where Bright 9.0 comes in. With our latest release, end-users are now able to access additional nodes in the cloud when they need to, and the cloud provider will simply include an hourly charge for the Bright software along with the hourly charge for the additional servers they are using in the cloud. Essentially, a pay-as-you-go model for any additional resources you may need beyond what you are currently licensed. And, just as important, a seamless billing model that requires no up-front purchases, no changes to your subscription with Bright, and no changes to your agreement with your cloud provider. You simply indicate on your cloud provider account that you are willing to be billed for the Bright software on these additional nodes while in use, and you are off and running.

At Bright, we are continually looking for ways to make it easy to manage your High Performance Compute clusters. Having seamless access to additional compute resources in the cloud is just another example.

For more information, please get in touch!