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Tokyo Institute of Technology uses high-performance computing (HPC) to accelerate its research. It deployed a 32-node Windows® HPC Server 2008 GPU-accelerated cluster to take advantage of enhanced tools to configure graphics processing units, which are critical to its research. The institute has found that the HPC solution provides intuitive, integrated tools for greater configuration flexibility, straightforward deployment, and easy management.
Microsoft Server Product Portfolio Customer Solution Case Study Technology Institute Expands Research Initiatives with High-Performance Computing “With Windows, there’s predictability in how the tools Customer: Tokyo Institute of Technology Web Site: www.titech.ac.jp look, feel, and work, which makes it easier to run jobs Customer Size: 1,759 employees and helps us accomplish more in the same amount of Country or Region: Japan Industry: Education—Higher education time.” Naoya Maruyama, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Global Scientific Information and Computing Center, Customer Profile Tokyo Institute of Technology With a 125-year history, Tokyo Institute of Technology is the largest science and technology university in Japan. The Tokyo Institute of Technology uses high-performance computing institute currently serves approximately (HPC) to accelerate its research. It deployed a 32-node Windows® 10,000 students each year. HPC Server 2008 GPU-accelerated cluster to take advantage of Software and Services enhanced tools to configure graphics processing units, which are Microsoft Server Product Portfolio − Windows HPC Server 2008 critical to its research. The institute has found that the HPC solution provides intuitive, integrated tools for greater configuration Hardware Custom assembly of hardware flexibility, straightforward deployment, and easy management. components, with: − AMD Phenom X4 9850 quad-core processors Business Needs supercomputer, which consists of a 10,000- − 8 GB RAM Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) core, 64-bit SUSE Linux cluster. − Four NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GPUs for promotes advanced research across the each node spectrum of scientific and technological A significant research focus for the GSIC − GigE interconnects fields. Through its world-class research, involves using HPC for new technologies, − DATA 500 GB hard drives Tokyo Tech works to pioneer new forms of specifically, how to best use graphics scientific knowledge and technology. processing units (GPUs) and how to reduce power consumption when using GPUs. The One of the research centers at Tokyo Tech is center’s General Purpose GPU research the Global Scientific Information and eventually will be applied to a range of Computing Center (GSIC), which supports scientific applications. research and education by optimizing the most innovative information technologies. To conduct its research, the GSIC needed to For more information about other Microsoft The GSIC maintains several supercomputers experiment with the maximum number of customer successes, please visit: www.microsoft.com/casestudies and high-performance computing (HPC) possible GPU configurations. However, it clusters. The largest is the TSUBAME found that there was a lack of tools in the market to support GPU configurations for the development of array-processing operations, Deployment Services,” says Maruyama. Linux operating system. such as those that frequently arise in image “The graphical user interface makes it processing and scientific computing. faster and easier for me to handle tasks. Solution Plus, I can see at a glance the status of In September 2008, Tokyo Tech decided to Additionally, because of the success that the our compute nodes with the solution’s deploy a GPU-accelerated HPC cluster running research group has had with its new HPC built-in monitoring tools, which helps me on the Windows® HPC Server 2008 operating operating environment, the director of the make proactive adjustments.” system in collaboration with Microsoft® institute’s supercomputer projects is Research. The cluster uses a combination of considering the use of Windows HPC Server Continues Maruyama, “Before this project, hardware components that the institute’s 2008 to run its next supercomputer. I had never used a Windows cluster, so I researchers put together themselves. The wasn’t sure how well I’d do with it. I institute utilized Windows Deployment Benefits expected to need quite a while to learn Services to deploy 32 compute nodes, a Through its use of Windows HPC Server how to be successful with it, but I’ve been process that went smoothly after the GSIC 2008, Tokyo Tech is broadening its research surprised by how quickly I was able to use resolved issues with network switches and and extending the value of HPC because the the tools and be productive.” verification of the proper drivers. solution is so easy to learn. “Implementing Windows HPC Server 2008 has made it Solid performance. Tokyo Tech has As of January 2009, a small research group easier to expand the power of HPC to the discovered that the performance of its within the GSIC uses the Windows HPC Server greater research community,” says Naoya new cluster is comparable to that of its 2008 cluster, initially experimenting with Maruyama, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Linux HPC clusters. “We’ve seen running a custom-developed bioinformatics the Global Scientific Information and equivalent times both for performance application. The application supports the Computing Center at the Tokyo Institute of and for the time that it takes to start jobs,” maximum number of GPU configurations, Technology. notes Maruyama. “With Windows HPC which makes it easy for researchers to truly Server 2008, we haven’t had to sacrifice study the effectiveness of using GPUs versus Greater choice of tools. Tokyo Tech performance to be able to derive the standard central processing units (CPUs) with researchers at the GSIC now have access benefits from such a wealth of tools.” respect to performance and power usage. to more configuration tools with Windows HPC Server 2008. “Only on Windows can Increased user productivity. GSIC Although the researchers had no prior we find and change configuration settings researchers have experienced a boost in experience with Windows-based tools, the so quickly and in so many ways,” says productivity because of the integration group was able to make immediate use of Maruyama. “For instance, with Windows among tools in Windows HPC Server such features as the built-in Job Scheduler HPC Server 2008, we can use a GPU 2008. “When working on Linux, we and graphical system-monitoring interface, configuration tool from NVIDIA with which needed to learn a variety of tools that including the Heat Map feature for we can modify GPU clock speeds to have been developed by a number of visualization. On average, the researchers run possibly find a way to reduce GPU power different vendors and manufacturers,” hundreds of jobs a day. consumption without significantly affecting says Maruyama. “But Microsoft provides application performance.” all the necessary components for running In the future, the group expects to run the cluster. With Windows, there’s additional applications for scientific Intuitive deployment, use, and predictability in how the tools look, feel, computation on the cluster. For instance, it management. The institute made a and work, which makes it easier to run plans to port its applications to Microsoft smooth transition to supporting a jobs and helps us accomplish more in the Accelerator to study performance, ease of Windows operating system in its HPC same amount of time.” programming, and other factors. Microsoft environment. “I’ve used tools for Linux Accelerator is a high-level data parallel library deployment and management in the past, that is designed to help simplify the but none that were anything like Windows This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published February 2009
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