Friday, December 23, 2011

Amazon's Cloud Built a 17,024-core, 240-Teraflop Cluster Manifold Creating the 42nd Fastest Supercomputer in the World. The Number 42 is the Answer to the Universe Right? Well at the Very Least it can be Your Answer to Owning One of the Top 500 Fastest Computers Today!

""The list of the world's 500 fastest supercomputers came out yesterday with a top 10 that was unchanged from the previous ranking issued in June. But further down the list, a familiar name is making a charge: Amazon, with its Elastic Compute Cloud service, built a 17,024-core, 240-teraflop cluster that now ranks as the 42nd fastest supercomputer in the world.

Amazon previously built a 7,040-core, 41.8-teraflop cloud cluster that hit number 233 on the list, then fell to 451st. But Amazon submitted an updated Linpack benchmark test with the addition of a new type of high-performance computing instance known as "Cluster Compute Eight Extra Large," which each have two Intel Xeon processors, 16 cores, 60GB of RAM and 3.37TB of storage. The full cluster on the Top 500 list is Linux-based, with 17,024 cores, 66,000GB of memory, and a 10 Gigabit Ethernet interconnect.

For less than $1,000 per hour, with the purchase of 290 HPC instances, Amazon said customers can create their own 63.7-teraflop cluster, which would be fast enough to make the Top 500 list.

New - Elastic Network Interfaces in the Virtual Private Cloud

""If you look closely at the services and facilities provided by AWS, you'll see that we've chosen to factor architectural components that were once considered elemental (e.g. a server) into multiple discrete parts that you can instantiate and control individually.

For example, you can create an EC2 instance and then attach EBS volumes to it on an as-needed basis. This is more dynamic and more flexible than procuring a server with a fixed amount of storage.
Today we are adding additional flexibility to EC2 instances running in the Virtual Private Cloud. First, we are teasing apart the IP addresses (and important attributes associated with them) from the EC2 instances and calling the resulting entity an ENI, or Elastic Network Interface. Second, we are giving you the ability to create additional ENIs, and to attach a second ENI to an instance (again, this is within the VPC).
Each ENI lives within a particular subnet of the VPC (and hence within a particular Availability Zone) and has the following attributes:
  • Description
  • Private IP Address
  • Elastic IP Address
  • MAC Address
  • Security Group(s)
  • Source/Destination Check Flag
  • Delete on Termination Flag
A very important consequence of this new model (and one took me a little while to fully understand) is that the idea of launching an EC2 instance on a particular VPC subnet is effectively obsolete. A single EC2 instance can now be attached to two ENIs, each one on a distinct subnet. The ENI (not the instance) is now associated with a subnet.

Similar to an EBS volume, ENIs have a lifetime that is independent of any particular EC2 instance. They are also truly elastic. You can create them ahead of time, and then associate one or two of them with an instance at launch time. You can also attach an ENI to an instance while it is running (we sometimes call this a "hot attach"). Unless the Delete on Termination flag is set, the ENI will remain alive and well after the instance is terminated. We'll create a ENI for you at launch time if you don't specify one, and we'll set the Delete on Terminate flag so you won't have to manage it. Net-net: You don't have to worry about this new level of flexibility until you actually need it.

You can put this new level of addressing and security flexibility to use in a number of different ways. Here are some that we've already heard about:""

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