Call for presentations and participants: hpc-ch Forum on Cloud Computing and Virtualisation for HPC

The hpc-ch community meets twice a year to discuss different topics related to the management and operations of HPC systems. The first meeting of 2014 will be hosted together by ETH Zurich and  University of Zurich The forum will be dedicated to

Cloud Computing and Virtualisation for HPC
Wednesday, June 18th, from 10:00 until 17:00

If you would like to give a presentation, please contact Christian Bolliger (christian.bolliger ((at))

Setting the scope

An important shift in the provisioning of computing resources happened in 2006 when Amazon started offering cloud computing to external customers as Amazon Web Services (AWS). Since then additional large companies entered the cloud computing market like IBM with the SmartCloud framework in 2011 or Oracle in 2012 with the Oracle Cloud. An enabling technology for cloud computing is virtualization that developed from a niche product to an essential technology used in every data center.

As the cloud computing begins to provision a subset of HPC services, and companies like Cycle Computing emerge that enable HPC applications on the cloud, the question is if the entire HPC service portfolio can be served as a cloud service.

The goals of this forum are two-folds: 1) to understand how HPC data center technologies (providers) leverage cloud computing for HPC services; 2) to explore opportunities that a cloud environment offers to extend HPC services (users) portfolio.

General questions

  • What are the driving force(s) behind cloud computing and virtualization in HPC? (user requirement, management decision, ideology, …)
  • Where do we stand today? (observation, planning, experimenting, production)
  • What are the potential and effective benefits to HPC users? (computing on demand, custom setups, cost)
  • What are the potential and effective benefits to HPC providers? (ease of management, new customers)
  • How to evaluate strategic decisions like
  • Private or public cloud? (legal aspects, cost)
  • Open-source or commercial software? (features, stability, vendor lock-in, cost)
  • How to share resources between sites? (strategy, policies)

Real-life experiences

  • We would like to learn from your real-life experiences in deploying / using cloud computing and virtualization.
  • Using OpenStack or other open-source cloud stacks (academic cloud)
  • Using VMware vCloud or other commercial cloud stacks (virtual clusters)
  • Mixing virtualization and traditional HPC (Euler approach)
  • Software as a Service / SaaS (Matlab, CLC bio)


  • ETH Zurich: Bernd Rinn, Christian Bolliger
  • University of Zurich: Peter Kunszt