Kubernetes Meets HPC

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In this post, I discuss some of the challenges of running HPC workloads with Kubernetes, explain how organizations approach these challenges today, and suggest an approach for supporting mixed workloads on a shared Kubernetes cluster. 

In Kubernetes, the base unit of scheduling is a Pod: one or more Docker containers scheduled to a cluster host. Kubernetes assumes that workloads are containers. While Kubernetes has the notion of Cron Jobsand Jobs that run to completion, applications deployed on Kubernetes are typically long-running services, like web servers, load balancers or data stores and while they are highly dynamic with pods coming and going, they differ greatly from HPC application patterns.
Traditional HPC applications often exhibit different characteristics:

  • In financial or engineering simulations, a job may be comprised of tens of thousands of short-running tasks, demanding low-latency and high-throughput scheduling to complete a simulation in an acceptable amount of time.

Read more at insideHPC