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TERATEC 2016 Forum
Workshop 1 - Wednesday, June 29 from 9:00 to 12:30

Virtualization at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in an HPC context
Michaƫl KRAJECKI, Directeur du Centre de Calcul de Champagne-Ardenne ROMEO et du lab. CReSTIC

Abstract : In this talk, advantages offer by virtualization technics will be discussed from both the research side and teaching point of view in the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne.
ROMEO HPC Center environment provides a large infrastructure intended and optimized for running HPC jobs: compute nodes, visualization services and storage facilities. Unfortunately, there are some situations where our HPC cluster’s environment is not suitable for user needs:

  • Application requires different operating system (e.g Windows)
  • Application requires different versions of base system libraries and tools
  • Application requires specific setup (installation, configuration) of complex software stack
  • Application requires special network configuration
  • Application requires privileged access to operating system
  • and combinations of above cases

Virtualization offer solutions for these cases either for compute nodes or visualization nodes, either in user space or for service provider. Although it offers new possibilities to researchers, it requires a seamless integration in the HPC environment including the batch manager, network storage attachments, security policy and network isolation. As today's HPC clusters are not designed for virtualization, the result is suboptimal use of our systems and limitations.

In a classical approach, teaching technologies in computer science like programming, networking or system administration implies dedicated labs with all the hardware needed. This solution is limited by the hardware resources availability and subsequent lack of flexibility. Virtualization brings new flexibility to the student's benefit because it can easily access educational resources regardless of geographic location or time. With tools developed at the University of Reims, students can control virtual machines and virtual network equipment only with a web navigator. With these tools, students can practice on virtualized systems, without any installation of a specialized software on a personal laptop.

In conclusion, the main benefits of virtualization will be discussed on the basis of concrete examples met at the University of Reims.

Biography : Michael Krajecki is a Professor in Computer Science at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne (URCA) in France since 2005. Michael leads the ROMEO High Performance Computing Center which hosts the largest GPU accelerated supercomputer in France ranked #5 in the Green500 in November 2013. M. Krajecki is also an Adjunct Professor at Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario. He is leading different research projects focused on HPC with industrial partners like ATOS Bull, CEA and NVIDIA. His research interests are mainly focused on parallel algorithms, GPU computing and combinatorial optimization. Between 2012 and 2015, M. Krajecki was the director of the ICT Research Center (CReSTIC) of URCA. Professor Krajecki also teaches courses on algorithms, parallel programming and computing. As a Deputy President of the University of Reims, Professor Krajecki was responsible for the Digital Agenda of his University from 2007 to 2012. He has previously worked at the University of Nancy and University of Metz where he obtained his Ph.D degree in Computer Science in 1998.


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