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Ohio Super Computer Center builds open source portal for accessing high-performance computing

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open source high-performance computing portal by Ohio Super Computer Center

Ohio Super Computer Center has developed a new web portal for accessing computing services. Called Open OnDemand 1.0, the new development is an open source version of the existing OSC OnDemand and is available worldwide to provide a single-point-of-entry application for high-performance computing (HPC) services.

US’ National Science Foundation (NSF) is actively supporting the Open OnDemand project to improve the reach of HPC centers. The web portal enables HPC clients to upload and download files with ease. They can even create, edit, submit and monitor jobs using GUI applications. Also, there is a provision to connect to the portal via SSH from all web browsers. The clients need not use any intermediary software to install and configure HPC services.

According to Basil Gohar, the manager of OSC web and interface applications group, about six HPC centers have installed and deployed the Open OnDemand package, while another six have installed its presence for testing and evolution. The primary benefit of the open source portal for OSC is the ability to let users run GUI applications like Matlab, Ansys on HPC resources without to logging into these resources directly.

Open OnDemand v1.0 includes the ability to launch interactive HPC desktop sessions and a new dashboard ‘batch connect’ plugin. The new version also supports Portable Batch System Professionals (PBS Pro) workload manager and job scheduler software.

“With 1.0, we feel that Open OnDemand now enables our peer HPC centers to provide to their clients with simple, easy access to powerful computing services. All they need is a web browser, their username and password,” said Gohar.

All in all, the first Open OnDemand release enables HPC centers to provide a simple and easy access to powerful computing. It will receive addition apps such as Jupyter, RStudio, COMSOL Server, ANSYS and MATLAB through the next update.