Four types of instances in Amazon's cloud were used, with eight-core c1.xlarges and four-core m1.xlarges being the most common. The four-core instances come with 1690GB of storage, 15GB of memory and are optimized for high input/output processing.
It was a big job for Cycle, but not the company's biggest. Last year, Cycle ran a 50,000-core job that used 6,732 instances for computational chemistry company Schrodinger. That job had fewer instances but more compute cores.
Cycle Computing CEO Jason Stowe said the company used to alert Amazon as to when it would be running these massive cluster compute cycles, but now HPC jobs are becoming "pedestrian." Amazon even builds HPC clusters itself.
"We just handled 10,600 servers, and our software built the environment, secured it, scheduled data across, scaled it, and tracked everything for audit/reporting purposes," a blog post on Cycle's website reads. "Chef 11 handled configuration for all of them. But now we're ready to add zeros here, and so is our software."
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