Cloud HPC Architecture for Hybrid High-Performance Computing

High-Performance Computing

Cloud HPC Architecture for Hybrid High-Performance Computing.  Nowadays, organizations are moving faster than ever to adapt to changes for the rapid growth of their businesses. Hence processing data in general speed is no longer sufficient to cope with the rush. Thus organizations are shifting to high-performance computing to support and deliver high-quality services. High-performance computing (HPC) is the capability of processing data and performing complex tasks at high speed. This technology opens up a wide range of applications and use-cases while improving the end-user experience, financial capabilities, and agility in business.

However, the issue with on-premise HPC clusters is their inability to handle unexpected demands as they are tightly coupled with physical requirements. So it might take months to set up and install an additional cluster. Hybrid HPC is introduced to overcome this issue with on-premise HPC clusters.

Hybrid HPC offers cloud-based options to alternate on-premises HPC resources. It also includes deployment, monitoring, administration, and job scheduling tools. Furthermore, Hybrid HPC supports both Windows and Linux environments and offers flexible private cloud HPC systems.

Hybrid HPC Architecture

Hybrid high-performance computing is a combination of on-premise HPC and cloud HPC. When a part of your on-premise HPC model is hosted and exposed through the cloud, it can be called Hybrid HPC. It combines the on-premise resources of a company with cloud operations through a unified interface, offering high flexibility for both IT and engineering teams to work collaboratively. Development teams can also work corporately with cloud HPC, while hardware system engineers can work with on-premise resources.

There are top-level cloud providers who use cutting edge technologies to design more robust and effective cloud HPC architectures. Therefore you can skip the burden of managing on-premise equipment and start using the latest and fastest GPU /CPUs, low latency storage, and RDMA networks with high-level security. These services are available 24 / 7 with a minimum waiting time.

Public clouds have a “pay as you use” payment model. While these public clouds offer scalability and flexibility in managing HPC workloads without any initial cost, they also have a few drawbacks. There can be performance issues and unpredictable or untracked costs since they use publicly hosted resources. Besides, there can be difficulties adapting these public clouds to industry-specific user requirements as they are not customizable. This issue can especially affect highly complex industrial applications such as AI Deep learning-based workflows and other data-intensive HPCs.

One better approach to address this issue is using private clouds. They can be optimized and customized to serve specific industry or domain-based applications. These customization capabilities will also enhance the legacy integration capability by offering more flexibility.

Some HPC service providers work collaboratively with cloud service providers and independent software vendors to offer optimized cloud solutions for specific industries and workflows.

Most of the hybrid HPCs are combined with an administrative portal. It allows users to create and monitor a wide range of HPC workflows. A few of these HPC workflows are managing resources, optimizing and monitoring performance, and creating and managing users and user groups. From the administrative point of view, users cannot see most of the underlying complexities in HPC as they are covered up. It reduces the effort for the users to learn the platform. Moreover, complex tasks such as job designing and scheduling will be just a matter of writing and running a  small script.

Hybrid HPC Cloud Security

Most cloud service providers ensure the safety of their cloud service in the following aspects.


  • Datacenter securityCSPs store configuration and management information of users and allow centralized control. 
  • Communication security – Data is secured with a firewall and SSL handshake authentication and sometimes allows user‑specific security options.
  • Password encryption – All the access passwords are mostly encrypted. The relevant public certificate and the private key are securely stored in data centers

What to consider when choosing a Cloud Service provider (CSP)?

You cannot expect HPC support from every cloud service provider as some are not designed to support at all, while some may not provide the required optimum performance in peaks and demands. Therefore, there are four main things that you should consider when choosing your cloud service provider for HPC.

  • Cutting-edge performance: 
    • It is advantageous if your Cloud service provider uses the latest servers, processors, network options, and storage as it allows you to meet the latest software requirements easily. Additionally, it will allow providing high-end performance compared to ordinary on-premise structures.
  • Experience with HPC :
    • It’s always better if your cloud service provider has deep experience in managing HPC workloads in a variety of enterprise domains. It means that their architecture is optimized to cope with peak periods, manage emergency loads and run simultaneous models.
  • Support Lift and shift :
    • One main concern in hybrid HPC is that the HPC workflow should run and perform similarly as with on-premise resources. Simply said, it should perform the same as you lift and shift the workload. If the computational logic is not changed, results also cannot be changed.
  • No hidden costs
    • Cloud services operate on a pay-as-you-use model. Therefore they cannot have additional charges. You should understand that whatever you pay is only for what you have consumed. If there are any such expenses, make sure that they do not deviate from the initial plans.

Benefits of Cloud Hybrid HPC

  • Scalability
    • It is easy to serve increasing demands and requirements as it does not require a huge investment and effort. Scaling on-premise HPC can be more expensive and will require additional space to install. Besides, the investment in hardware will be a waste if the requirement is short-term. Instead, it is very convenient to scale cloud requirements on demand while keeping the on-premise resources unchanged.
  • Accessibility
    • Another major disadvantage of on-premise HPC is that users should be on-premises to access the resources. On the contrary, hybrid HPC allows users to connect over the internet. It is convenient for developers and administrators to work collaboratively at any time from anywhere.
  • Efficiency
    • Moving into the cloud will help you in many ways. For instance, it will save your space, cost, power consumption and improve the results. It will also reduce maintenance costs since there is little hardware infrastructure. Additionally, the latest technology can help you improve performance, delivery time, and data security. Overall, it will result in improved efficiency of the whole workflow.
  • Use of Latest technologies
    • Most of the cloud services are equipped with the latest technologies and high-performing resources. Therefore, upgrading them and moving into a different technology stack is feasible compared to on-premise HPC as it saves time, investment, and effort.
  •  Better security
    • Cloud-based HPC is an infrastructure as a service model. Therefore, it also offers security, and your cloud service provider is responsible for any disastrous activity. There is a  physical separation between on-premise data and the cloud. Hence, if you lose your stored data in on-premise resources, you can have the backup data from the cloud. You can further set up periodic backup processes from the cloud to on-premise storage so that your data can be easily recovered in seconds

Cloud HPC Architecture for Hybrid High-Performance Computing

Businesses and organizations are rapidly improving with time. Therefore, we can soon expect more bulks of data transferred and used in day-to-day transactions and operations. Hence use of HPC will become a new norm. There can often be varying requirements, high-performance requirements, and power and capacity concerns in such situations. Therefore moving on with hybrid high-performance computing architectures will always help you cope with the run.

Avatar for Shanika Wickramasinghe
Shanika Wickramasinghe

Senior Software Engineer at WSO2 which is the 6th largest Open Source Software Company in the World. My main skills are machine learning and software development. I have 5+ years of experience as a Software engineer.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x