Part two of our three part series on utilising the cloud for education in supercomputing looks at the cloud HPC cluster environment created for the CompBioMed Center of Excellence.

Part Two: The nUCLeus cloud HPC cluster environment

For over five years the Alces Flight crew has been studying cloud HPC adoption within HPC services. In part two we focus on the design of the nUCLeus cloud HPC cluster environment.

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Applying project goals to cluster environment architecture.

The CompBioMed Center of Excellence focuses on turning the science fiction of personalised medicine into the science fact of everyday clinical use. …


Our three part series on utilising the cloud for education in supercomputing kicks off with a look at the CompBioMed Center of Excellence.

Part One: Setting Project Foundations

For over five years the Alces Flight crew has been studying where cloud works best within a HPC service. In this series we’re exploring cloud HPC in education through our work with the CompBioMed Center of Excellence and their cloud HPC training cluster, nUCLeus.

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Adding Cloud to a Consortia.

The CompBioMed Center of Excellence focuses on turning the science fiction of personalised medicine into the science fact of everyday clinical use. …


While this year wasn’t what we expected some truly amazing things still happened. Here’s our 2020 year in review.

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It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times — or so the story of 2020 wants to go. A year that started off with lots of promise cut itself off at the three-month marker when the spread of COVID-19 was officially declared a global pandemic. Suddenly, everyone’s priorities were shifted. For the Alces Flight crew our focus changed, but thanks to our intuitive clients and our ability to adapt with the times some really extraordinary things happened for us in HPC. Here’s our review:

Cloud HPC looked to be more about small projects…

We started off…


See what the Flight Crew got up to during this online event

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Virtual Supercomputing may have come to an end but thanks to this event being held entirely online the content will be running live for the next six months! Here’s a quick run-down (with links!) of what the crew got up to this time:

First-time nomination for the HPCwire Reader’s Choice Awards

We were proud to secure a first-time nomination with the University of Liverpool and AWS for work done in Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. We might not have taken home the prize this time but the research done to achieve this recognition in progressing COVID-19 diagnosis means everyone wins.


Supercomputing (SC’20) has gone virtual — and the move have resulted in record attendance for Alces Flight projects.

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Yesterday’s State of Practice talks, part of the Supercomputing (SC’20) Technical Program, were to date the highest attended Alces Flight presentations for a global supercomputing conference.

Over 550+ people from around the world gathered to hear talks presented by the University of Liverpool and CompBioMed Centre of Excellence as they went through their respective presentations on AI imagining analysis for COVID-19 and training in biomedical sciences.

Fresh off their nomination for the HPCwire Reader’s Choice Award, the University of Liverpool kicked-off the Alces presentation run — showcasing the power of their hybrid HPC solution design in the race to diagnose…


This year the Alces Flight team is participating in not one, but two HPC State of the Practice presentations covering hybrid and cloud HPC.

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The Flight Crew is back — albeit virtually — to participate once again in the annual Supercomputing (SC’20) convention. This conference, like so many other events, has moved online… but… this move is allowing global participation and a chance for more voices to be heard in the HPC community… so it’s even better.

We are excited to announce that two of our projects were selected for HPC State of Practice talks, both taking place on November 17th. …


The staff at Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, through their EPSRC grant, are growing their solution and Research Software Engineering (RSE) portfolio intelligently in order to meet the changing needs of their new user base.

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Our students and researchers drive our technological advancement both here at Queen’s and at Ulster,” explains Vaughan Purnell, Research Computing Manager, of Queen’s University Belfast. “When we came together to plan how we would tackle these new fields, we knew we would need the best platform for our research and an end user model built on RSE engagement. Our aim is to educate users today on the systems available, while keeping an eye to the user and system requirements of tomorrow — all without sacrificing quality or time-to-science.”

The NI-HPC ‘Kelvin2’ cluster is built through partnership with Dell EMC, ROC…


Alces Flight provided a cloud High Performance Computing (HPC) environment built on Microsoft Azure that harnessed the newly available AMD EPYC2 (Rome) Series of Processors

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With the Alces Flight team going first in the student cluster competition, and going in on public cloud, they chose to go epic… quite literally.

“As this was CIUK’s first ever cluster challenge we really wanted to give the students something special to launch for their first challenge, which is why we choose to construct the cluster environment on Microsoft Azure with the latest AMD EPYC2 (Rome) series of processors,” said Cristin Merritt, Program Manager for Cloud HPC at Alces Flight. “For us, pulling together this cluster environment was almost entirely automated. In fact, it’s in this ephemeral project space…


This first time virtual event will have students competing across different platforms in a quest to win sponsorship to the ISC HPC Student Cluster Competition in 2021.

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The team at Alces Flight will be providing student cluster teams access to HPC on the cloud during CIUK’s first ever Cluster Competition. Designed to run from mid-October, and culminating at CIUK 2020 Online, students will engage in a series of tasks covering both hardware and software that will increase in difficulty as the finish line nears. The Alces Flight team will open the event by launching identical cloud HPC clusters for each team tailored specifically to meet the requirements set out by CIUK.

“We’ve been building ephemeral and federated cloud HPC environments for years so it makes perfect sense…


The nomination highlights the work by the Department of Eye & Vision Science and Advanced Research Computing (ARC) teams on building up their cloud High Performance Computing (HPC) service for COVID-19 research.

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The team at Alces Flight are pleased to announce that the University of Liverpool has been nominated for the HPCwire Readers’ Choice Award for Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence. The Department of Eye & Vision Science and the ARC team have been working with our HPC specialists and the team at Amazon Web Services (AWS) to target diagnosis models for COVID-19. This project work, built on the ARC Cloud HPC Barkla service, has been utilising the power of quad Nvidia v100 GPUs to increase the training speed of their 2D X-ray and 3D CT scan diagnosis models.

“It’s a great…

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