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Microsoft

Azure HPC team is pleased to announce the availability of optimized HPC VM images. The latest update consists of Mellanox OFED, popular InfiniBand based MPI libraries, vendor tuned HPC libraries, and recommended performance optimizations. 

 

Here is an overview of configuration updates and package list in these optimized VM images: 

 

Configuration Updates:
The included configuration updates are based on optimization recommendations from vendors and partners, as well as learnings from common HPC workloads and usage practices in traditional HPC systems.

  • Azure Linux Agent (WAAgent)
    • Limit waagent's (VM agent running on every Azure Linux VM) usage of CPU/memory resources.
    • Optionally, consider disabling waagent at the beginning of your job script, and enabling it back at the end, for CPU sensitive workloads as follows:
      sudo systemctl stop waagent
      <HPC job>
      sudo systemctl restart waagent
  • Higher Memory Limits
    • Set max-locked-memory limit to unlimited
    • Set number of open files limit to 65535
  • Zone Reclaim mode
    • Set zone_reclaim_mode to 1
  • Disable firewall daemon to help MPI job launchers

Software Installations:

  • Mellanox OFED
  • Pre-configured IPoIB (IP-over-InfiniBand)
  • Popular InfiniBand based MPI Libraries
    • HPC-X 
    • IntelMPI 
    • MVAPICH2, MVAPICH2-X
    • OpenMPI 
  • Communication Runtimes
    • Libfabric
    • OpenUCX
  • Optimized librares
    • AMD Blis 
    • AMD FFTW 
    • AMD Flame
    • Intel MKL 
  • Platform recommended GCC version

MPI libraries and software packages are available as environment modules. To load an MPI library/package, just do:

 

 

module load <package-name>

 

 

 

Follow the links below for a detailed list of package versions in each of the VM images:

 

Deploying HPC VM Images:

The HPC VM images are available from Azure Marketplace, and it can be deployed through a variety of deployment vehicles (CycleCloud, Batch, ARM templates, etc).  AzureHPC scripts provides an easy way to quickly deploy an HPC cluster using these HPC VM images.