Saying Goodbye to HPC Pack 2012 R2: End of Life Date Reached April 11th 2023
Published Apr 11 2023 04:52 PM 3,663 Views
Microsoft

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Introduction:
Microsoft announced many years ago that it will end support for its High-Performance Computing (HPC) Pack 2012 R2 on April 11th, 2023. This means that Microsoft will no longer provide technical support, software updates, or security patches for this version of the HPC Pack. This is a significant announcement for organizations still using this version of HPC Pack, as it means that they will need to migrate to a newer version or alternative solution to avoid any support issues.  HPC Pack 2012 R2 was the first major version of HPC Pack that saw tremendous cloud adoption by its users.

Why End of Life Announcement? The End-of-Life (EOL) announcement for HPC Pack 2012 R2 is part of Microsoft's standard product lifecycle policy. Microsoft typically provides mainstream support for five years after the initial release of a product, followed by extended support for an additional five years. HPC Pack 2012 R2 was initially released in 2013, and mainstream support ended in 2018. The extended support period will end on April 11th, 2023. After this date, Microsoft will no longer provide any support or updates for this version of the HPC Pack.

Impact on Organizations: Organizations that are still using HPC Pack 2012 R2 will need to consider migrating to a newer version or alternative solution to avoid any security or performance issues. Without further security updates, organizations risk exposing their systems and data to potential security threats. Additionally, without software updates, organizations may experience performance issues or compatibility issues with newer hardware or software is released. It is important for organizations to plan for this migration to avoid any disruption to their business operations.


Potential Migration Options: Organizations have several options for migrating from HPC Pack 2012 R2 to a newer version or alternative solution. Microsoft offers a newer version of HPC Pack, which is currently HPC Pack 2019. This version offers new features and enhancements, and Microsoft will continue to provide support and updates for this version.  Note: There is no direct upgrade path from 2012 R2 to 2016 / 2019, so it will require a side-by-side install of the head nodes of compute clusters and modern OS compute nodes deployment.  What are some of the new features of HPC Pack 2019 compared to 2012 R2:

  • Built-in High Availability: HPC Pack 2019 has new built-in high availability architecture for head nodes that requires less CPU and memory resources and allows additional head nodes to be added into a cluster later.
  • Improved Performance: HPC Pack 2019 includes several performance enhancements that can significantly improve the speed and efficiency of HPC workloads. This includes improved job scheduling algorithms, better support for GPUs and other accelerators, and improved support for large-scale, distributed computing environments of over 30,000s nodes tested.

  • New Admin Portal: HPC Pack 2019 provides a new Admin Portal for a fresh cluster admin experience that is accessible at the URL https://hostname/hpc/portal.
  • Better Integration with Azure: HPC Pack 2019 includes improved integration with Azure, making it easier to use HPC workloads in the cloud. This includes support for Azure Batch, which allows users to run HPC workloads on Azure virtual machines (VM) and Virtual Machine Scale Sets (VMSS), including experimental support of Azure Spot VMs.

  • Improved Security: HPC Pack 2019 includes several security enhancements, including support for Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption for communication between nodes and improved support for Active Directory authentication. (including support for Azure Active Directory for authentication) 

  • Improved Reliability: HPC Pack 2019 includes several reliability improvements, including improved error handling and better support for cluster monitoring and management.

  • Job cost and core hours: HPC Pack 2019 allows you to view the job cost and core hours in real-time in the GUI and command line.
  • Support for Modern Operating Systems:  HPC Pack 2019 supports Windows Server 2022 and 2019 on the head node and several other node roles and Windows 11 and 10 for workstation nodes.

Organizations can also consider alternative solutions such as cloud-based HPC solutions such as Azure Batch. These solutions may offer additional benefits such as scalability, flexibility, and cost savings or native cloud orchestration with ephemeral compute nodes.  


Conclusion: Microsoft's EOL announcement for HPC Pack 2012 R2 is an important reminder for organizations to stay current with their software solutions to avoid any security or performance issues. Organizations using HPC Pack 2012 R2 who have not migrated already to 2019 will need to plan now for that migration to a newer version or alternative solution to avoid any future disruption to their business operations. Microsoft offers a newer version of HPC Pack, and organizations can also consider alternative solutions such as cloud-based HPC solutions or third-party HPC solutions.

 
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Last update:
‎Apr 11 2023 06:14 PM
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