Allocating HPC infrastructure costs time and money, so whatever you can do to automate the process saves both. Nowhere are such savings more essential to corporate success than in the semiconductor industry where businesses face non-stop competitive pressure to accelerate production of more complex designs in ever-smaller geometries.
Silicon design teams using HPC infrastructure for verification and other EDA workloads are likely already using or at least familiar with Hashicorp’s Terraform automation tool. We recently shared information about using Terraform Infrastructure as Code (IaC) to automate render cloud infrastructure deployments. In that article, we provided specific examples for deploying the Avere vFXT for Azure high-performance caching service.
Today we’d like to expand on that to show how you can use Terraform to deploy and manage Azure HPC Cache resources. With this new support for HPC Cache, Terraform makes it even easier to set up file caching for HPC workloads running in Azure.
HPC Cache reduces latency between Azure and on-prem storage so you can burst EDA workloads to Azure without moving your datasets. Similar in functionality to Avere vFXT, the Azure HPC Cache service offers easier data access and simpler management via the Azure Portal and API tools. EDA workloads can benefit from the cache’s performant data access, while IT and design/test engineers will appreciate the time savings, increased agility, cost control, reduced manual errors, and decreased risk benefits of using Terraform’s single-touch, programmatic setup.
Figure 1. Using Terraform to deploy HPC Cache resources for EDA verification workloads
Essentially a template to create Azure HPC Cache configurations for design-verification and other EDA workloads, the Terraform tool builds out the infrastructure with just a few commands. Terraform makes it easy to codify both setup and tear-down processes. Learn about specific parameters of the resource on the Terraform HPC Cache documentation page.
Note: While many enterprises use Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates for IaC services, IT administrators that choose the Terraform tool have typically already adopted Terraform for their on-premises infrastructure provisioning. Since ARM templates do not work cross platform (for both on-prem and cloud infrastructure), the Terraform application is the better option for these users. By giving users a single tool to learn and use across multiple platforms, Terraform continues to rapidly expand its footprint among Azure enterprise customers.
To help you get started, we’ve created a set of examples that show you how to deploy a number of Azure HPC Cache and NFS filer configurations. All examples can be deployed through Azure Cloud Shell. (Terraform is installed by default.) The process follows these four basic steps:
We currently offer seven HPC Cache examples (available at https://github.com/Azure/Avere/tree/master/src/terraform)
To give you an idea of sample configuration content, let’s look at the vdbench example that would be used to measure HPC Cache performance. This basic setup generates small and medium-sized workloads to test the performance of Azure HPC Cache memory and disk subsystems. The suggested configuration is 12 x Standard_D2s_v3 clients for each 2 GB/s of throughput capacity in an HPC Cache deployment.
To run the example, execute the following instructions. This assumes use of Azure Cloud Shell. If you are installing into your own environment, you will need to follow the instructions to set up Terraform for the Azure environment.
Before starting, download the latest vdbench from https://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/vdbench-downloads-1901681.html. To download you will need to create an account with Oracle and accept the license. Upload to a storage account or something similar where you can create a personal downloadable .
git remote add origin -f https://github.com/Azure/Avere.git
git config core.sparsecheckout true
echo "src/terraform/*" >> .git/info/sparse-checkout
git pull origin master
cd src/terraform/examples/HPC\ Cache/vdbench/azureblobfiler
cd src/terraform/examples/HPC\ Cache/vdbench/nfsfiler
chmod 600 ~/.ssh/id_rsa
scp ~/.ssh/id_rsa USERNAME@IP_ADDRESS:.ssh/.
./run_vdbench.sh inmem.conf uniquestring1
./run_vdbench.sh ondisk.conf uniquestring2
The links below can help you get started using Terraform to provision and manage Azure HPC Cache resources. If you need additional information, visit our github page at https://github.com/Azure/Avere or message our team through the tech community at:
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