Azure CentOS 7.6, 7.7 HPC Images

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Azure HPC team is pleased to announce the October release of CentOS 7.6, 7.7 HPC images. The latest update consists of Mellanox OFED, popular InfiniBand based MPI libraries, vendor tuned HPC libraries, and recommended performance optimizations. Here is the detailed list: 


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 4.7
  • Pre-configured IPoIB (IP-over-InfiniBand)
  • Popular InfiniBand based MPI Libraries
    • HPC-X 2.5.0
    • IntelMPI 2018.4.274, 2019.5.281
    • MVAPICH2 2.3.2
    • OpenMPI 4.0.2
  • Communication Runtimes
    • Libfabric
    • OpenUCX
  • Optimized librares
    • AMD Blis 2.0
    • AMD FFTW 2.0
    • AMD Flame 2.0
    • Intel MKL 2019.5.281
  • GCC 9.2.0

Like the previous release, MPI libraries are available as environment modules. To load an MPI library, just do:


module load mpi/<mpi-name>


Please refer to our GitHub repository for a more details.



Deploying CentOS 7.6/7.7 HPC Image:

The CentOS HPC images are available from Azure Marketplace, and it can be deployed through a variety of deployment vehicles (CycleCloud, Batch, ARM templates, etc). 


Following "Deploy to Azure" link is a quick way to deploy an HPC cluster in Azure with this image.





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