What is it about?

This article addresses web interfaces for High-performance Computing (HPC) simulation software. First, it presents a brief history, starting in the 1990s with Java applets, of web interfaces used for accessing and making best possible use of remote HPC resources. It introduces HPC web-based portal use cases. Then it identifies and discusses the key features, among functional and non-functional requirements, that characterize such portals. A brief state of the art is then presented. The design and development of Bull extreme factory Computing Studio v3 (XCS3) is chosen as a common thread for showing how the identified key features can all be implemented in one software: multi-tenancy, multi-scheduler compatibility, complete control through an HTTP RESTful API, customizable user interface with Responsive Web Design, HPC application template framework, remote visualization, and access through the Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting security framework with the Role-Based Access Control permission model. Non-functional requirements (security, usability, performance, reliability) are discussed, and the article concludes by giving perspective for future work.

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Why is it important?

High Performance Computing (HPC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are now everywhere. In every domain simulations and optimizations rely on HPC & AI computations: biology, engineering, finance, imaging, chemistry, oil and gas, entertainment, medicine, cosmetics, manufacturing, astronomy, food industry, etc. With the democratization of HPC and the expansion of AI in research and industries, organizations require more flexibility and more simplicity in the way they provide end-users with computing resources. We are witnessing a progressive shift from a full-CAPEX (Capital Expenditure / investment) on-premises model to a more hybrid way of consuming computing power: through a mix of CAPEX and OPEX (Operational Expenditure / services). As more and more users have access to remote and heterogeneous resources, it becomes evident that not all of them have the skills to master this complexity. Web portals have a very important role to play in order to address all these challenges.


More and more web portals and science gateways will be used to access supercomputers in the coming years so this article can help to understand and to participate in this evolution.

Patrice Calegari

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Web Portals for High-performance Computing, ACM Transactions on the Web, February 2019, ACM (Association for Computing Machinery),
DOI: 10.1145/3197385.
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