Purdue selected as one of five Microsoft Azure HPC and AI Collaboration Centers

Purdue will be one of five inaugural Microsoft Azure HPC and AI Collaboration Centers, Microsoft announced this week.

The Purdue center will demonstrate best practices for using Microsoft’s Azure HPC cloud computing platform to augment both on-campus supercomputers and Anvil, a powerful new supercomputer which is funded by a $10 million award from the National Science Foundation.

“Purdue is very excited to work with Microsoft on this new initiative,” says Preston Smith, executive director for Research Computing at Purdue, and PI for the Purdue Collaboration Center. “Investing in these cloud resources will allow us to offer both Purdue researchers and users of Anvil from across the country the flexibility to complement their traditional HPC workflows and make their workflows more portable.”

Purdue plans to use Microsoft Azure for three major purposes. It will allow the Research Computing team that is currently building Anvil to benchmark and test applications on the new AMD Milan processors before they’re physically delivered to Purdue. Azure will also allow for surge capacity on Anvil for high-throughput work. Finally, the collaboration center will partner with researchers to use Azure for cloud-native workflows in areas such as data analytics and bioinformatics.  

Beyond supporting Anvil, the center will advance the Azure cloud as a complement to Purdue’s award-winning community cluster program.  The community cluster program serves researchers from every college and more than 60 departments. In addition to Anvil, Purdue recently deployed the Bell cluster, which is optimized for traditional, tightly-coupled science and engineering applications and named after Clara Bell Sessions, a Purdue nursing professor and diversity advocate.

Anvil is supported by the National Science Foundation under Cooperative Agreement No. (OAC-2005632).

To learn more about Purdue’s community cluster program or the Microsoft Azure collaboration, contact Smith, psmith@purdue.edu or 49-49729.

Writer: Adrienne Miller, science and technology writer, Information Technology at Purdue (ITaP), 765-496-8204, mill2027@purdue.edu

Last updated: February 23, 2021