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Resolving Security and Throughput Challenges for High-Performance Computing: SARA Case Study

Resolve Security and Throughput HPC Cloud Challenges

SARA identified the I/O virtualization support in Intel® Ethernet 10 Gigabit Converged Network Adapters as the ideal means of meeting both security and throughput requirements for its high-performance cloud computing network infrastructure.

To provide high-performance computing (HPC) resources for research, Netherlands-based SARA must maintain very high throughput for message-passing interface (MPI) workloads between virtual machines (VMs) in a cluster environment. InfiniBand*, the conventional interconnect choice for these types of clusters, did not support the required combination of security and performance in the cloud environment. SARA resolved that issue using Intel® Ethernet 10 Gigabit Converged Network Adapters.

• Provide a high-performance interconnect between VMs to support MPI workloads in a cloud infrastructure, while meeting the stringent security standards required to protect valuable intellectual property and other sensitive data.
• Overcome security limitations of basic InfiniBand in the cloud, without adding security layers such as iptables, ebtables, and VLAN tagging that impose severe TCP/IP overhead and reduce throughput to unacceptable levels, due to the limitations of IP over InfiniBand.

• Intel Ethernet 10 Gigabit Converged Network Adapters incorporate I/O virtualization with Intel® Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT) for Connectivity (Intel® VT-c) that enables lower CPU utilization and improved networking and I/O throughput.
• Data protection for the cloud is provided by PCI-SIG Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV), a key component of Intel VT-c, which helps ensure that data traffic within one VM cannot be accessed by other VMs, and other platform features such as Intel® Trusted Execution Technology (Intel® TXT), which ensures a trusted launch environment.

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