Build and Evaluate a Free Virtual Cluster on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud for Scientific Computing

Jie Xiong, Shen-Han Shi, Song Zhang


Scientific computing requires a huge amount of computing resources, but not all the scientific researchers have an access to sufficient high-end computing systems. Currently, Amazon provides a free tier account for cloud computing which could be used to build a virtual cluster. In order to investigate whether it is suitable for scientific computing, we first describe how to build a free virtual cluster using StarCluster on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Then, we perform a comprehensive performance evaluation of the virtual cluster built before. The results show that a free virtual cluster is easily built on Amazon EC2 and it is suitable for the basic scientific computing. It is especially valuable for scientific researchers, who do not have any HPC or cluster, to develop and test their prototype system of scientific computing without paying anything, and move it to a higher performance virtual cluster when necessary by choosing more powerful instance on Amazon EC2.


Virtual cluster, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Evaluation, Scientific computing, StarCluster, High Performance Computing (HPC)

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International Journal of Online and Biomedical Engineering (iJOE) – eISSN: 2626-8493
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