ICE: A Federated Instructional Cluster Environment for Georgia Tech
TimeTuesday, July 241:30pm - 1:45pm
DescriptionGeorgia Tech’s “Partnership for an Advanced Computing Environment (PACE)” team provides research computing resources, support and consultation for the entire campus and external collaborators. In response to a campus-wide demand, PACE initiated a project called “Instructional Cluster Environment (ICE)” to build instructional clusters to support educational efforts. These resources offer an educational environment that’s identical to production clusters and expected to provide thousands of grad/undergrad students with ample opportunities to gain first-hand scientific computing experience including HPC and GPU programming each year. Furthermore, the entire PACE scientific software repository is made accessible to all ICE students, providing an education environment that mirrors production research clusters in every aspect. The first of these clusters, funded by College of Computing (COC) technology fees, is now operational and serving 430 students. A PACE funded expansion is planned to be deployed next. We describe the ICE design, specifications, a scalable novel account management mechanism and policies to support large numbers of students with limited staff, a challenge common to many other institutions supporting their own educational resources.