A*STAR — The agency for science, technology and research

Published on 13-Nov-2012

"Platform LSF was the perfect fit for our user community. Not only did it make it incredibly easy to move and schedule jobs, but it also meant that we could very quickly increase the utilization of new resources as and when they were needed. This could be up to as much as 100 per cent in just five or six weeks." - Dr. Marek Michalewicz, Director of computational research centre, A*Star

Customer:
A*STAR

Industry:
Life Sciences

Deployment country:
Singapore

Solution:
Technical Computing

Overview

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has a mission to drive and sustain world-class scientific research that will be meaningful and impactful for Singapore. As the largest government-funded research organization in South East Asia, A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, physical sciences and engineering research institutes and supports Singapore’s key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports research in universities, hospitals, research centres, and with other local and international partners.

Business need:
A world-class scheduler was needed which would increase utilization across its entire computing platform, providing support for computationally intensive research at the agency

Solution:
Platform LSF, acting as the single unifying workload scheduler, helped rapidly increase resource utilization

Benefits:
Platform LSF enabled A*STAR’s systems to maximize compute resources and reach 100 percent utilization A*STAR was able to run a single workload scheduler across its entire computing platform making it easier for users to schedule jobs and move them between machines, addressing user discontent

Case Study

Supporting Singapore’s economic clusters

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has a mission to drive and sustain world-class scientific research that will be meaningful and impactful for Singapore. As the largest government-funded research organization in South East Asia, A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, physical sciences and engineering research institutes and supports Singapore’s key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports research in universities, hospitals, research centres, and with other local and international partners.

Addressing high levels of user discontent
Before implementing IBM® Platform™ LSF®, A*STAR suffered from high levels of user discontent. There were simply not enough computational resources for the population of users and the vast number of research projects being undertaken at the organization. In order to resolve this, A*STAR spent two years increasing its hardware capability and making its software environment uniform, but needed to maximize its existing resources further in order to address user dissatisfaction. “One of our main objectives was to find the best workload scheduler on the market,” said Dr. Marek Michalewicz, director of A*STAR’s computational research centre. “Previously, we had a number of different machines, each with a different operating system and scheduler. Our desire was to install a single workload scheduler uniformly across all computer platforms, meaning that jobs could be managed and moved quickly and easily.”

The most optimal solution
A*STAR looked at a number of different options before selecting Platform LSF. “We decided that Platform LSF would be the most optimal solution,” continued Dr. Marek Michalewicz. “Platform LSF is the scheduler of choice for many organizations in Singapore, so we were aware of the benefits it could offer to A*STAR.”

Approaching 100% utilization
With Platform LSF acting as the single unifying workload scheduler across its computing platforms, A*STAR very rapidly saw an increase in terms of resource utilization. “Platform LSF was the perfect fit for our user community,” continued Dr. Marek Michalewicz. “Not only did it make it incredibly easy to move and schedule jobs, but it also meant that we could very quickly increase the utilization of new resources as and when they were needed. This could be up to as much as 100 percent in just five or six weeks.” With Platform LSF, Dr. Michalewicz and his team were able to ensure that the right resources were allocated to the right users for maximum efficiency. Similarly, simplified job submission equated to a significant reduction in setup time and far fewer operation errors, meaning less time spent on administration, more on research.

For more information
To learn more about IBM Platform Computing please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/platformcomputing

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
Platform LSF

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Systems and Technology Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of America May 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Platform Computing and Platform LSF are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at www.ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data discussed herein is presented as derived under specific operating conditions. Actual results may vary. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.