The goal of ELKH Cloud
The primary goal of ELKH Cloud is to support the Hungarian scientific community by providing the essential e-infrastructure for their research. As opposed to the lengthy process of procuring and deploying the necessary IT tools, ELKH Cloud gives researchers the opportunity to quickly and easily create their desired research environment in as little as a few hours. In addition, the resulting e-infrastructure can be adjusted dynamically to the current needs of the ongoing project, and when the reserved resources are no longer needed, they become available for other researchers to use. This approach is more time and cost effective and all together results in a significantly more efficient e-infrastructure management for the scientific community and the entire ELKH network than what the traditional method of e-infrastructure procurement and operation offered.
The operational concept of ELKH Cloud
ELKH Cloud is an e-infrastructure framework that allows users to create an e-infrastructure tailored to their specific needs in a cloud environment. ELKH Cloud is based on a project-oriented approach meaning that users do not typically utilize the cloud as individual researchers but as members of a project. The launching of a project can be initiated by the project manager by filling out a request form describing the purpose, duration, and resource requirements of the project. If the project is accepted, it receives the required resource capacity in the form of a quota. Within this quota, the project is then free to create an e-infrastructure that is best suited to its objectives (e.g., Spark cluster, Kubernetes cluster, deep learning supporting environment, etc.). The project manager may allow individual researchers to join at any time. Project members share the e-infrastructure that was created within the project. The different projects are completely isolated from each other and cannot access each other’s data.
ELKH Cloud and reference architectures
Creating the desired e-infrastructure in a cloud environment is usually a complex task requiring expertise, so ELKH Cloud provides reference architectures for the most commonly used, typical e-infrastructures to help users build their desired infrastructures in minimal time. Reference architectures are premade, carefully tested, ready-to-deploy infrastructures that can be used to automatically deploy the desired infrastructure after some customization and adjustment of properties.
ELKH Cloud offers direct assistance to users wanting to build non-typical e-infrastructures and then aims to create reference architectures for all e-infrastructures created this way while also providing a repository for them for easy access and storage. This allows all ELKH Cloud users to utilize these unique reference architectures as well.
The capacity of ELKH Cloud
ELKH Cloud was built on the infrastructure of MTA Cloud created in 2016 and underwent significant development starting from the third quarter of 2020. The table below shows the updated resource capacity post-development
|Type of resource||ELKH Cloud capacity|
|number of vCPU||5.904|
|memory (RAM, TB)||28|
|internal bandwidth (Gbit/s)||100|
|number of GPU cards||68|
|GPU memory (RAM, GB)||2.400|
|GPU double (TFLOPS)||584|
|GPU single (TFLOPS)||1.174|
|GPU FP 16 tensor (TFLOPS)||13.736|
What is ELKH Cloud for?
The 3 main types of cloud computing service models are infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS). ELKH Cloud currently offers the IaaS level with the possibility for the additional levels to be added in the future. Most of the available reference architectures already provide cloud services at the platform level.
As an IaaS Cloud ELKH Cloud allows researchers to create different types and sizes of e-infrastructures that are dynamically adjustable according to the current needs of their ongoing projects. With the help of the reference architectures, these infrastructures may range from a simple desktop computer (e.g., MS Windows, Linux) to high performance computing clusters (e.g., SLURM cluster).
ELKH Cloud also provides a large storage capacity for the temporary storage of scientific data while the applications running on the associated e-infrastructure are processing the aforementioned data. The secure storage of data is ensured by OpenStack cloud middleware.
Who can use ELKH Cloud?
ELKH Cloud primarily aims to serve the researchers of ELKH and those domestic and international projects in which ELKH institutions and researchers participate. We intend to offer remaining resources after the capacity increase to researchers and developers of domestic universities and industrial companies.
The future of ELKH Cloud
The ELKH Secretariat has contractually guaranteed the financing of the operation of ELKH Cloud for the period between 1st July 2021 and 31st December 2024. The operating costs include not only the operation and maintenance of the infrastructure, but also user support, which allows the ELKH Cloud development team to actively support its users.
It is of great importance that the enhanced ELKH Cloud joins the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) program and the ESFRI infrastructure programs. SZTAKI is already involved in two European projects for this purpose. In the EGI-ACE project we ensure the compatibility of ELKH Cloud with EOSC clouds, and we provide user support for European projects with Hungarian consortium members. In the SLICES-SC project we are involved in the preparation of the SLICES ESFRI program and in organizing the utilization of the SLICES infrastructure in Europe. Our goal for the future is to participate in as many European projects as possible by fulfilling their cloud computing needs.
Where can I get more information?
For researchers who wish to learn more about the possible uses of ELKH Cloud or to provide feedback, the following options are available:
- We present the services and application possibilities of ELKH Cloud at various professional events monthly. The presentation materials are available on the ELKH Cloud website.
- We provide basic and advanced support to ELKH Cloud users specifically tailored to promote the correct and efficient use of the cloud in a variety of applications. If you require such help, please see the e-mail address below.
- For more information, please do not hesitate to contact our developers and operators at email@example.com.