Scientific Cloud Computing

What is an AMI?

The "Virtual Platform" is a virtual machine blueprint. It is saved on disk somewhere in the cloud. Copies of this blueprint will be loaded onto virtualized hardware whenever you request a Cloud Cluster from the cloud provider.

In the Amazon EC2 jargon, these blueprints are called AMIs. SC2VP contains several AMIs. All of them contain tools that are generally useful for scientific computing, such as compilers, libraries, and MPI. Beyond that, each AMI stores preconfigured scientific codes that are relevant to its purpose. One lightweight AMI may contain just one materials science application. It was designed for a front-end GUI for that application. Another will contain a wide palette of spectroscopy codes, and offer a Virtual Cloud Synchrotron to its users.

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An AMI, stored as a file on a disk in the Cloud, is copied onto live Cloud "nodes" or "instances".


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Launching a parallel compute cluster from a local GUI.

The SC2VP AMIs

The SC2VP AMIs are designed to be nodes in a parallel compute cluster. They contain tools that make them suitable to working together to solve parallel tasks, such as MPI, a parallel file system, and a queue. If started using the SC2IT interface, they are configured to seamlessly work together the way your own Linux cluster does. This includes network mounted folders, hostfiles, and passwordless access between nodes.

Some other scientific tools are included, such as C and Fortran compilers and numerical libraries. Power users can access this environment and control it just like their own Linux system. Novice users can take advantage of the ready-to-go configuration and simply execute their tasks, or control the cloud cluster from a graphical front-end on their laptop.

Depending on the task at hand, the virtual machine blueprint can be loaded onto different kinds of virtualized hardware, known as "instance types". These range from very small and cheap instances (for example, a low-traffic webserver) to high-powered 16 core number crunchers. The latter instance types (known as "cluster instances" in the Amazon EC2) are important for materials science applications because they deliver the fast network performance needed by many parallel applications.



The FEFF Project SC2VP AMIs


Please contact us to obtain AMI identifiers or to request access. Our AMIs are not publicly accessible by default. Please note that we cannot provide access to codes owned by others without the owners' consent.

The ABINIT/BSE AMI

  • Description:
  • A specialized AMI containing the ABINIT code and all codes developed around ABINIT by The FEFF Project. Well suited for BSE spectroscopy calculations and electronic structure calculations.
  • Codes:
  • ABINIT, OCEAN, AI2NBSE, PHONON
  • Freeware:
  • Yes (these codes do not require payment of a license fee, but acceptance of a license agreement may be required)
  • Tools:
  • OpenMPI, Fortran compilers, C Compilers, numerical MKL libraries
  • Instance Types:
  • Cluster Instances; Recommended: cc1.4xlarge .

The Virtual Synchrotron AMI

  • Description:
  • An AMI containing a wide selection of codes for simulating spectroscopic measurements, including X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS).
  • Codes:
  • OCEAN, AI2NBSE, WIEN2k+TELNES3, EXC!TING, FEFF9, Octopus, ABINIT, cpmd, QuantumEspresso, NWChem, Gromacs, SPRKKR, iFEFFIT, Demeter, ATHENA, ARTEMIS
  • Freeware:
  • No (some of these codes require payment of a license fee)
  • Tools:
  • OpenMPI, Fortran compilers, C Compilers, numerical MKL libraries
  • Instance Types:
  • Cluster Instances; Recommended: cc1.4xlarge . (Non-cluster instances for lighter tasks.)


The FEFF9 AMI

  • Description:
  • A light-weight AMI containing only the latest FEFF9 version. Short start-up time of ~2 minutes. Used by the JFEFF GUI for FEFF9 cloud calculations.
  • Codes:
  • FEFF9-mpi
  • Freeware:
  • No (some of these codes require payment of a license fee)
  • Tools:
  • OpenMPI, Fortran compilers
  • Instance Types:
  • All non-cluster Instances; Recommended: c1.medium . Other reasonable choices: m1.small, c1.xlarge .

The MEEP AMI

  • Description:
  • A specialized AMI containing the MEEP-mpi code. For finite-difference time-domain calculations of electromagnetic systems.
  • Codes:
  • MEEP, MEEP-mpi
  • Freeware:
  • Yes (these codes do not require payment of a license fee, but acceptance of a license agreement may be required)
  • Tools:
  • OpenMPI, Fortran compilers, C Compilers
  • Instance Types:
  • Cluster instances for MEEP-mpi; non-cluster instances for (serial) MEEP.


The WIEN2k AMI

  • Description:
  • A specialized AMI containing the WIEN2k code. For use with the w2web graphical interface.
  • Codes:
  • WIEN2k-12
  • Freeware:
  • No (some of these codes require payment of a license fee)
  • Tools:
  • OpenMPI, Fortran compilers, C Compilers
  • Instance Types:
  • Cluster Instances; Recommended: cc1.4xlarge .