Status of cloud for scientific computing

Cloud was originally invented for web applications, not for scientific computing. But the interest in using cloud platforms for science is growing rapidly, especially in the recent 2~3 years. Technical tests on whether cloud is suitable for science have been done over 10 years, tracing back to Evangelinos and Hill (2008) who tested MITgcm on AWS. Now we start to see mature applications for daily research work – the democratization of cloud computing!

Atmospheric models

The Modeling Research in the Cloud Workshop was hosted by NCAR in 2017. Most presentation slides are available online.

Relevant applications

  • OpenFOAM on cloud. OpenFOAM is a popular library for computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The team started cloud migration in 2015 and the project is now very mature. CFD simulations are very similar to atmospheric simulations from a computational perspective – they both solve variants of Navier–Stokes equations and use MPI-based domain decomposition.

University Classes

Scientific computing classes start to teach and use cloud platforms, mostly AWS:

(If you know more about them please let me know!)