[CIG-SEISMO] Request for Feedback: Geodynamics in a Cloud

Eric Heien emheien at ucdavis.edu
Wed May 30 21:56:38 PDT 2012

Hello everyone,

I'd like to get some opinions about work that CIG is thinking of doing.  Please take a moment to respond directly to me by email before June 4 with the short survey at the end of this email.

As you know, CIG supports precompiled binaries for many of the geophysics codes on the geodynamics.org website.  To further support researchers, we are considering offering prepackaged virtual machines (VMs) that can be run on cloud computing platforms such as Amazon EC2 or on personal machines.  This would allow researchers with older systems to use recent releases of the codes without worrying about compatibility problems.  It would also let users without access to a large cluster purchase time on clouds to do large runs.

To get an idea of the cost to a researcher doing a large run on a cloud you can look at the prices on Amazon's website (http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/spot-and-science/).  As an example, using 64 processors in parallel for a 12 hour run in a spot instance would be roughly $0.54*(64/8)*12=$52 (at current prices).  For users that require only short bursts of computing time this may be a better option than buying their own cluster.  Note that CIG would not be providing cloud compute time, only the software.

Please let us know what you think about this by returning the survey below.  Thank you,



1) I or my students would be interested in using prepackaged virtual machines (VMs) of CIG software.
[   ] Yes
[   ] No
[   ] Don't know

2a) If you answered "Yes" to 1, please tell us why you are interested (select 1 or more):
[   ] So that I won't need to upgrade my system
[   ] So that I won't need to compile source or install extra libraries
[   ] Because my simulation usage fits cloud computing (i.e. occasional large runs)
[   ] Other reason(s): 

2b) If you answered "No" to 1, please tell us why you are not interested (select 1 or more):
[   ] Everything already works fine, I see no need for more complexity
[   ] I don't like/trust cloud computing
[   ] I already have a computing allocation and don't need more
[   ] I'm concerned about code performance in cloud computing
[   ] My grants/institution won't pay for cloud computing
[   ] Other reason(s):

2c) If you answered "Don't know" to 1, please tell us more:
[   ] I've never heard of cloud computing or VMs
[   ] I haven't had a chance to use any CIG codes
[   ] I'm unsure about how hard it will be to use
[   ] I'm unsure about the performance on a cloud
[   ] Other reason(s):

3) Please provide any additional comments:

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