Frequently Asked Questions about POD

Can I try POD for free now?

Yes you can. We offer a free usage tier so you can take it for a test drive. Register, create a cluster account, set up a free 1-GB storage volume, launch a VM and use our FREE queue to run some test jobs. This should give you a good idea of how our HPC On-Demand service works.

The server instance that serves as your login node to the cluster is always free.

What do I need to sign up for an account?

To register for a POD account, you will need a valid credit card and an email address where you can receive email. You will also be asked to agree to and legally accept the Acceptable Usage Policy and Customer Agreement.

Is there ever a wait to run my jobs?

Jobs are submitted to the scheduler on a first-come first-served basis. Queue times obviously vary depending on the overall workload of the cluster. Our technical team keeps a close eye on overall utilization and plans the addition of compute resources as needed.

While its difficult to predict wait times in advance, you as a cluster user, always has visibility into the number of currently available cores.

My workload is highly customized. How can I integrate POD into our environment?

This is a common scenario. Many customers have put a great deal of effort into designing and building HPC processes that suit their needs. Part of what makes POD's service so valuable to customers is our HPC expertise; our technical team is available to work with you directly to help you integrate your existing workflow and make the most of your compute time and energy.

What are my payment options?

In order to self-register and get started immediately, you must use a credit card. We accept Visa and MasterCard. Customers who wish to pay with Purchase Orders or Net terms can contact our sales team and make arrangements.

When am I charged for my usage?

POD usage charges are on a monthly billing cycle, beginning on the 26th of each month and ending on the 25th of the following month. Generally users are invoiced within 5 business days after a billing cycle has ended.

I'm a command-line novice. What tools exists for users like me?

Use Scyld Insight or remote visualization tools for your complete HPC workflow. Scyld Insight is a web interface designed to get you working quickly and is freely offered to POD customers as an alternative to the traditional ssh / command line interface.

How secure is my code and data?

Penguin has implemented strong security policies to protect your data and identity and to permit network access only to authorized users.

Unlike other cloud systems, POD does not employ virtualized compute nodes. Your dedicated login node provides you with your own workspace, completely masking customers from each other. When a job is submitted and the scheduler assigns compute nodes to your job, these compute nodes are dedicated to you and not shared with all job submissions.

The security of our customers' assets is our top priority. Please feel free to direct specific security-related questions to pod@penguincomputing.com.

How does POD compare to Amazon EC2?

POD is a high-performance, scalable, on-demand HPC environment with high-density compute nodes and directly attached, high-speed storage. POD users have their own personal login node (virtual server) which provides a persistent and secure compute environment. Jobs launched from the user's login node are executed directly on the compute node's physical cores and have access to the Direct Attached Storage.

How do I de-activate my account?

Contact support and they will immediately begin the dismantling of your account. The process generally takes no more than a single business day. Before contacting support, be sure to download any data you wish to preserve from your allocated storage.

What software applications and libraries are available?

See the complete list here. The list is growing all the time so if you do not see what you are looking for, contact us to find out if we can install it for you.