High-performance computing on H-series VMs

High-performance computing (HPC) on HB-series and HC-series VMs enable the most optimized HPC performance of any VMs on Azure. HPC optimized VMs are used to solve some of the most difficult mathematical problems such as: fluid dynamics, oil and gas simulations, and weather modeling.

This article covers some key features of HB-series and HC-series VMs, why these VMs perform well in HPC scenarios, and how to get started.

Features and capabilities

HB-series and HC-series VMs are designed to provide the best HPC performance, message passing interface (MPI) scalability, and cost efficiency for HPC workloads.

Message passing interface

HB-series and HC-series support almost all MPI types and versions. Some of the most common, supported MPI types are: OpenMPI, MVAPICH2, Platform MPI, Intel MPI, and all remote direct memory access (RDMA) verbs. For more information, see Set up Message Passing Interface for HPC.

RDMA and InfiniBand

The RDMA interface is standard on HB-series and HC-series VMs. RDMA-capable instances communicate over an InfiniBand network, operating at enhanced data rates (EDR) for HB-series and HC-series virtual machines. RDMA-capable instances can boost the scalability and performance of some MPI applications.

The InfiniBand configuration supporting HB-series and HC-series VMs are non-blocking fat trees with a low-diameter design for consistent RDMA performance.

See Enable InfiniBand to learn more about setting up InfiniBand on your HB-series or HC-series VMs.

Get started

First, decide which H-series VM you're going to use. For details about HPC optimized VMs, see HB-series overview and HC-series overview. For specifications, see High performance compute VM sizes.

Once you've selected and created a VM for your application, you'll need to configure it by enabling InfiniBand. To learn how to enable InfiniBand on both Windows and Linux VMs, see Enable InfiniBand.

A critical component of HPC workloads is MPI. HB-series and HC-series support almost all MPI types and versions. For more information, see Set up Message Passing Interface for HPC.

Once you've chosen your VM series, set up Infiniband and MPI, you're ready to start building your HPC workloads.

Next steps