Azure CycleCloud Quickstart 2: Create and Run a Simple HPC Cluster

In this quickstart, you will start a new cluster using PBS Pro as a scheduler and LAMMPS as a solver, and create an alert for the cluster to notify you if it exceeds a monthly budget.

Select a Cluster Type

Click on Clusters in the main menu, which will bring up the list of available cluster types. These default cluster types expose a limited number of parameters in order to simplify and standardize cluster creation.


Azure CycleCloud ships with a limited number of supported cluster types by default, but many others are maintained in CycleCloud GitHub and can easily be imported into CycleCloud.

In this quickstart, you will create an HPC cluster configured with LAMMPS. Click the LAMMPS icon under "Applications" on the New Cluster page to bring up the cluster creation wizard.

Create New Cluster screen

New Cluster Settings

The ARM template set some of these settings for you, but others need to be set here. On the About page, enter a new cluster name such as "LammpsCluster". Click Next.

Cluster Creation Wizard screen

Required Settings

Under Virtual Machines, use the dropdown to select your region. Master VM Type and Execute VM Type refer to the infrastructure used in your cluster, and should be automatically populated for you.

Azure CycleCloud will automatically scale your cluster if you choose to enable it on this screen. For this quickstart, ensure that Autoscale is selected, and that Max Cores has been set to 100.

Under Networking, select the subnet to use for the compute infrastructure. Use the subnet ID that ends in -compute, then click Next.

New Cluster Required Settings screen

Advanced Settings

Your credentials were provided to CycleCloud when you deployed Azure CycleCloud into your subscription in the previous quickstart. They should be selected here for you.

The Software options allow you to select the operating system and any custom specifications you have. The default CycleCloud cluster template has selected the appropriate options for you, and do not need to be changed at this time.

The Advanced Networking options allow you to control access to and from your cluster. The default settings here are appropriate and do not need to be changed. Click Save.

New Cluster Advanced Settings screen

Usage Alert

Before you start your cluster, add an alert that will notify you if the accumulated usage cost has reached a specific limit. Click Create New Alert in the cluster summary window.

Cluster Summary Window

Set the Budget to $100.00 per month. Enable the Notifications, and add your email address in the Recipients field. This will send you an email when the cost hits $100 within the selected timeframe. Click Save to activate this alert.

Cluster Usage Alert Window

Start the Cluster

It's time to put your cluster to work. In the cluster summary window, click Start under the cluster name.

Cluster Summary - Start

Confirm that you want to start the cluster. Once the cluster is started, it will take several minutes to provision and orchestrate the VM for the cluster's master node, as well as install and configure the Grid Engine job queue and scheduler. You can monitor the progress in the Cluster VM Details tab, as well as in the Event Log.

Quickstart 2 ends here. You've used the GUI to configure your CycleCloud installation, set a budget alert of $100, and started your cluster.