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sNow! Overview

sNow! is an Open Source suite designed to manage large and mission critical High Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructures. This suite has been developed and maintained since 2008 by the HPCNow! team who have extensive experience in the use, management and administration of HPC in scientific and engineering environments. sNow! is easy to use and installs software that provides all the necessary tools to deploy and operate a computing cluster such as the operating system, monitoring tools, cluster filesystem, batch queue system as well as parallel and scientific libraries.

sNow! is specifically designed to obtain the maximum performance from a cluster, allocating the most critical services in HPC environments into a High Availability and Load Balancing layer, providing resilience and scalability for the most critical and demanding HPC environments. In addition, the software offers the possibility to replicate, over the Internet, all the critical data and configuration settings required for disaster recovery.

  • Software Ecosystem
  • Mission Critical
  • Performance & Efficiency
  • Beta-Test Program

The integrated environment offered by the sNow! suite allows allocation of the most critical services of an HPC environment into a highly available and load-balanced system. Furthermore, the modular design of the suite makes it adaptable to any HPC hardware configuration, including those established in cloud environments. The suite has been fully tested and has proven great scalability and reliability in large data centers as it has been designed with this goal in mind. The software is in active development by a team lead by Jordi Blasco (founder of HPCNow!) since 2008.

Figure 1: Integrated services of the sNow! suite.



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All critical services are insulated via a Xen based paravirtualization layer, giving great flexibility and scalability to meet customer requirements. For example, this structure allows the isolation of a user who is misusing the cluster without affecting the stability of the whole system. In addition, the technology provided by sNow! allows live and instantaneous migration of all services from one hypervisor to another without compromising or degrading services at any time. This is important for potential critical upgrades or hardware replacement of the administration server(s) of the cluster and ensures high availability.

Therefore, in scenarios where services can not be interrupted, an update of the batch queue manager or a firmware upgrade of the Infiniband HCAs on the cluster nodes no longer requires any downtime and is replaced by a progressive upgrade process that can be completed in a matter of hours or weeks, depending on the complexity of the task, the length of the running jobs and on the checkpoint-restart capabilities needed to migrate jobs to another node.

Detail of the bulletproof system with all the High-Availability options available activated.

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All the scientific software managed by sNow! is tuned for the target HPC architecture and hardware setup. For this reason sNow! doesn’t provide pre-built scientific software. It integrates and relies on EasyBuild for building development tools and scientific software in order to ensure the maximum level of performance. EasyBuild is a software build and installation framework that allows you to manage scientific software on HPC systems in an efficient way. EasyBuild is developed by the High-Performance Computing team at Ghent University together with the members of the EasyBuild community, and is made available under the GPL version 2.

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HPCNow! has strict testing procedures. New features are only accessible under a beta testing agreement, and are released only after we have proved stability and scalability. If you are interested in testing the brand new features before they are published, please contact us in order to apply for access to our Beta Testing Program.


Beta Testing Program will be available soon!

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