The Mathematica cloud computing service will provide flexible and scalable access to HPC from within Mathematica, simplifying the transition from desktop technical computing to HPC. "The two largest challenges in using HPC are programming the HPC application itself and ensuring that you can get enough computing power to do the job," says Tom Wickham-Jones, Wolfram Research Executive Director of Kernel Technology. "Mathematica answers the programming challenge by providing an integrated technical computing platform, enabling computation, visualization, and data access. Cloud computing offers consistent access to large-scale computing capabilities.
A Screenshot from recent demonstration at SC08:
Mathematica is a true cloud service offering. They connect to Amazon's Cloud from within Mathematica. So you can simply use all the powerful features of Mathematica and ask it to run it in the cloud. For example, you don’t need to buy a Digital Image Processing package to do image processing in-the-Cloud. It’s all bundled in.
The workflow is very simple to understand and it takes very few clicks to deploy your code in the cloud. A typical Mathematica user develops code in their standard notebook interface, a programming concept that defines their input code and output results, including graphics. The user specifies input cells, output cells and other parameters. Mathematica will evaluate one input cell at a time so evaluation could take a lot of time to process on one machine. Now, with the new Cloud service, users can evaluate the entire notebook in one shot by pushing it to the cloud.
The HPC Cloud Service lets users take the entire notebook, click a few buttons in the HPC Cloud Service GUI and ask it to run it in the cloud. The HPC Cloud Service evaluates the code, runs it in parallel Mathematica sessions, bundles up the results and notifies the user. In other words, a user can test the code (a Mathematica Notebook) with a small amount of input and then increase size of the input to a more realistic size, push it to the cloud so it runs on hundreds and even thousands of nodes in parallel, and get notified when its done.
Imagine, if you can do this with any software and simply click the "Run it in-the-Cloud" button, run everything in parallel and get your results faster. This emerging "Run it in-the-Cloud" pattern is possible because of web services and pre-configured EC2 AMIs.
The important part to note here is that smart developers (, in this case) are enabling these powerful products to run in the cloud and providing them as a service. Experimental and periodic business users can take advantage of the powerful Mathematica product and run it on Amazon EC2. Users can get a large collection of algorithms that enable precision numerical computing, symbolic computing or visualizations as an all-in-one bundle and run it on our all-you-can-eat infrastructure.