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VMblog's Expert Interviews: Univa Discusses Open Source Project Tortuga and Migration of Enterprise HPC Workloads to the Cloud

interview univa navops 

Univa, a provider of on-premises and hybrid cloud workload management solutions for enterprise HPC customers, recently announced the contribution of its Navops Launch (formerly Unicloud) product to the open source community as Project Tortuga under an Apache 2.0 license. To find out more, I spoke with Rob Lalonde, vice president and general manager of Navops at Univa.

VMblog:  To start things off, tell us about your recent announcement.

Rob Lalonde:  Univa announced the contribution of its Navops Launch (originally named Unicloud) product to the open source community as Project Tortuga under an Apache 2.0 license. The goal of open sourcing our Navops Launch product is to help proliferate the transition of enterprise HPC workloads to the cloud.

VMblog:  Can you tell us a little bit more about how Project Tortuga works?

Lalonde:  Absolutely. While the Navops Launch software is largely used in enterprise HPC environments today, Project Tortuga is a general purpose cluster and cloud management framework with applicability to a broad set of applications including high performance computing, big data frameworks, Kubernetes and scale-out machine learning / deep learning environments. Tortuga automates the deployment of these clusters in local on-premise, cloud-based and hybrid-cloud configurations through repeatable templates.  Also, Tortuga can provision and manage both virtual and bare-metal environments and includes cloud-specific adapters for AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, OpenStack and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure with full support for bring-your-own image (BYOI). The built-in policy engine allows users to dynamically create, scale and teardown cloud-based infrastructure in response to changing workload demand. Management, monitoring and accounting of cloud resources is the same as for local servers.

VMblog:  What is your reason for open sourcing Navops Launch?

Lalonde:  We have seen a recent increase of enterprise HPC users migrating key workloads to the cloud and are looking to tap the vast potential of the public cloud. With this in mind, we felt that in order to encourage a stronger and broader path to the cloud, we decided to open source one of our core products with an eye on simplifying and bringing community involvement to the cloud onboarding process.

VMblog:  Is Project Tortuga available now?  If so, where can users access information?

Lalonde:  Yes, the Tortuga open source project is available now via Github at -

VMblog:  Do you have any examples of how this type of cloud migration?

Lalonde:  When it came to evaluating a solution that could help migrate to the cloud, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania was faced with either developing its own software or finding a proven, supported solution. While its HPC hardware is located on the Penn campus, Navops Launch has allowed Wharton to triple its core count with AWS with users accessing "anything and everything." This new flexibility gives their researchers the ability to scale beyond on-campus resources, work in isolated environments, and control their own services and costs.

VMblog:  What do you plan to do with Project Tortuga moving forward?

Lalonde:  The Univa team will continue to evolve Project Tortuga and offer commercial support under the product name Navops Launch, which is production-proven in large-scale distributed computing environments. We look forward to seeing how the community responds and go from there.


Published Tuesday, March 20, 2018 7:25 AM by David Marshall
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