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Old   September 22, 2010, 05:15
Default OpenFOAM (Linux) in a MS-HPC-Cloud
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Alex
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Hi everybody,

does anybody has an idea (or experience) , how I could run OpenFOAM from a Linux-machine, using a MS-HPC-environment? I will not cross-compile OF (spent already too much time, trying it..) but use it from Ubuntu.

I would connect the Linux-machine with an MS-HPC Server and this server should then dispose the workload to the cloud-(windows)-PCs.

Thank you for your help,

Alexander
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Old   September 22, 2010, 05:34
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All computers must be able to run OpenFOAM. So if you do not want to cross-compile, you'll have to set up a VM on the computing nodes.
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Old   September 22, 2010, 09:53
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Greetings Alexander and Anton!

Alexander: Which tutorial/guide did you follow for cross-compiling OpenFOAM? Because with the one in openfoamwiki.net (this one) you shouldn't have any problems (at least with OpenFOAM 1.7.0)! And it's compiled with MPICH2, so it should work with M$ HPC MPI!

And if that goes well, you can always follow Symscape's instructions for using MSMPI with a (re)cross-compiled OpenFOAM.

Now, if none of these please you, you could also send an email to Dr. Hrvoje Jasak and request the test version he has of OpenFOAM compiled natively in Windows with MSMPI.

Best regards,
Bruno


PS - personal note: I've a grudge against M$MPI... stupid EULA... that's why I prefer MPICH2...
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Old   September 22, 2010, 17:31
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Thank you for your answers.
Quote:
All computers must be able to run OpenFOAM
That is fact? I hoped, the CPU would be used on a lower level than the software.

@wyldckat
I used the one in openfoamwiki.net you've mentioned. I got a lot of errors with ./Allwmake. If it is the best solution to cross-compile OF, I try it again. May I post the errors to you? If so many people have already compiled OF for windows, why I can't find a download of the windows-version? There is a windows-OF (http://sourceforge.net/projects/openfoam-mswin/files/) but that is V1.5 and a lot of algorithms are missing (e.g. interfoam).

I am working on Linux and prefer this system for calculating. The paradoxon: My employer is a so called "M$-Expert" and will use definitly M$ HPC . My job is to find a solution to do so....

I would be glad, if you could help me a bit, cross compiling OpenFoam.

Greetings,

Alexander

PS Thank you also for the Symscape-Link
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Old   September 23, 2010, 08:07
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Greetings Alexander,
Quote:
Originally Posted by fossy View Post
That is fact? I hoped, the CPU would be used on a lower level than the software.
If only that was possible... maybe when virtualization becomes more pure, then we can have an OS'less low level system where all computations can occur, and todays OS's become merely "pretty" desktop applications But current technology requires that all machines in the cluster to have access to both the binaries and the case folders! So, sharing those folders with be the quickest solution!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fossy View Post
I used the one in openfoamwiki.net you've mentioned. I got a lot of errors with ./Allwmake. If it is the best solution to cross-compile OF, I try it again. May I post the errors to you?
You must have been reading the wiki page at very high speeds! There is a thread dedicated for helping people when following these tutorials:
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://openfoamwiki.net/index.php/Tip_Cross_Compiling_OpenFOAM_1.7_in_Linux_For_Wind ows_with_MinGW
Support for this page is available at OpenFOAM's forum here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fossy View Post
If so many people have already compiled OF for windows, why I can't find a download of the windows-version? There is a windows-OF (http://sourceforge.net/projects/openfoam-mswin/files/) but that is V1.5 and a lot of algorithms are missing (e.g. interfoam).
I could almost write a book about this. OK, here is a summary history:
  • The openfoam-mswin project looks to me to be a proof-of-concept. It seems to have been developed during someone's PhD or Master thesis over the period of 3 to 6 months. The project seems to have been created without the feedback of the OpenFOAM community and so development was only done during that thesis. Since a larger group wasn't established to work on that project, it's pretty much left floating in the water.
  • OpenCFD is the creator and copyright/trademark holder of OpenFOAM. They release the versions that only have numbers and x's, like: 1.5, 1.5.x, 1.6, 1.6.x, 1.7, 1.7.x and so on. Currently, AFAIK, they only support POSIX platforms and even then, it depends on the needs of their clients.
  • Dr. Hrvoje Jasak is responsible for the "-dev" forks of OpenFOAM, namely: 1.4-dev, 1.4.1-dev and 1.5-dev. The version 1.6-dev has been delayed for a lot of months, due to his massive work in making OpenFOAM -dev build in Windows natively without resorting to POSIX emulations, with the help from M$ HPC. AFAIK, this is still undergoing tests before releasing to the community. I can only estimate that it should come out in the next few months, but you can email him applying for helping out with the tests, so this way you won't have to waste time with cross-compiling.
  • Symscape has been releasing unofficial patches for OpenFOAM (the OpenCFD official version) for cross-compiling in Linux for Windows, since OpenFOAM 1.4.1 (see here). I'm not 100% certain of when, but I believe that starting with OpenFOAM 1.6.x, did they started selling the cross-compiled version for those interested in using OpenFOAM in Windows, and that don't want to waste time cross-compiling it. Currently they sell a cross-compiled 64bit version of 1.7.x that works with MS HPC-MPI. I don't know the details. But they have kept summarized tutorials for every release they make.
  • blueCAPE (where I work and am responsible for the blueCFD package/service) has experience with cross-compiling OpenFOAM in Linux for Windows since 2009 (see this post). Later that year, we joined the game of releasing OpenFOAM builds for Windows, in a nice DVD with builds for 32 and 64bits machines. Our patches have been based on Symscape's work, but we have taken as much steps further as possible to everything work as intended. Those wiki pages at openfoamwiki.net about cross-compiling OpenFOAM in Linux for Windows, are a byproduct of blueCFD releases! We've been releasing the MPI versions with only MPICH2, because: it's open-source for Windows; seems to be well optimized; it should work with MS HPC Clusters, since their MPI SDK states that it has compatibility with MIPCH2, specially since they started with MPICH2's code!
  • FreeFOAM is an unofficial fork of the official OpenFOAM that builds using CMake instead of WMake. AFAIK, it's being developed by only two people in their free time and it has the potential for building OpenFOAM directly in Windows. But that Windows ready version is still far off from happening, since there are bigger fish to fry - namely making it work to the fullest in Linux and Mac, with whichever gcc you may have in your system. As well as some more added functionality that I'm not familiar with.
So to sum up: developing the patches takes a lot of time! For example, we at blueCAPE have had to dedicate about a month's work for each official stable release of OpenFOAM, namely 1.6 and 1.7.0, so that we can make certain that our unofficial builds of OpenFOAM work properly in Windows. So, delivering the downloadable binaries of OpenFOAM for free would be madness for any company... at least if no clients are willing to back it up with some sponsoring, i.e. with work .
Nonetheless, both Symscape and blueCAPE have been providing the builds for a very seriously low price, so from whomever people purchase these builds, the OpenFOAM community will only have to gain from it!

For more links about this subject, see here. There you will find a list of available versions for Windows and tutorials on how to build OpenFOAM for Windows. Possibly the list isn't complete.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fossy View Post
I am working on Linux and prefer this system for calculating. The paradoxon: My employer is a so called "M$-Expert" and will use definitly M$ HPC . My job is to find a solution to do so....
I know the feeling and you are not alone And that's also why Symscape and blueCAPE are working on this builds... And why Dr. Hrvoje Jasak has dedicated a lot of time to make things work completely in Windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fossy View Post
I would be glad, if you could help me a bit, cross compiling OpenFoam.
Use the thread I posted at the top of this post for reporting problems But keep in mind that if you want faster support, you can always purchase one of the packages

Best regards,
Bruno
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Old   September 23, 2010, 10:49
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Good summary and history Bruno of where the unofficial Windows for OpenFOAM is at.

Alex, if you want to use Windows HPC Server to run OpenFOAM, then there is no way around the fact that you'll need to install Windows OpenFOAM binaries with MPI support on the cluster and run it there.

You can find an example of how to run on Win HPC Server (using job submit) at:
http://www.symscape.com/openfoam-1-7...win-hpc-server

If you are struggling with cross-compiling, then consider buying Windows binaries. Surely if you employer can afford to spring for Win HPC Server licenses and a cluster, then ~$50 is nothing.

The only role in this scenario I can see for Linux is if you want to setup cases or post-process results with familiar tools.
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Old   September 23, 2010, 11:48
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Wow. What answers. On monday I will read this in detail and will decide what to do. But I can't wait to thank you for your help and understanding

THANK YOU.

PS I gave your 50$-offer to our purchasing-dep.

Last edited by fossy; September 26, 2010 at 11:23.
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