AlmaLinux Delivers First HPC CentOS Replacement on Microsoft Azure

Purpose-built Linux image developed in collaboration with Microsoft and the AlmaLinux community for deploying HPC workloads on Microsoft Azure

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The AlmaLinux OS Foundation, the nonprofit that stewards the community owned and governed open source CentOS alternative, today announced availability of the first AlmaLinux high-performance computing (HPC) image for deploying HPC workloads on Microsoft Azure. AlmaLinux HPC Image for Microsoft Azure was purpose-built in collaboration with Microsoft for organizations to optimally manage even the most advanced HPC workloads on the Azure cloud platform, enabling greater agility and performance optimization.

The use of HPC in the cloud continues to accelerate with Hyperion Research predicting that cloud HPC spending will reach $9 billion in 2024.1 This acceleration is being driven by an organization’s need to support diverse workloads that are increasingly being containerized, as well as complex, time-sensitive business operations. Those who previously relied on CentOS 8 for HPC on Azure—which will be end of life on December 31, 2021—now have a production-ready, drop-in replacement with AlmaLinux.

Users and developers rely on AlmaLinux to power all their workloads on any infrastructure. AlmaLinux is a production-ready Linux distribution that fills the gap left by the discontinuation of the CentOS Linux stable release, offering a one-to-one binary compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux®. The AlmaLinux HPC Image for Microsoft Azure includes a suite of the most popular HPC tools and libraries: NVIDIA/Mellanox OFED drivers, InfiniBand-based MPI Libraries such as HPC-X and OpenMPI, Communication runtimes Libfabric and OpenUCX, AMD BLIS, FFTW and FLAME libraries, Intel oneAPI Math Kernel Library, and a host of other domain-specific libraries and utilities.

“The Microsoft Azure cloud platform is a key resource for organizations looking to maximize cloud-scale value and efficiency for HPC workloads,” said Jack Aboutboul, community manager for AlmaLinux. “Our ongoing collaboration with Microsoft has enabled this new expansion of the AlmaLinux ecosystem to equip organizations with the platforms and tools they need for HPC workloads as diverse as machine learning, electronic design automation, health research and genomics, financial risk analysis, energy exploration, and highly computational virtualization.”

“At Microsoft, we see every day the positive impact cloud computing has had for organizations managing HPC workloads. From advances in autonomous vehicles to new drug discoveries, we empower developers, engineers, scientists, and researchers to make new breakthroughs in their fields with Azure HPC,” said Aman Verma, senior program manager, Microsoft. “Our collaboration with AlmaLinux ensures that those who rely on and trust CentOS now continue to have a familiar, enterprise-grade, drop-in replacement that is purpose-built for HPC.”

AlmaLinux HPC Image for Microsoft Azure is available immediately in the Azure Marketplace.


About AlmaLinux

AlmaLinux OS is an open source, community-governed and forever-free enterprise Linux distribution. It is focused on long-term stability and delivering a robust production-grade platform. It is 1:1 binary compatible with RHEL(r) and pre-Steam CentOS. The AlmaLinux OS falls under the purview of The AlmaLinux OS Foundation, which is a 501(c)(6) non-profit created for the benefit of the AlmaLinux OS community.


1Hyperion Research 2020 HPC Cloud Forecast, August 2020


Christopher Thornett

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