Early WRF benchmarks (winter 2020)

Among the many weather prediction software tools available nowadays, the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model is one of the most popular worldwide with over 48,000 registered users from 160 countries. The present evaluation uses the WRF NWSC-3 benchmark specifically developed to assess the performance of the next generation of High-Performance Computing and Storage System. Fig. 1 illustrates the results for the first ring of production jobs, which sits at around 576 cores. Total times results from adding radiation time (⁓25%) plus non-radiation computations (⁓75%). The reference time is from the NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) Cheyenne supercomputer, which as of June of 2020 is ranked number 52nd in the top500 list (www.top500.org).

In addition to performance, any decision to migrate WRF to IaaS from the public cloud must include cost considerations. We strongly recommend a total cost of ownership (TCO) evaluation for organizations interested in this migration as several factors dictate the final cost. As a yardstick, Fig. 2 provides a cost comparison for several clusters from AWS. The cost estimate* only accounts for computational power, and has been normalized based on the ratio between price and performance.

*Costs are evaluated based on prices in the U.S. East Coast region (Northern Virginia).

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