Introduction to Containers for HPC

This tutorial was held on April 14, 2021 as part of the 2021 ECP Annual Meeting.

Container computing has revolutionized the way applications are developed and delivered. It offers opportunities that never existed before for significantly improving efficiency of scientific workflows and easily moving these workflows from the laptop to the supercomputer. Tools like Docker, Shifter, Singularity and Charliecloud enable a new paradigm for scientific and technical computing. However, to fully unlock its potential, users need to understand how to utilize these new approaches.

This tutorial introduced attendees to the basics of creating container images, explained best practices, and covered more advanced topics such as creating images to be run on HPC platforms using various container runtimes. The tutorial also explained how research scientists can utilize container-based computing to accelerate their research and how these tools can boost the impact of their research by enabling better reproducibility and sharing of their scientific process without compromising security. This is an updated version of the highly successful tutorial presented at 5 SC Conferences and multiple ECP Summits.