New features in Athera: June 2018


It’s been a few weeks since the official launch of Athera, and there’s been a lot going on! Here are some updates on the evolution of Athera since it was made available at the end of April.

Simulation Nodes
You can now run Houdini simulations using powerful compute nodes. Previously, Athera made use of pre-emptible nodes as these are more cost-effective. Pre-emptibles are problematic for long-running simulations, as these can cause jobs to be interrupted and the simulation needs to be restarted. Now, Athera provides non-pre-emptible nodes specialized for Houdini simulation workloads. You can launch jobs using these new simulation entitlements with the Athera Compute plugin within any interactive Houdini session.

Canceling Jobs
You can now cancel active jobs from the Compute tab in the Dashboard. You’ll only be charged for the time that jobs have actually been running up to the point when they were canceled.

Improved Cache Management
You can now synchronize or completely flush Athera’s cache of your external storage. Whenever you first access a file from External Storage, such as Google Cloud Storage or Dropbox, Athera makes a copy onto a high-speed file cluster. When files in external storage are changed, Athera’s copy is no longer up-to-date. Now, Athera allows you to re-scan your external storage and synchronize any changes. You may also instruct Athera to dump the entire cache, allowing it to be reconstructed as you continue to access your files. More sophisticated cache management features are planned, so stay tuned! Note that this feature is currently only deployed in the Europe West region, and will be available in US West in the near future.

The full list of bug fixes and features added to Athera can be viewed in our release notes, which are always available online.