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Getting Started with Virtual Reactor™

Overview

In order to use Virtual Reactor, you must have a valid software license installed. In order to obtain a Virtual Reactor license, please contact CPFD Software

If you have already received your Barracuda Virtual Reactor License file, visit our User Manual Installation section for full installation instructions.
A support site account is required to access the manual. If you do not already have a support site account, please create one here. A valid license is required to obtain a support site account.


Virtual Reactor uses a client-server model for licensing, meaning that your license(s) can be placed on one machine, which acts as a license server, and other machines on the same network can point to and request licenses from that server. The server may also use the license(s) that it hosts.

The licensing policy for Virtual Reactor is as follows*:

  • Each solver license allows the user to run one instance of the Virtual Reactor solver. Optionally, add-ons to each solver license may be purchased to include Chemistry capabilities and/or Parallel computing capabilities.
  • The number of Virtual Reactor solvers that can be run simultaneously is limited to the number of solver licenses that have been purchased.
  • With any license, an unlimited number of Virtual Reactor Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) can be open at the same time. This allows users to set up simulations, review previously set up models, and use all functions of the GUI.
  • Running a single time step does not count against the number of Virtual Reactor solver licenses in use. This allows users to review a project setup at any time.
  • An unlimited number of GMV post-processing instances can be open at the same time.
  • If Parallel add-on licenses have been purchased, Virtual Reactor can utilize NVIDIA GPU cards to increase calculation speed. The number of simulations that can use GPU acceleration simultaneously is limited to the number of Parallel add-on licenses purchased.
  • If Chemistry add-on licenses have been purchased, Virtual Reactor can include user-specified chemical reactions in the simulation. The number of simulations that can solve chemistry simultaneously is limited to the number of chemistry add-on licenses that have been purchased.
  • If Parallel and Chemistry add-on licenses have been purchased, Virtual Reactor can use multiple CPU cores for parallelization of volume-average chemistry to increase calculation speed. The number of simulations that can use CPU parallel acceleration simultaneously is limited to the number of Parallel add-on licenses purchased.

    *Parallelization is no longer offered as an optional add-on but is included with each license.

 

System Requirements

Virtual Reactor can be used on either Linux or Windows. The following table lists minimum and recommended system requirements.

  Minimum Recommended
Operating System

Recent 64-bit Linux

64-bit Windows 7, 8, or 10

64-bit CentOS 6 (RHEL 6) or higher

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

CPU Any 64-bit Intel compatible from the last 5 years Intel Core i7-4790K or better i7/Xeon. Higher clock speed, and newer Intel architecture are better.
Memory (RAM) 8 GB 32 GB or more. Faster is better.
Hard drive space 500 GB 8 TB (2x 4TB) or more
GPU * NVIDIA GPU required NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X (Pascal)
CUDA Compute Compatibility * 2.0 3.5 or higher
GPU RAM * 4 GB 12 GB or more


* - GPU requirements only apply if Virtual Reactor will be running in GPU parallel mode. The required GPU RAM is also dependent on the size of the simulation being run. A larger simulation will require more GPU RAM. 

Though Virtual Reactor simulations can be run on laptops, or lower-performance desktop machines, doing so is generally not recommended. Investing in an up-to-date calculation machine, with the fastest hardware currently available, will provide much faster calculation speeds. Additionally, since computer hardware advances in capacity and speed at such a fast pace, it is recommended to purchase updated hardware every 2 to 3 years to obtain the fastest performance.

Virtual Reactor can be installed on compute nodes of a cluster. However, it will not take advantage of the multi-node parallel computing capabilities of the cluster. Each Virtual Reactor simulation utilizes a single CPU core, and parallelization is available solely through the use of an NVIDIA GPU. Since each individual node of a cluster is not usually optimized for the fastest possible single-core CPU performance, it is often the case that running Virtual Reactor on a cluster node will not give the best possible calculation speed. Instead, it is generally better to purchase a very fast single-CPU standalone calculation machine on which to run Virtual Reactor. This standalone machine will outperform a cluster node in the majority of cases, for the purpose of running Virtual Reactor.

 

Plan the Client-Server Configuration

It is possible to configure RLM in several ways, depending on your needs and preferences for using Virtual Reactor. If you only have a single machine that will be running Virtual Reactor simulations, it may be most convenient to install the RLM server directly on that machine, so that it acts as both RLM server and RLM client:

Fig. 2.1 Single machine acting as RLM server and client

 

It is also possible for such a machine to act as the RLM server for additional client machines. In the example shown below, two additional large calculation machines are clients, and one laptop is also a client. In general, laptops are not powerful enough to be useful for running large simulations, but it is often convenient to set up simulations on a laptop and then transfer them to a larger calculation machine.

Fig. 2.2 Single machine acting as RLM server and client, with multiple clients

 

Another option is to have a standalone RLM license server which is not intended to run simulations. This is common when a centralized license server already exists, or when an always-on file server is able to act as the RLM server as well.

Fig. 2.3 RLM server with multiple clients

 

For any of these configurations, it is important to note that the RLM server machine must remain on and accessible to the RLM client machines during simulations. If the RLM server is powered off, or loses network connectivity to a client machine that is running a simulation, the Virtual Reactor solver will pause and wait for its license to become available again.

Note

The RLM server and all RLM client machines must be on the same network, or the network must be configured to allow all machines to see each other, in order for the Virtual Reactor licenses to work.