Singularity Container Workflow: Part 1 – Introduction to Singularity Container Services

By Staff

Aug 3, 2022 | Blog, How To Guides

Greetings and welcome to Sylabs’ demonstration of Singularity Container Services (SCS). SCS is the Sylabs deployed version of Singularity Enterprise – an HPC workflow container solution developed by Sylabs for on-premise HPC customers to remotely build, store and share SIF containers.

Sylabs’ Singularity Enterprise consists of 3 primary functions to augment Singularity container workflows:

  1. Remote Build Service to easily and securely create application containers without special privileges or local setup.
  2. Library where users can share SIF™ images, as well as pull/push images through Singularity CLI.
  3. Keystore that provides the ability to manage and use PGP keys to verify containers. If you sign a container then Singularity can automatically fetch that public key, that shared container can easily verify it’s unchanged and was signed by you.

This free service includes:

  • 500 build minutes of x86 compute resources across a rolling 30-day window, with a maximum of a 60-minute contiguous build
  • 11GB of container storage within a single project, marked as either public or private
  • Key management for container authentication and verification

This service is open to anyone for free and is compatible with SingularityCE, Sylabs SingularityPRO, and Apptainer. Apptainer currently does not support remote build functionality. If you use Apptainer and would like to leverage Remote Build, the Sylabs Remote Build Client is available for that purpose. This topic will be covered later in this series.

A Singularity Enterprise HPC workflow may begin with development on an x86 laptop, then be deployed on ARM or POWER platforms. This is made possible by the ability of the Remote Build Service that can run natively on those architectures, without the limitations of emulation technologies. For that matter you can also use the Remote Build Service from a smartphone or tablet, using the simplified online Build Recipe editor to request a remote build from the definition file. Singularity, the container runtime does not need to be installed in order to build a container from a definition file in the Singularity Container Services web interface.

Coming Next Week…

Part 2 will provide background on SingularityCE, go through the installation of SingularityCE in WSL2, followed by a demo on how to use Singularity Container Services. Please check out Singularity Container Services at cloud.sylabs.io.

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