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How to Run Folding@Home in the Azure-cloud

If you have a MSDN-subscription Microsoft will give you up to 150$ monthly credit for the azure-cloud. You can use these credits to run folding@home in the azure-cloud (150$ is enough to run 20 cores for one month, which will net you around 150.000 folding@home-points per day).

Note:

You can see a screencast of the required steps in the video below (switch to fullscreen-mode with the button in the bottom-right corner to see it properly):

To start, enter your Folding@Home-Team-ID, User-ID and Passkey in the fields below (all entered data is processed in your local browser with client-side javascript and is not sent through the internet):

Now continue with creating a storage-account and a batch-account in azure.

Create the Storage-Account

After signing up for your azure-account you can click on the following link to create a new storage-account: https://portal.azure.com/#create/Microsoft.StorageAccount (I recommend using Chrome to access the azure-portal). Fill the form with the following information:

Once you get the notification that your storage-account has been created (it will take a few seconds), go to your storage-account (link to your storage-accounts: https://portal.azure.com/#blade/HubsExtension/BrowseResourceBlade/resourceType/Microsoft.Storage%2FStorageAccounts). Click on 'Files' then on '+File share' to create a new file share. Enter 'fahshare' as the name for the new file share and click on 'Create'.
Then, back in the storage-account, click on 'Access keys'. Copy over the value you see in the field 'key' into the field below (there are two keys: key1 and key2 - you can pick either. It should look like a long string of random characters)
Enter the key here:

Create the Batch-Account

Click on the following link to create a new batch-account: https://portal.azure.com/#create/Microsoft.BatchAccount. Fill the form with the following information:

Once you get the notification that your batch-account has been created (it will take a few seconds), go to your batch-account (link to your batch-accounts: https://portal.azure.com/#blade/HubsExtension/Resources/resourceType/Microsoft.Batch%2FbatchAccounts) and create a new pool: select 'Pools' and then click 'Add'. Fill the form with the following information:

To finalize the setup you need a startup-script which will download the folding@home-client and start folding. Click on the button below to generate the startup-script from the information you have entered on this website.

This is your personalized startup-script:

On the pool you have just created, go to 'Start task' and fill the form with the following information:

The last step is to tell Azure how many nodes it should start for you. This depends on the amount of free credits available in your azure-account. Basically you want to use up as much of your monthly credit as possible without actually consuming all of your credit (otherwise you'll have to repeat the setup again in the next month because azure will delete your pools if your free credits are exhausted).

Professional Platform Enterprise
Number of low priority nodes (F4s_v2, 4 Cores, 8GB) 1
3 5
Cost of nodes for 31 days ~26$ ~90$ ~130$
Monthly free credit 50$ 78$ 150$
If azure is using your local currency instead of USD the numbers might look slightly different. If you run out of free credit before the end of the month, just reduce the number of nodes by one and try again.

Now go back to 'Overview' and click on 'Scale'. Enter the desired number of nodes in the field 'Low priority nodes' (e.g. 5 if you have MSDN Enterprise), and click on 'Save'.

Checking your Progress

You can check the logs from the individual nodes of the pool to see your progress. Go to your pool and click on 'Nodes'. Then click on one of the nodes on the list. In the file-browser on the bottom of the page, click on the folder 'startup', then click on the file 'stdout.txt'. Scroll down to the end of the file. You should see some lines like
13:52:17:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Completed 85000 out of 500000 steps (17%)
13:55:36:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Completed 90000 out of 500000 steps (18%)

This shows the progress of the work-unit this node is currently working on. Note that the VMs need some time to setup everything so it will take several minutes after the start of the node before you can see this output in the log.

You can also have a look at https://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/ to see your place in the ranking: if you enter your username in the search-box on the left side your data should show up once you have completed a few WUs Note that you will only get a fraction of the points if you are not using a passkey. Even if you are using a passkey you won't get credited with the full points until you have completed 10 WUs. After 3 or 4 days you should see a sharp increase in the achieved points per day.


Important Notes



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