Taking HPC Applications to the Cloud
Manufacturing and engineering today is a software-driven field. Designing products entering the marketplace – with their suites of electronics, sensors, composite materials, 3D printed components, and customization requirements – requires engineers to use a range of high-end computer-aided engineering and manufacturing applications packages like ANSYS®.
Yet leveraging applications like these to design today’s complex products also demands that companies invest in high performance computing (HPC) resources, from HPC infrastructure (compute, storage, interconnect, trained HPC staff) to software licensing agreements. Depending on the industry and a company’s individual business model, these HPC infrastructure costs can be steep or even prohibitive, thereby acting as a barrier to future growth.
What can a small- to medium-sized company do? What, for that matter, can a larger enterprise with overburdened HPC resources do?
Fortunately, the solution to these HPC problems lies in the cloud. Advania Data Centers (ADC) is proud to lead the charge in that direction, and has partnered with UberCloud and HPE to offer a range of cloud-based applications using the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. This represents a new level of HPC opportunity, both for companies without internal HPC resources and those who already have HPC infrastructure but need more compute power and/or additional applications to meet their engineers’ and product designers’ needs.
At the heart of this next frontier of HPC is a partnership between several companies. Advania Data Centers, a premier Nordic IT and HPC company, provides the data center infrastructure as well compute power via its cloud-based HPC-as-a-Service offering, HPCFLOW. HPE provides the physical hardware for cluster deployment, Intel Omni-Path high-speed interconnect connects the clusters, and UberCloud provides the containers and elastic licenses for engineering software applications such as ANSYS.
The result is that engineering professionals can now access a range of ANSYS software for their HPC projects whenever they need it, and can scale their usage up and down on demand.
The Next Generation of HPC is Here
As a flexible and scalable HPC solution for rapid adoption of high performance compute and storage, HPCFLOW represents a future-proofed step toward the next generation of HPC. It multiplies productivity with access to performance tuning and support when needed. Companies and organizations that deploy HPCFLOW — and UberCloud’s containerized applications running in an HPCFLOW environment — secures a competitive edge while maintaining a lean HPC team.
Provisioning applications using the SaaS model represents a game changer for the HPC field. As Staffan Hansson, Advania Data Centers’ HPC Sales Specialist, explains,
“Our customers are increasingly turning to us to provide the full range of HPC services, from HPC clusters to the applications that run on them, and are drawn to the fact that our services are scalable, economical and secure. By partnering with ANSYS, we are able to offer flexible, on-demand access to modelling resources at a fraction of the cost of bringing it in house. This makes it accessible to a wider audience of engineering professionals than ever before.”
However, lowered cost is not the only benefit of accessing HPC applications in the cloud. Other benefits include:
- Lowered financial risk
- Investment can be made using OPEX rather than CAPEX
- Ease of use
- Support from expert HPC team to create cluster
- Customers can steer their usage via self-service portal
- Resources can scale up or down on demand
- Reduced processing time
- Increased compute power can accelerate processing time significantly
- Easy access to licensing
- Elastic licenses available on demand
- BYO licensing encouraged – easily integrate your existing ANSYS licenses
- Variety of options for data storage
- NFS-based storage can be used for long-term storage (or users can upload job files to Optistorage)
Available ANSYS Products
Advania Data Centers and UberCloud currently offer the following ANSYS engineering simulation and 3D design software via the HPCFLOW service:
- ANSYS Fluent
- ANSYS CFX
- ANSYS Mechanical Enterprise
- ANSYS HFSS
To streamline the process, we offer elastic licenses that allow you to pay per hour for licensing rights. The result is access to hourly licenses for virtually every ANSYS product through a single license.
How Do You Know if This is Right for You?
How does a company know if they might need on-demand HPC infrastructure and SaaS for ANSYS?
Here are some common complaints that could suggest that a new approach to your company’s HPC and HPC solutions is needed:
- Our HPC cluster is usually tied up — and can’t rapidly add short-term capacity
- I need to be able to access my cluster from anywhere
- for collaboration
- for remote visualization
- My IT team doesn’t have cloud expertise
- no computer-aided engineering (CAE) expertise
- need help running proofs of concept, benchmarks, etc.
- I need a full solution, with CAE support and a single, unified experience
The latter two bullet points above suggest something more than just an HPC cloud offering is required. What’s also needed is expertise from HPC and CAE applications experts — which makes the combination of HPE (one of the world’s leading HPC and HPC service providers), UberCloud (a company founded on improving HPC applications in the cloud) and ADC (an award-winning HPC service and data center provider) so appealing for the end user.
Design and manufacturing today increasingly requires the use of a range of HPC applications like ANSYS. Yet not every business is able to flexibly and affordably scale up their HPC infrastructure to provide the compute power that these applications demand.
ADC’s offering of SaaS for ANSYS represents a key innovation in the delivery of HPC to a broader market. Users with no HPC deployment can immediately get to work with an elastic, pay-as-you-go model. (Regarding licensing, ADC offers referrals to ANSYS partners where users can purchase elastic licenses; however, ADC does not directly sell elastic ANSYS licenses.) And users who have already invested in HPC resources can join the wave of hybrid cloud adopters to seamlessly incorporate ADC’s SaaS for ANSYS into their HPC portfolio.