Jan 6, 2015 -- The benefits for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) of using High Performance Computing (HPC) within their design and development processes can be huge, such as: enormous cost savings e.g. by reducing product failure early during design, development, and production; more simulations lead to higher quality products; and more computing power enable shorter time to market. Potentially, all this can lead to increased competitiveness and more innovation.
However, today, less than 10% of manufacturers are using HPC servers for computer simulations to design and develop their products, according to the two studies, ‘Reflect’ and ‘Reveal’, from the US Council of Competitiveness. The vast majority (over 90%) of the companies performs virtual prototyping and large-scale data modeling and they are still limited by their desktop computers (workstations or laptops). But 57% of these companies said that they have application problems that they can’t solve with their existing desktop computers, because their desktops are too slow for the problems they want to solve, or because geometry or physics are too complex and need more memory than is available from their desktop. Therefore, most of these companies have a real need for high performance computing.
There are two realistic options today how to acquire additional computing power beyond what is available from the desktop system. One option (which is widely proven to work) is buying an HPC server which is many times faster and more capable than what engineers currently have available on their desk. However, for many companies, especially SMEs, buying an HPC server is often not a viable solution.
A second option recently is HPC in the Cloud which allows engineers to continue using their own desktop system for daily design and development work, and to submit (burst) the (sometimes much) larger, more complex, more time-consuming jobs into the cloud. Additional benefits of the HPC Cloud solution are on-demand access to ‘infinite’ resources, pay per use, reduced capital expenditure (CAPEX), greater business agility, higher-quality results, lower risk, lower product failure rate, and dynamically scaling resources up and down as needed.
Wolfgang Gentzsch discusses the different scenarios with a special focus on the cost for HPC servers, in-house versus in-cloud, and a ‘hybrid’ combination of them, in an article HERE.