High performance computing (HPC) is nothing new for academic institutes and highly specialised industries running data hungry applications, advanced analytics and rapid simulations on a regular basis; but it is an uncommon option for the majority of organisations, due to the sheer cost involved.
However, thanks to advances in processor power and storage technology, open source operating systems, SaaS and the growing popularity of the cloud, HPC has started to extend further. This is largely due to advances in technology that have driven down the cost of putting together HPC systems and given organisations access to infrastructure that they could never afford before.
HPC clouds remove the need for companies to invest in their own on-site hardware and software, allowing them instead to buy access to data-hungry computing resource. This means they no longer have to worry about the complexities of running their own environment or the cost involved in doing so. By tapping into available computing resources in the cloud, businesses can scale their infrastructure up or down as and when required.
Managed vs Self-Hosted
There are two primary options when it comes to choosing the type of HPC cloud a business requires. A managed HPC cloud solution is great for businesses that constantly run high volume projects with vast amounts of data, hence requiring lots of power and a custom supercomputing infrastructure.
Self-service options provide an on-demand, fully automated cloud computing platform that can be ready to use in as little as 15 minutes. This is ideal for businesses that run high volume projects less regularly, but still require the use of HPC every now and again.
As with all cloud computing deployments, cost efficiency is a huge benefit for business. HPC clouds require none of the exorbitant expense associated with building, managing, scaling and upgrading a high performance (internal) system. Previously such an infrastructure was simply unaffordable for many businesses.
Self-service HPC cloud options work on a pay as you go basis, making it a flexible and cost-effective way for businesses to run high intensity processes as and when required. For many this could be just a handful of times a year in a supply vs. demand capacity, thus making self-service a sensible choice.
The ability to dynamically add CPU and RAM with presets – to absorb bursts in traffic – is essential when carrying out high intensity or critical business processes. Load balancing ensures that the high performance aspect of the cloud is not compromised by the number of tasks being processed.
Unlike with standard uses of the cloud, the HPC cloud isn’t likely to need to store data over the long-term. Once the reports and analysis from the data being processed have been delivered, HPC cloud features can ensure original data is securely wiped.
Due to the complexities of multicultural, diversified businesses requiring HPC Cloud solutions, there is no one-size-fits-all model. A managed solution can be built to replicate the infrastructure you would have in-house, if money was no object.
Mission Critical Solutions
Modern businesses have high performance IT dependencies, making the HPC cloud ideal for mission critical processes. They ensure that essential applications and data are working to their highest capacity, on-time, every time and in real-time.
The move toward HPC is a very recent trend, but one which many businesses are seeing clear benefits in. With the cost efficiencies and flexibility offered through HPC cloud hosting, organisations are afforded the opportunity to build and utilise infrastructures that very few can match. This brings significant competitive advantage in an era of significant technological change.