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OCF Staffs Up Largest HPC Delivery Team in the UK

ocfOCF in the UK reports that the company continues to expand its operations. The high performance computing integrator is recruiting a number of new staff to meet the growing appetite and demand for HPC and data analytics solutions across universities, research institutes and commercial businesses in the UK.

As our customers requirements change and they need more complex, custom solutions, the need for the right people who can deliver the best on-going support has grown,” commented Julian Fielden, Managing Director at OCF. “We have made a concerted effort to recruit over the past few months, as part of a deliberate strategy to add more value to the solutions that we sell.”

Recent wins with University College London, eMedLab, and CLIMB (Cloud Infrastructure for Microbial Bioinformatics), as well as numerous projects in the works, have led OCF to increase its HPC, engineering and analytics teams. In the past 12 months, OCF has increased its total headcount by over 30 per cent, and maintains the largest HPC delivery team in the UK.

Joining the HPC team are Chris Coates, Steve Irvine and Shuaib Akhtar, as HPC systems engineers. Chris has held a number of technical and administration roles before joining OCF, most recently at Plusnet, HP and BT. Steve joins OCF from the University of Edinburgh and has valuable HPC user/sys admin experience from his work at the Edinburgh Research Data Facility & HECToR services. Shuaib brings his sales and engineering skills to OCF from working on compute deployment and installation having previously been at IBM Platform Computing.

Also joining OCF’s engineering team is Darren Cotton as an OpenStack engineer. Darren brings his significant experience as a Linux Administrator to OCF, having managed a large number of RedHat servers throughout development and production environments at Close Brothers Motor Finance.

Mark Henshall, an experienced HPC and Linux administrator, joins OCF as a Storage Engineer, while Mahesh Pancholi, a Research Computing and Life Sciences specialist, joins OCF’s sales team. Both Mark and Mahesh join from Queen Mary University of London where Mark was a senior systems administrator and the scheduler manager for the central HPC cluster and Mahesh was the Head of Service responsible for HPC applications, Research Software Engineering, Clinical Systems and Secure Computing. Both bring years of experience supporting customers from a range of disciplines as varied as economics to genomics.

The data analytics division also continues to expand with the appointment of Dave Virden as Big Data Scientist. Dave has expertise in open source software and its application to data analysis. Dave completed his PhD at University of Bristol’s Earthquake Engineering Research Centre and, prior to joining OCF, worked with Yorkshire Water and the University of Leeds where his analysis fed into business planning and risk management processes.

Our solutions are leading edge and, occasionally they are bleeding edge,” said Fielden. “There is a real appetite and desire for OpenStack and data analytics, and we are seeing increased uptake in industry for HPC, so our customers appreciate the sort of commitment we are making – to find and recruit the right sort of people with the key skills.”

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