Crafting an HPC Solution for Manufacturing

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This is the second article in a series on the role of HPC in manufacturing. This week we explore strategies for crafting an HPC Solution for manufacturing. You can download the complete article series in PDF format from the insideHPC White Paper Library courtesy of Dell and Intel.

Crafting an HPC Solution

Dell technology powered by Intel is dedicated to maximizing the existing CAE software license investments made by Backbone and Tier One manufacturers.  Dell pays close attention to throughput and performance to ensure efficient use of ISV codes.

Guide to HPC ManufacturingDell makes it simple to deploy and manage clusters through a highly flexible framework of scalable, open standards-based HPC technology and services.  Dell provides a full range of solutions to help both the Tier One and backbone manufacturers integrate new HPC capabilities that complement or replace existing capacity.  Included is a full range of advanced technology – from workstations to powerful clusters.

Dell Solutions for Modeling and Simulation Workloads

Dell servers and workstations, powered by the latest Intel processors, come in a variety of different form factors and can be configured to meet a broad spectrum of performance, density and flexibility needs of manufacturers both large and small.

  • Dell PowerEdge rack and blade servers – This latest generation of Xeon-based PowerEdge rack servers features HPC capabilities coupled with flash-optimized hybrid storage options. They are designed to maximize data center efficiency for a wide range of workloads including modeling and simulation, virtualization, collaboration, and decision support. Embedded server management capabilities simplify and automate IT administration for a more efficient and highly available data center.
  •  Dell Precision workstations – Dell offers a full range of tower, rack and mobile workstations designed to run specialized, compute-intensive applications. These workstations speed up workflows, reduce time to market, and produce more product design interactions earlier in the design process.

Targeted industries for these devices include manufacturing and design, oil and gas, media and entertainment, and architecture, engineering and construction.  The workstations allow users to obtain optimal results from industry-specific applications with independent software vendor (ISV)-certified configurations. These highly scalable systems provide maximum power for multithreaded, graphics-intensive applications.

Dell HPC Storage Solutions – Dell HPC storage solutions include NFS and parallel file system offerings with InfiniBand and 10GbE network connectivity options for maximum performance.

Compute nodes in a HPC environment almost always require a common file system for applications and tools. Storage solutions based on the Network File System (NFS) protocol are widely used for HPC clusters as NFS is a proven technology that is easy to use and install, has known failure modes and is a standard package in virtually every Linux distribution.

The Dell High Performance Computing (HPC) NFS Storage Solution (NSS) provides a complete, ready-to-go storage solution for NFS. It offers the optimal combination of performance, availability, system resiliency and data reliability. The NSS system is delivered fully configured with hardware, software and professional support from Dell.

The Dell Terascala HPC Storage Solution is designed for compute-intensive HPC environments at enterprises, universities and government labs that require a fully supported, easy-to-use, high-throughput, scale-out, cost effective parallel file system. The pre-configured solution takes full advantage of the latest Dell enterprise PowerEdge servers and high-density PowerVault storage products.  It includes the Lustre File System, a parallel file system that offers high performance through parallel access and distributed locking.

Intel Enterprise Edition for Lustre software (IEEL) is another option for Dell customers.  IEEL unleashes the performance and scalability of the Lustre parallel file system for HPC workloads, including Big Data/Hadoop applications. It allows end-users that need the benefits of large–scale, high bandwidth storage to tap the power and scalability of Lustre. ‘Intel Manager for Lustre’ is another solution purpose-built by the Lustre experts at Intel to simplify installation, configuration, and ongoing management.  IEEL carries the full weight of Intel knowledge and support behind Lustre solutions.

Interconnect Technologies – Dell has partnered with Mellanox Technologies to provide InfiniBand connectivity featuring high-bandwidth, low-latency and low CPU overhead. The fabric allows small and large clusters to easily scale up to thousands of nodes. In Dell’s blade architecture, Infiniband connectivity can be contained inside the blade chassis without any need for Infiniband cabling.

Dell also offers the Intel True Scale Fabric, which is designed specifically for demanding HPC environments and represents the latest generation of InfiniBand technology.

Bright Cluster Manager – Bright is a comprehensive solution for provisioning, monitoring, scheduling and managing Dell clusters. Bright helps optimize customer investment in Dell hardware for maximum performance, productivity and ease of use. Bright can also increase system uptime and eliminate system-related job crashes via comprehensive pre-job health checks. It can reduce operating costs by reducing repetitive and reparative task loads for staff. And Bright is designed to put an end to the risks inherent in other cluster management solutions that rely on custom scripting and software synchronization of multiple toolkits. Bright Cluster Manager is vendor agnostic and supports many job schedulers, several Linux variants, and differing hardware platforms.

Cluster Deployment Services – Through Dell’s Custom Factory Integration Services, HPC systems are integrated with hardware, software, and services as a turnkey solution. This includes operating systems, third-party applications, cluster management software, job schedulers, network configurations, Infiniband setup, and complete burn-in.

Remote HPC Cluster Management Services – This service provides remote administration and management of HPC clusters of Dell delivered HPC solutions. The service is available for newly installed clusters as well as existing infrastructure. It provides a wide variety of services, ranging from secure remote cluster monitoring, management and support to resolution of issues, and day-to-day cluster operations, including working with various vendors.

HPC Cloud Services – through partners, Dell offers a range of purpose built HPC cloud services, including on- or off-premise clouds, and either dedicated or variable cloud bursting capacity.

Next week we’ll examine how NCSA relies on HPC to meet industry computational needs. If you prefer you can download the entire insideHPC Guide to HPC in Manufacturing now courtesy of Dell and Intel.