5 Easy Steps to a High Performance Cluster (HPC)

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Engineers are being asked to do more in less time to meet ever-tightening time-to-market schedules. To do so, they need to accelerate design by making use of advanced engineering software. However, such software requires computing processing power not available in a typical engineering workstation.

For example, computer-aided engineering (CAE) applications, such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA) simula­tion software, can radically shorten the design cycle by al­lowing engineers to virtually test new ideas quickly. Photo­realistic rendering software allows many companies to begin promoting a product long before the first one rolls off the production line. Unfortunately, both CAE and rendering ap­plications can slow workstations to a crawl, defeating their potential to decrease the product design and development process.

Here’s something to consider – In a recent survey of Engineering subscribers, 88% of respondents reported using CAE and visualization ap­plications. If your company is in the majority that could benefit from access to more computing power, a cluster comprised of commodity servers may be a viable solution to consider, especially now that they’re easier to purchase, deploy, configure and maintain than ever before.

In this whitepaper from IBM – you’ll learn how a cluster can deliver aggregated computing power from its many processors with many cores — sometimes hundreds, even thousands — to meet the processing demands of more complex engineering software, and therefore deliver results faster than individual workstations. Thanks to Moore’s Law, the speed of commodity processors continues to improve every 18 months. Clusters built on those processors and other widely available components can deliver a superior price/performance advantage over alternative solu­tions such as custom built systems or supercomputers. For many small- and mid-sized engineering-based businesses, clusters are the sweet spot for accelerating their complex simulations and renderings.

So let’s ask the big question here – Is an HPC cluster right for you? Many engineering problems can be solved much faster and with higher fidelity when massive amounts of computing power are accessible. After years of compounding price reductions and performance gains, easily managed HPC power is within the grasp of engineering teams at many SMBs.

If you think your organization might benefit from an HPC cluster, download this whitepaper today to see that it’s right time to take the next steps. As the paper outlines in more details – there is a pretty important “must-do: list for implementing a successful cluster:

  • Clearly define the engineering problems you need to solve, and then make sure a massive in­crease in computing power will solve those problems.
  • Engage the person or people who will be managing the cluster
  • Define your hardware and software requirements
  • Decide whether you will run an unmanaged or managed cluster
  • Identify the best cluster management software for your organization.

Here’s the most important takeaway – the management concerns associated with HPC clusters can be addressed by an integrated management solution. Platform HPC is designed to relieve the burden of cluster management and return productivity to both IT managers and end users.

You can download this white paper now from the insideHPC White Paper Library.