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August 29, 2012

Addressing the Barriers to HPC as a Service

Wolfgang Gentzsch

At this year’s SRII Global Conference 2012, organized by the Service Research and Innovation Institute which aims at “Driving Research & Innovation for IT Enabled Services for a Better World,” I put together a panel about High Performance Technical Computing as a Service, HPCaaS, called “HPC as a Service – Key to Mainstream HPC or Wishful Thinking?”

This panel was inspired by the perception that on one hand HPC provides huge benefits to the industry, and especially to small- and medium enterprises (SMEs) with a focus on digital manufacturing (sometimes called the ‘missing middle’), but on the other hand comes with a number of significant barriers preventing its wider adoption. The panelists – which represented the main stakeholders (SME, HPC Center, HPC Cloud, ISV, and HPC Expert) – investigated how especially HPC as a Service is able to remove these barriers.

The main conclusion from the panelists’ statements and discussion is that there are indeed more severe barriers for HPC in the Cloud than with mainstream cloud computing, simply because of the significant difference of the applications – Web services versus big simulation jobs – and all that implies. But with careful analysis of each HPC application’s requirements and setting up the perfect team of industrial end-user, resource provider, ISV, and HPC expert, most of the challenges can be removed, a proposal that is currently explored in the Uber-Cloud Experiment and will be further discussed at the ISC Cloud conference in September. Thus, there is strong indication that HPC as a Service is becoming widely recognized as a key to mainstream HPC.

Please see the detailed article about this panel at http://www.digitalmanufacturingreport.com/dmr/2012-08-28/hpc_as_a_service_–_key_to_mainstream_hpc_or_wishful_thinking_.html.

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