High performance computing (HPC) brings a powerful set of tools to a broad range of industries, helping to drive innovation and boost revenue in finance, genomics, oil and gas extraction, and other fields. For many smaller organizations, on-premises HPC infrastructure is too expensive to procure and maintain. They have been forced to make do with renting time on others’ supercomputers, outsourcing design and engineering tasks, or running their applications on whatever computing hardware they can afford. Even within larger organizations that can afford to host their own HPC infrastructure, engineers and researchers must compete for scarce computing resources. But cloud-based HPC solutions are putting vast computational capabilities within reach of more and more organizations—and offering greater flexibility as well.
Using cloud-based HPC lets organizations get started quickly and start to realize benefits almost immediately. Many see faster innovation thanks to shorter turnaround times and improved flexibility, and collaboration is greatly enhanced between teams that might not be able to work together otherwise due to geographical or other logistical considerations. Cost optimization is also a key factor when considering cloud-based HPC—it is much simpler to predict and manage budget and resource use in the cloud.
Many startups and independent researchers who had not even considered buying and setting up their own HPC infrastructure because of perceived up-front costs are finding that it’s now easier than ever, and much less expensive, to dive into cloud-based HPC. The ability to configure massive parallel computing clusters on demand in the cloud changes the rules. Now, any team with a need for compute resources to solve a problem can start working on it in hours or days. As more organizations adopt cloud-based HPC, more applications, ISVs, and systems integrators are creating better and better solutions for a wider range of users.
BARRIERS TO ENTRY ARE ERODING QUICKLY
Many organizations, especially smaller ones, are held back by outdated beliefs regarding the cost and effort required to get started with HPC applications. Most of these are true enough for large on-premises HPC setups, but are no longer true for nimble cloud-based HPC solutions. As cloud-based HPC solutions have matured rapidly, they have become much easier to start using. Even small teams with limited resources are finding that they can test whether HPC can help them innovate faster, or get products to market faster, without taking huge risks with their budgets.
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