HPC Brokerage services: one cloud that won’t rain on your parade

Bob Graybill has started Nimbus, a company that is designed as a brokerage house for HPC services and cycles. He discusses the company’s HPC service offerings and rationale for this new company with HPCWire:

To be a business-to-business brokerage or clearinghouse. The idea is to provide pre-negotiated access to cycles, software and expertise on an on-demand, pay-as-you-go basis. We won’t own any equipment or do consulting ourselves. We’re simply a clearinghouse that builds a menu of quality services and then brings the buyers and the sellers of those services together. Our targets are periodic and experimental users, initially in the manufacturing sector. These are people who don’t want to jump over huge hurdles to get the benefits of modeling and simulation using HPC. We’re an aggregator of services. We also help our partners, our service providers, by reaching out to a brand new community on their behalf.

Real Life Simulation Pitfalls in the data center

One of the current trends in simulation software is to use CFD fluid dynamics models to model heat dynamics in computer data centers. In the era of pushing for cost savings in every corner, being able to lower the cooling bill for your computer room is an easy sell to management. But be careful that the simulations that you use are based on actual measurements taken by someone crawling around the data center and not just averages built in to the program, or you will likely not be able to deliver on the savings you promised management. Kenneth Bill at Forbes.com reminds us that simulations must be grounded with real life measurements in this good article.

Simulation Life Cycle Management

At the heart and soul of this excellent article is the following quote:

“For simulation to be truly effective as an integral part of the product development cycle, the processes, authoring tools, data, and resulting intellectual property associated with simulation must be shared, managed and secured as strategic business assets.”

As simulation practices grow, businesses need to put in place methods and tools which will allow them to validate and re-create simulation results. How does your business manage simulation methods and data? What gaps are you struggling to fill? What hurdles are you finding the hardest to overcome?

Digital versus Physical Modeling

This article in PD&D does an honest assessment of the use of software for digital modeling- its advantages and its limitations. What it misses is the fact that you CAN have systems that allow you to do full VR immersion and handle the parts.. without too much crazy investment. Truth is, nothing is ever going to replace that final physical prototype build- but modeling can eliminate many iterations of physical builds. If you had one of those installed, would you really stop building parts to see interactions, or would this save you one more round of prototype building?