Clouds Magazine

Democratising High Performance Computing:

HPC Clusters – When You Need Them, How You Need Them and Where You Need Them

Bala Thekkedath, Global HPC Marketing Lead, Amazon Web Services

When it comes to High Performance Computing (HPC), it is still a world of haves vs. have-nots for all practical purposes. And it does not matter whether you work for a Fortune 100 company or an upstart startup. You either have an HPC cluster when you need it or you don’t. It is as simple as that. If you are among the haves, then you get to test your ideas and run your simulations on the zealously guarded, well-utilised and efficiently operated HPC infrastructure that was “state of the art” when it was procured. The thought of asking for a refresh to the latest CPU and some GPUs does cross your mind, but you don’t act on it, for you know very well how that conversation ends. If you are among the have-nots, you wait in line for your chance to test your latest idea or to run your next simulation. But, it does not have to be that way.

There is a solution to this supply and demand issue that will make both HPC users and the HPC infrastructure owners happy. Move your HPC workloads to the cloud. If you are a user of HPC infrastructure, you can get instant access to the HPC infrastructure of your choice, and the latest technologies by leveraging HPC clusters in the cloud. If you are an HPC Infrastructure owner, leveraging the virtually unlimited HPC resources in the cloud can finally help you meet the backlog of demands. You no longer have to be the gatekeeper who always says, “get in the queue.”

There can be no better example of this than the recent announcement from Descartes Labs that it had nabbed the 136th spot on the top 500 list of the world’s fastest publicly known supercomputers – with $5,000 and an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account. You can read this amazing story here.

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