Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Production is finally ready for digital transformation

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Shreya Christina
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For companies targeting production areas that require heavy engineering simulations, unfettered computing power, or managing data-intensive applications and workflows, the challenges are mounting. They need a simulation platform that effectively solves these challenges and provides a path to access HPC in the cloud to drive innovation.

In recent years, the cloud has evolved to accommodate more technical workloads thanks to the ever-increasing computing power available through faster and cheaper hardware and the maturity of production software solutions. Early adopters implemented a cloud-first strategy on the enterprise side of the business, leaving HPC behind. Today, the benefits of the cloud enjoyed by the enterprise are finally available for production applications.

To make HPC work well in the cloud, several challenges stand in the way.

Acquisition costs associated with owning and operating an on-premises HPC system are often too heavy for companies to bear, costing millions. By going through a cumbersome process, companies can wait six months or more before selecting a system to ship and install. All previous system and application software must be moved to the new system. To get a simulation up and running, the latest release must be ported to the new system (usually three times a year), which takes several days per instance.

Consider total cost of ownership (TCO). Costs include both hardware and the software that runs on it, space where hardware is kept, power consumption, personnel, and more. TCO calculations must also take into account organizational, operational, and logistical costs, which require ongoing effort and investment to keep a system operational.

Another challenge: a company buys an HPC system today, only to realize that it will be obsolete tomorrow. Running expensive simulation software on an outdated system can take much longer, further increasing TCO.

Enter UberCloud: Seamlessly Integrated HPC in the Cloud

UberCloud’s fully automated, self-service, multi-cloud engineering simulation platform and standard simulation workflow containers enable manufacturing enterprises to seamlessly integrate HPC into a “cloud-first” or hybrid cloud strategy. By adopting the latest application and resource agnostic IT technologies such as containers and Kubernetes, UberCloud enables performance without compromise. Engineers can run their complex simulation workflows anywhere, including their home office, in a fast and familiar way, always using the latest technology.

The UberCloud platform and its application containers are widely applicable to a variety of complex enterprises, including multiple physics simulations, construction, AI/machine learning, digital twins, data analytics, autonomous driving and edge computing. flexibility required by the most compute and data intensive applications in many industries. Due to its ability to make HPC access and usage transparent, the UberCloud platform is accelerating the recent trend of “democratizing HPC” – empowering more engineers to adopt HPC to solve challenging problems.

UberCloud and Rimac technology

Running computer simulations in the cloud accelerates innovative, high-performance development, optimizes agility, and accelerates time to market.

For Rimac Technology, accelerating their research and development pipeline to design and supply powertrains, batteries and the latest technology for electric vehicles would make them more competitive, innovative and cost-efficient. The first step required an assessment of their legacy on-premises HPC cluster and the ability to move engineering simulation workloads to the cloud. UberCloud and the Microsoft Azure project team worked with Rimac’s experts to design and configure their Azure cloud environment to perform multiple computer-aided engineering (CAE) software calculations to benchmark applications, analyze TCO for cloud versus on-premises, and better understand the use of technical simulations of cloud HPC resources and related workflows.

UberCloud engineering simulation platform and container technology, running in Microsoft Azure and using 3rd Gen AMD EPYC™ processors, easily integrates with existing IT, enabling engineers to run challenging simulations, test larger batches of prototypes faster than ever, and do so securely, which stimulates innovation . Rimac engineers now have on-demand access to additional and more powerful computing resources in the cloud, without leaving the comfort of their workstations. They gain in agility through shorter product design cycles, the direct result of shorter simulation times. They achieve a superior level of quality by simulating more advanced geometries and physics and by simply running more iterations. Being the cloud, Rimac only pays for what it uses, enabling rapid innovation.

UberCloud has created a flexible global HPC architecture that can handle a variety of workloads, easily scales to other sites, and provides maximum flexibility and cost-efficiency using on-demand, reserved, and spot instances. Knowing that one of Rimac’s key technologies is high-performance battery packs, the UberCloud team assisted Rimac’s engineers to optimize designs with numerical simulations that analyze mechanical integrity, thermal behavior, and electrical power distribution. Ultimately, HPC on Azure with UberCloud enabled Rimac to significantly improve their overall design processes and increase simulation throughput.

Rimac’s engineering workflows were analyzed to provide the best cloud environment for the engineering processes, reducing IT management overhead. Engineers can use on-demand simulation applications and a wide range of resources, enabling faster results and turnaround time, while providing the team with complete control and management. With Azure, engineering simulations get a scalable infrastructure, while data stored in Azure’s secure data centers eliminates data transfer delays.

What’s next: UberCloud and the manufacturing industry

UberCloud and Microsoft’s work with Rimac and other partners can be applied to any production design scenario. From machine learning to experiment design, parameter space evaluation, optimization algorithms, and more, UberCloud’s technology is horizontal: it’s all about engineering, scientific simulations, and data processing. Together, these resources enable organizations to move from 10 to 50 simulations per hour on-premises to thousands of simulations per hour in the cloud.

UberCloud’s engineering simulation platform for manufacturing CAE applications, running in Microsoft Azure with the latest 3rd Gen AMD EPYC processors, is essential to gaining a competitive advantage. You can bring better, more innovative products to market faster, reduce product development time, and increase the productivity and agility of your engineers, while reducing design and development costs.

Learn more about how With UberCloud, your organization can take advantage of a wide range of available cloud resources for production.

This content is produced by UberCloud, Microsoft Azure, and AMD. It was not written by the editors of MIT Technology Review.

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