Cloud Computing

Providing a ‘single pane of glass’ to the entire engineering and simulation lifecycle is how Altair describes the concept of enabling HPC on the cloud – delivering ease of access, application integration, remote visualization, data management, engineering and analytics, and cloud-friendly licensing, in addition to powerful, secure workload management in the cloud.

Enabling HPC in the Cloud

Cloud has the potential to democratize HPC. Altair defines the cloud as “access to one big computer” -- meaning a hardware and software configured environment, either on a local private network or any public data center. However, just providing HPC hardware with a terminal window access is not sufficient for an engineer trying to solve a complex problem. Users need a solution that provides a simple interface to their entire environment, including HPC, to truly benefit from cloud.

Such a solution includes the following characteristics:

  • Ease of Access: Access to HPC computational resources and application software should be scalable, instantaneous and user friendly, through a single medium likes a simple web portal.
  • Application Integration: HPC middleware should tightly integrate applications with hardware, so the environment is aware of the application being used. In addition, the right HPC workloads should be directed to the right hardware resources for effective utilization.
  • Remote Visualization: HPC is notorious for creation of very large output result files. Remote visualization through a web browser allows access to massive data and files, so the only data moving between HPC server and client machines are the pixels and keyboard/mouse inputs.
  • Data Management: Continued usage of HPC infrastructure leads to the creation of large volumes of data. Over a period of time, the need to manage all the metadata associated with each job becomes extremely relevant for traceability, tracking and searching. Automated extraction of key performance indicators and creation of comprehensive dashboards elevates the usage of this metadata through the enterprise and gives a holistic view of the entire HPC environment.
  • Engineering & Workload Analytics: HPC consumers need in-depth understanding of application and hardware usage through an embedded analytics engine that keeps track of every HPC job, the application being used, the wait time, the clock time etc. These are invaluable to evaluate demand and utilization of hardware and software for budgetary optimization.
  • Cloud-Friendly Licensing: Application licensing portability is essential when an application is being run at multiple locations, such as running locally and on a public cloud Infrastructure; the ability to take an application with its license to any data center that offers the most economical run time price should be easy, in order to support application mobility.
  • Cloud Business Model: Application software and hardware cycles should have new and improved cloud based models, to cater to fluctuating demand cycles and on-demand, large-scale exploration.

    Altair is a leader and pioneer in cloud solutions for HPC and computer-aided engineering (CAE). Altair's solutions for HPC in the Cloud include:

    • PBS Works is a market-leading workload management suite that ensures intelligent, policy-driven and topology-aware scheduling and management of jobs in a cloud environment -- along with simplified, web-based job submission, management, monitoring, analytics and results visualization. PBS Works also powers Altair’s private cloud appliance HyperWorks Unlimited.

    • HyperWorks Unlimited is a state-of-the art private cloud appliance available in both physical and virtual formats, offering unlimited use of all Altair software.

    • Microsoft are providing a turnkey solution allowing users to access cloud high-performance computing (HPC) resources in Azure from any web-enabled device. Click here to learn more

    CAE Cloud Offerings

    Computer-aided engineering (CAE) has become a fundamental business need for organizations of all kinds, from major auto manufacturers to government research agencies to computer equipment vendors – these organizations rely on CAE to reduce product design and development cycles and improve quality, in order to gain and maintain competitive advantage.

    At the same time, companies are realizing that HPC can drive improvements in CAE and are more rapidly adopting HPC solutions like supercomputers or more affordable clusters. This democratization of HPC continues to drive up the quality of what is possible with CAE and keep competition high, which perpetuates the desire to add more compute horsepower via expansions to the HPC infrastructure. However, the costly footprint of traditional HPC solutions creates a barrier to adoption for most companies, especially small to medium businesses (SMBs).
    “With HyperWorks Unlimited, Altair has introduced a truly groundbreaking solution that sets a new standard for design exploration. Altair proved the total value of HyperWorks Unlimited was far superior to purchasing dedicated HPC hardware or extending our existing licenses.”
    - Director of Global CAE, Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.

    View Case Study
    Altair’s CAE cloud solutions address the unique needs of enterprises by simplifying access to an HPC infrastructure, allowing engineers and scientists to focus on their work rather than how and where their jobs are executed. Powered by PBS Professional, Altair's cloud-based HyperWorks Unlimited appliances provide users with a secure cloud-based platform (either on-premise or off-premise) to run, monitor and manage their simulations and meet their computing needs. In addition, Microsoft and Altair offer PBS Works on Azure for manufacturing users who need fast, easy access to HPC resources.

    Cloud Appliance Computing

    Providing a single pane of glass for comprehensive HPC, either on a physical machine or in the cloud, is challenging for a single vendor, as there are multiple moving parts that need to come together. Traditionally, this has resulted in the need to select numerous solution elements from multiple vendors, making the process of deployment expensive and time-consuming.

    Altair is uniquely positioned to offer comprehensive HPC through turnkey private cloud appliances, both on premises and on the public cloud, completely eliminating complexity. Altair appliance solutions provide unlimited HyperWorks and PBS Works licenses for massive virtual exploration.

    • Physical appliance: HyperWorks Unlimited physical appliance is a state-of-the art, on-premise private cloud solution with fully configured hardware and software.

    • Virtual appliance: HyperWorks Unlimited virtual appliance is an off-premise solution hosted in a secure 3rd party cloud such as AWS.

      Read more about Altair’s cloud appliance solutions.

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