I've certainly talked about both public and private cloud scenarios for engineering several times of late, but a news item came up last week that caught my attention.  I think it illustrates the flipside of the cloud coin very well.

Colfax International announced the latest generation of Colfax ClusterEdge systems. Designed in partnership with both Intel and Altair, it delivers a fully configured high-performance computing (HPC) cluster that comes preloaded with Altair HyperWorks solvers, and PBSworks simulation management tools.  Essentially it's an out-of-the-box turn-key cluster delivering a high-performance cloud-based CAE solution that can easily be deployed in your very own data center.

It's quite common for engineering organizations to invest in building out their own in-house clustered solutions for CAE, but for those in the SMB space, those challenges are greater due to the demanding skill sets required by their own IT staffs. In the words of Gautam Shah, President of Colfax international…

“Small and mid-size companies around the world are struggling with the complexity of using and managing a cluster ... The Colfax-designed HPC cluster is optimally pre-configured and delivered ready-to-go, which means users can simply plug the system in, load their models and start simulation.”

The preloaded simulation tools are Altair's Hyperworks line...

  • RADIOSS - Multi-disciplinary finite element solver
  • OptiStruct - Structural optimization solver
  • AcuSolve - Finite-element-based CFD solver

My Take

Certainly this type of option is attractive for a signifaicant number of today's customers.  It allows them to take advantage of the benefits of distributed processing far large simulations, but without the problem of taking that data outside their firewall, and relying on security of the solution provider.

Although I'm a fan of public cloud solutions, I do understand the concerns many people have with them.  But the truth is, if you are actually going to swim upstream and keep your assets in-house, this certainly seems like one of the most viable alternatives when factoring in the real-life cost issues.  The Colfax ClusterEdge can certainly help to keep deployment and maintenance costs under control.

And the best part is you can even try it for free.  How much better can it get?

So what do you think?  Am I wrong?  Am I right?  Let me know what you think by commenting below...

 

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