For Large Simulations, Rescale’s Platform is a Big Gun
Shawn Wasserman posted on November 27, 2013 |
Rescale offers high performance computing environment on demand

Landing Gear Vorticity

This past September, Rescale and Bombardier set out to show the world that cloud simulation is a smart choice for large simulations. Using Rescale-provisioned computing cores, the fluid flow around an aircraft landing gear was analyzed, using open-source software and model files provided by the AIAA. Several real-time images were created (including this one) showing various physical characteristics of the aircraft landing gear.

This story shows that even companies like Bombardier, who have their own simulation licenses and computing environment, can benefit from an outsourced high performance computing center to run complex simulations.  In this case, the simulations and analysis were performed simultaneously over a few days rather than weeks.

Unlike other simulation-in-the-cloud service providers, Rescale does not provide their own pre-processing software. This can be a problem when users need to modify models on the fly, because they cannot edit simulations in the cloud.  Changes must be made on the desktop and re-uploaded.

Only the calculations are done using Rescale, however, and users must have their own licensed software to create the model. The company does offer licenses to popular solvers on an as-needed basis. 

Rescale can be opened from any web browser, providing access to over 10,000 state-of-the-art HPC computing cores. Rescale customers can use and/or distribute almost any simulation code from Abaqus, ANSYS, LS-DYNA, Star-CCM+, or third party, and open source applications.

Rescale Processing a Simulation Live.

Rescale lets users run multiple simulations at once and interconnect them for multidisciplinary optimizations and design of experiments. Users can also access data live and cancel simulations if any issues arise.

According to Sunny Manivannan, VP of Business Development at Rescale, “Rescale helps engineers build better products by running more and faster simulations. The ability to run larger computational analyses on-demand is a big deal for our customers.”

To round out Rescale’s focus on cloud simulation, files can be accessed at any time for analysis in the browser or downloaded for individual use. Setups, workflows and results can then be shared between users or cloned to produce new simulations.

Rescale Scatter & Area Plots Results from Simulation in Browser

“Rescale is differentiated in part because of our best-in-class security measures designed to protect customer data and ensure full compliance with industry regulations.” said Manivannan. Rescale uses multiple layers of data protection and third party validations to ensure the IP of their customers is safe. Users can also customize access to data in their organization by using custom password complexity, resets, and session durations.  These activity variables can be tailored for each member of an organization.  And at the physical level, Rescale’s data centers include biometrics and 24/7 armed guards. Yikes!

A key factor with all cloud simulation is price. Like most cloud-based services, Rescale has a pay-as-you-go setup that avoids large capital investments. Simulation pricing is based on the cores you choose, number of cores, storage space, and time of use.

The simulations Rescale can calculate are limited only by the applications you choose.  This platform may be worth trying if you are up against a large and complex series of simulations and a tight timeline. That said, the company was very tight-lipped about their customers, so we weren’t able to speak to any of them to validate the company’s claims.  I would start with something small as a test before committing to anything mission-critical. 

Pictures courtesy of Rescale and Bombardier.

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