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Supermicro Supercomputer and Compute-on-Demand

Hosted cluster saves Engys in excess of £30k per annum on operational costs

Engys, a developer of computer-aided engineering software and services, is using a new high performance server cluster and Compute-on-Demand facility from OCF. Engys’ staff, based in five Worldwide locations, can now access significant processing power via a new server cluster to support their Computational Fluid Dynamic [CFD], Multi-Disciplinary Optimisation [MDO] and Adjoint CFD custom software development, design optimisation and project consultancy work. Engys also uses OCF’s Compute-on-Demand facility, enCORE, both for extra processing power when required and to host engineering software, which it provides as a service to its own customers.

Engys’ customers range from large OEMs to SMEs across the world. Example work includes consultancy projects, custom software development and delivery of technical support across multiple industries, including: automotive, aerospace, marine architecture, built environments, oil & gas, consumer products, and others.

Uniquely, Engys’ new server cluster is hosted and managed by OCF and is not based on the Engys site. Engys’ staff access the cluster remotely over the internet. Francisco Campos, Director of Operations at Engys says: “Having our own cluster, but hosted and managed by OCF, gives us freedom. We do not have to waste our own time and effort maintaining the cluster; we don’t need cluster skills. We also don’t need to provide energy to run and cool the cluster or space to house it. We don’t have to worry about its administration or security. There are significant economic advantages to having OCF run this for us. It will save us in the region of £30k per annum on staff and operational costs.”

All Engys’ staff – based in the UK, Germany, Italy, Australia and US – have workstations and a dedicated fibre optic internet line in order to access the cluster. Irrespective of location, staff can access the cluster day or night. Engys can also create ‘guest accounts’ enabling customers to log-in and test their own software on the cluster.

Server cluster technology
The server cluster purchased by Engys and hosted by OCF is built using Super Micro server technology and uses Intel’s latest Sandy Bridge CPU processors. It delivers 144 cores of processing power and 14Tbs of storage.

Compute on Demand
Engys also uses OCF’s recently upgraded enCORE Compute-on-Demand service. enCORE, which uses compute power from a cluster at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Hartree Centre and can deliver up to 8,000 cores of vital processing power to businesses. Engys uses this service in a ‘burst’ fashion – either because its own cluster is busy or if it needs to handle very large jobs. Use of this service replaces Engys’ previous use of two similar European services. It boosts Engys’ available processing power by 8000 cores, meaning that Engys can accept both more projects and much larger cases.

Francisco adds: “We wanted to access a service based in the UK, closer to our international headquarters. Using enCORE enables us to deliver very large HPC simulation projects at a fraction of the cost and time it would take to realise these capabilities in-house. As a result, we can take on board new business with reduced scheduling concerns as enCORE provides the ideal platform for dealing with peak load demands.”

Software as a service
Lastly, Engys is using the enCORE facility to host its engineering software for customers that lack suitable compute facilities of their own. The enCORE facility is also enabling Engys to offer its software to customers in a service delivery model, for example Engys’ own adjoint CFD optimisation solver.

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