The enCORE service, providing access to a HPC cluster via an on-demand model, has been launched after a highly successful pilot testing period. Seven companies from the aeronautics, automotive and engineering industries have been involved in extensive testing of the service. Two universities have also evaluated the performance of the cluster’s GPU nodes.
Feedback from the users of the service has been very positive. Lola Cars, a leading designer of performance race cars, are a major user of CFD applications. They commented:
“We have been successfully using OCF’s enCORE service for about 4-weeks to test small, medium and large Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) research and development cases.”
“We have been able to use enCORE to reduce processing time for our Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) test cases to just 5 hours, down from up to two days.”
“Having the option to ‘switch on’ and ‘switch off’ a large server cluster at short notice is very useful. We get lots of contracts on a fairly random basis and usually at short notice. If we bid on a contract and win, within 4-5 weeks we might need to massively scale-up our data processing power and enCORE can really help us do this.”
“Using enCORE was a seamless process. OCF already held our main software application, which they quickly loaded to enCORE. We logged-in online and set our cases running.”
OCF is also working closely with the Virtual Engineering Centre [VEC], based at Daresbury near Warrington. The VEC is a joint venture involving Liverpool University, British Aerospace, the North West Aerospace Alliance and STFC.
They are tasked with helping small to medium sized high-tech organisations to adopt simulation and visualisation technologies.
Working alongside the VEC, OCF’s enCORE helps SME’s gain access to HPC infrastructure that they simply could not contemplate investing in themselves.
“The enCORE service is a great innovation. Infrastructure as a Service is probably the way forward in the long-term, particularly for SMBs that need access to data processing power but don’t have the resources to build their own cluster” said James Forrest.
“As an ‘off-shoot’ from the University of Liverpool, we undertake both research and commercial work supporting SMEs with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) cases. If those SME firms had a large project in the pipeline and, no in-house data processing resource to use, enCORE could really help.”
“We used the enCORE service ourselves to test Fluent CFD solver cases, specifically airflow over naval ships to understand the characteristics of air wake on helicopter landing decks. Taking into consideration that the enCORE service utilises new hardware and uses Infiniband, it was capable of processing some of our cases twice as fast as previously possible.”
“Service and support whilst using the enCORE service was really good. OCF was very quick to respond to emails and action tickets. The one small problem we did have was solved in one afternoon.”
What has emerged during the pilot phase are the very tangible commercial benefits that organisations can achieve using the enCORE service. With rapid Time-to-Result [TTR] and an affordable pay-as-you-go model, the benefits are clearly significant, and we have already signed up new commercial clients.
enCORE will evolve over the coming months, with additional applications and toolsets. Further details will be found on the main OCF website.