Agility, flexibility and security: the value of the cloud in HPC

In today’s competitive business environment, companies are faced with complex, computational problems that require rapid solutions. Such problems may be too complex for a single system to handle, or they may take a long time to resolve. For companies that need fast answers, every minute counts. Letting problems drag on for weeks or months is not feasible for companies determined to stay ahead of the competition. To address these challenges, enterprises across industries such as semiconductor, life sciences, healthcare, financial services and more have embraced high-performance computing (HPC).

With HPC, enterprises benefit from the speed and performance that comes with powerful computers working together. This could be especially useful in a steadily growing drive to build AI on ever-larger scales. While analyzing massive amounts of data may seem impossible, HPC enables the use of advanced computing resources that can perform many calculations quickly and in parallel to help companies gain insights faster. At the same time, HPC is used to help companies bring new products to market. It is also used to better manage risks and more. That’s why more and more companies are adopting it.

The role of the cloud in HPC

Typically, enterprises running workloads with spikes in activity find themselves exceeding available on-premises compute capacity. This is an example of how cloud computing can enhance on-premises HPC to transform the business approach to HPC with cloud resources. The cloud can help address spikes in demand during product development cycles, which can be short- to longer-lived, and allow organizations to gain 24-hour access to resources and capabilities they may not need. Companies that adopt HPC from the cloud can reap the benefits of greater flexibility, improved scalability, better agility, improved cost efficiency and more.

Cadence uses IBM Cloud HPC

Cadence is a global innovator in electronic design automation (EDA) with more than 30 years of experience in computational software. It has helped companies around the world design electronic products that power today’s emerging technology, including chips. The growing demand for more chips, along with the company’s integration of AI and machine learning into its EDA processes, means their need for computing power is at an all-time high. For EDA industry organizations like Cadence, solutions that enable workloads to shift seamlessly between on-premises and the cloud, while enabling differentiation from project to project, are critical.

Cadence uses IBM Cloud® HPC with IBM Spectrum® LSF as a workload scheduler to support chip and system design software development, which requires innovative solutions, powerful computing resources and advanced security support. By using IBM Cloud HPC, Cadence improved time to resolution, performance improvements, cost savings, and streamlined workload management.

Additionally, Cadence understands firsthand that moving to the cloud can require new knowledge and capabilities that not every company possesses. Cadence Cloud’s comprehensive portfolio aims to help customers around the world leverage the capabilities of the cloud with Cadence Managed Cloud Service as a turnkey solution ideal for startups and small and medium customers, and with the customer-managed cloud option known as Cloud Passport to enable Cadence tools for large enterprise customers. Cadence strives to provide its customers with an easy path to the cloud by connecting them to expert service providers, such as IBM®, whose platforms can be used to deploy Cadence tools in cloud environments. For enterprises looking to drive innovation at scale, the Cadence Cloud Passport model can provide access to cloud-ready software tools for use on IBM Cloud.

A hybrid cloud approach to HPC

Traditionally, HPC systems were built on site. However, the large models and large workloads that exist today are often incompatible with the hardware that most companies have on-premises. Given the high upfront costs of acquiring GPUs, CPUs, and networking, as well as the costs of building the data center infrastructures needed to efficiently run computing at scale, many companies have turned to cloud infrastructure providers who are already making huge investments in their hardware have done. To realize the full value of public cloud and on-premises infrastructures, many organizations are adopting a hybrid cloud architecture that focuses on the mechanics of transforming parts of a company’s on-premises data center into a private cloud infrastructure.

By taking a hybrid cloud approach to HPC, using cloud and on-premise together, organizations can leverage the strengths of both, helping organizations achieve the agility, flexibility and security needed to meet their demands. For example, IBM Cloud® HPC can help organizations flexibly manage compute-intensive workloads on-premises. With security and controls built into the platform, IBM Cloud HPC also enables organizations to use HPC as a fully managed service while addressing third-party and fourth-party risks.

Looking forward

By leveraging hybrid cloud services through platforms like IBM Cloud HPC, enterprises can solve many of their toughest challenges. As organizations continue to embrace HPC, they should consider how a hybrid cloud approach can complement traditional on-premises HPC infrastructure deployments.

Learn more about how IBM can help you with a hybrid cloud approach to HPC

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