Scaling up computing capacity Wim Slagter highlights the importance of HPC for engineering simulation – whether on premise or in the cloud

significantly sped up by using more CPU cores.’ Slagter noted that the concept came

Ansys has developed a free benchmark tool that allows users to test their own simulation model on a small HPC cluster to demonstrate the benefits of scaling up an organisation’s computing infrastructure. This tool is aimed at driving adoption of

HPC resources through HPC appliances and cloud-based solutions that Ansys offers in collaboration with its partners. This can benefit organisations that require HPC but do not have the time or inclination to set up, configure and operate an in-house cluster. ‘I personally have never come across an engineer yet who does not want more compute power. But many of them want to see proof that using more CPU cores on a more powerful machine is worth the investment,’ said Wim Slagter, director of HPC and cloud alliances at Ansys. ‘Engineers need to convince their boss, and possibly the purchaser of the organisation, and they can now get that proof for free through our benchmark program,’ said Slagter. ‘It was designed as an easy way for an engineer to see proof that their own Ansys model can be

14 Scientific Computing World August/September 2018

from a survey of more than 1,800 Ansys users. From the survey Ansys found that ‘customers said how often they are constrained by turnaround limitations. It was striking to me that a really large percentage of the respondents limit the size or amount of detail for nearly every simulation model,’ added Slagter. According to the survey, 40 per cent

of respondents limit detail in simulation models due to time constraints. The survey also reflects that, in many cases, limiting the size or amount of detail can result in lower-fidelity results less useful to respondents’ design experiments.

“According to the survey of customers, 40 per cent of the more than 1,800 respondents limit the size or amount of detail in simulation models because of time constraints”

‘Engineers are running bigger models, bigger in terms of size and complexity, and they also have to run an increasing number of design variants to ensure product integrity and robustness. But customers and engineers are compute bound and constrained by their compute capacity. That is why we have established this free benchmark programme. Customers wonder about the performance of their simulation model. No matter how many HPC benchmarks we produce, engineers still want to know the performance of their own model,’ Slagter stated. While limiting a model’s size or scale

can help to reduce the simulation time, engineering organisations must compete in highly competitive markets which require a careful balance between performance, innovation and time-to- market for new products or components. The benchmark tool allows users to look at their own workloads to see how their current projects could be accelerated through the application of HPC resources, either on premise or in the cloud. If engineers have to limit the size of a model ‘then they are almost wasting their time because they have to change and re-mesh the model in order to be able to squeeze it onto the machine or to get

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