PADT & Nimbix FAQ

You asked, and we answered. Below find a list of answers to commonly asked questions regarding the capabilities of Nimbix and it’s applications for ANSYS simulation software.

If you have additional questions you can email us at info@padtinc.com, or view a recording of our recent webinar on the benefit of using Nimbix when it comes to running simulation on the cloud:

Nimbix FAQ

  • Does NIMBIX comply with NIST 800-171/800-53 requirements
    1. NIMBIX is currently working on NIST compliance as we speak and are hoping to complete this very soon
  • What is the maximum core count?
    1. Customers using NIMBIX has access to thousands of cores. There are customers using 500 cores, 1000 cores and even more.
  • Does Nimbix provide any details of solving performance or hardware performance after a solution?
    1. What’s great about Nimbix is that you have complete access to the typical ANSYS performance/hardware outputs that all the solvers provide. In addition NIMBIX provides access to time/cost for the machines themselves
  • Any try before you buy arrangement to try it out?
    1. Please contact us at info@padtinc.com if you have any questions or if you’d like to see Nimbix in more details
  • My companies QA program requires verification of software installation. Can Nimbix run the workbench/ANSYS test suite?
    1. Nimbix is able to run a variety of benchmarks to validate and verify ANSYS
  • Maybe just a general question…any idea which solvers use GPUs?
    1. The Mechanical solver utilizes GPU extensively. In addition one of the Fluent solvers and an HFSS solver can utilize a GPU
  • The cost is of course important…how can you get the startup cost easily?
    1. Nimbix shows list prices on the website for a variety of machines. In addition Nimbix does not charge any subscription fees, gives each user 500GB free and does not charge file upload/download fees.  Please email us for any further clarifications
  • Is the license fee the typical fee for a standalone/network license?
    1. In terms of licensing, a customer’s own licenses are always used to run ANSYS. Nimbix can either host some or all of your licenses on their license server. OR Nimbix can access your own license server through a tunnel VPN.
  • Can you provide more insight on the monetary cost of running a computational intensive simulation, like very high-velocity object impact using ANSYS/Autodyn on Nimbix (large run time, large file storage)?
    1. As always, costs will vary depending on the type of problem. Please email us at info@padtinc.com if you want exact details on costs
  • How is session cost calculated?
    1. Session costs are purely based on time that you hold a machine. Time is calculated to the second
  • Suppose I’m limited not on cores in the office, but on licenses. If all the Mechanicals/Solvers/PrepPosts are occupied by the rest of the team, can I still use your service?
    1. Licenses need to be provided by the customer, either through their own license server or by hosting partial licenses on Nimbix’s own license server
  • How is ANSYS licensing handled?
    1. In terms of licensing, a customer’s own licenses are always used to run ANSYS. Nimbix can either host some or all of your licenses on their license server. OR Nimbix can access your own license server through a tunnel VPN.
  • How does Nimbix proving compare to purchasing HPC units upfront for an internal system with 16 to 32 cores? I know usage profile would matter, but this could be easily charted?
    1. Usage would definitely dictate a comparison. If there any specific use cases you’d like to investigate please reach out to us at info@padtinc.com
  • ANSYS/Autodyn is available on the Nimbix HPC platform?
    1. Yes it is
  • Is there a minimum charge?
    1. There is no minimum charge.

Simulation in the Cloud – Challenges, Tools & Mindsets – Webinar

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Phoenix Business Journal: A ping pong-playing robot? The world has just changed

While wandering through a maze of booths at a recent trade show, I stumbled upon something quite amazing. “A ping pong-playing robot? The world has just changed” explores how sensors, the cloud, and artificial intelligence is leaping forward and making science fiction real.

Combining ANSYS Simulation with HPC

Engineering simulation has become much more prevalent in engineering organizations than it was even 5 years ago.  Commercial tools have gotten significantly easier to use whether you are looking at tools embedded within CAD programs or the standalone flagship analysis tools.  The driving force behind these changes are to ultimately let engineers and companies understand their design quicker with more fidelity than before.

Engineering simulation is one of those cliché items where everyone says “We want more!”  Engineers want to analyze bigger problems, more complex problems and even do large scale design of experiments with hundreds of design variations – and they want these results instantaneously.   They want to be able to quickly understand their designs and design trends and be able to make changes accordingly so then can get their products optimized and to the market quicker.

ANSYS, Inc. spends a significant amount of R&D in helping customers get their results quicker and a large component of that development is High Performance Computing, or HPC.  This technology allows engineers to solve their structural, fluid and/or electromagnetic analyses across multiple processors and even across multiple computing machines.  Engineers can leverage HPC on laptops, workstations, clusters and even full data centers.

PADT is fortunate to be working with Nimbix, a High Performance Computing Platform that easily allowed us to quickly iterate through different models with various cores specified.  It was seamless, easy to use, and FAST!

Let’s take a look at four problems: Rubber Seal FEA, Large Tractor Axle Model, Quadrocopter CFD model and a Large Exhaust CFD model.  These problems cover a nice spectrum of analysis size and complexity. The CAD files are included in the link below.

Click here to download geometry files that were used in the following benchmarks

TRACTOR AXLE FEA

This model has several parts all with contact defined and has 51 bolts that have pretension defined.  A very large but not overly complex FEA problem.  As you can see from the results, even by utilizing 8 cores you can triple your analysis throughput for a work day.  This leads to more designs being analyzed and validated which gives engineers the results they need quicker.

SUMMARY

  • 58 Parts
  • 51 x Bolts with Pretension
  • Gaskets
  • 928K Elements, 1.6M Nodes

Cores

Elapsed Time
[s]

Estimated Models Per 8 [hours]

2

14,525

2

4

9,710

3

8

5,233

6

16 4,009

7

 

RUBBER SEAL FEA

The rubber seal is actually a relatively small size problem, but quite complex.  Not only does it need full hyperelastic material properties defined with large strain effects included, it also includes a leakage test.  This will pressurize any exposed areas of the seal.  This will of course cause some deformation which will lead to more leaked surfaces and so on.  It basically because a pressure advancing solution.

From the results, again you can see the number of models that can be analyzed in the same time frame is signifcantly more.  This model was already under an hour, even with the large nonlinearity, and with HPC it was down to less than half an hour.

SUMMARY

  • 6 Parts
  • Mooney Rivlin Hyperelastic Material
  • Seal Leakage with Advancing Pressure Load
  • Frictional Contact
  • Large Deformation
  • 42K Elements, 58K Nodes

Cores

Elapsed Time
[s]
Estimated Models Per 8 [hours]

2

3,353

9

4

2,489

12

8 1,795

16

 


QUADROCOPTER DRONE CFD

The drone model is a half symmetry model that includes 2 rotating domains to account for the propellers.  This was ran as a steady state simulation using ANSYS Fluent.  Simply utilizing 8 cores will let you solve 3 designs versus 1.

SUMMARY

  • Multiple Rotating Domains
  • 2M Elements, 1.4M Nodes

Cores

Elapsed Time
[hours]
Speedup

2

2.1

1

4

1.2

1.8

6

0.8

2.6

8 0.7

3

 

EXHAUST CFD

The exhaust model is a huge model with 33 million elements with several complicated flow passages and turbulence.  This is a model that would take over a week to run using 1 core but with HPC on a decent workstation you can get that down to 1 day.  Leveraging more HPC hardware resources such as a cluster or using a cloud computing platform like Nimbix will see that drop to 3 hours.  Imagine getting results that used to take over 1 week that now will only take a few hours.  You’ll notice that this model scaled linearly up to 128 cores.  In many CFD simulations the more hardware resources and HPC technology you throw at it, the faster it will run.

SUMMARY

  • K-omega SST Turbulence
  • Multi-Domain
  • 33M Elements, 7M Nodes

Cores

Elapsed Time
[hours]
Speedup

16

26.8

1

32

13.0

2.1

64

6.8

3.9

96

4.3

6.2

128 3.3

8.2

As seen from the results leveraging HPC technology can be hugely advantageous.  Many simulation tools out there do not fully leverage solving on multiple computing machines or even multiple cores.  ANSYS does and the value is easily a given.  HPC makes large complex simulation more practical as a part of the design process timeline.  It allows for greater throughput of design investigations leading to better fidelity and more information to the engineer to develop an optimized part quicker.

If you’re interested in learning more about how ANSYS leverages HPC or if you’d like to know more about NIMIBX, the cloud computing platform that PADT leverages, please reach out to me at manoj@padtinc.com

 

CoresOnDemand: Helping Engineers Do Their Magic

CoresOnDemand-Logo-120hEngineers Do Magic

In the world of simulation there are two facts of life. First, the deadline of “yesterday would be good” is not too uncommon. Funding deadlines, product roll-out dates, as well as unexpected project requirements are all reliable sources for last minute changes. Engineers are required to do quality work and deliver reliable results in limited time and resources. In essence perform sorcery.

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Second, the size and complexity of models can vary wildly. Anything from fasteners and gaskets to complete systems or structures can be in the pipeline. Engineers can be looking at any combination of hundreds of variables that impact the resources required for a successful simulation.

Required CPU cores, RAM per core, interconnect speeds, available disk space, operating system and ANSYS version all vary depending on the model files, simulation type, size, run-time and target date for the results.

Engineers usually do magic. But sometimes limited time or resources that are out of reach can delay on-time delivery of project tasks.

At PADT, We Can Help

PADT Inc. has been nostrils deep in engineering services and simulation products for over 20 years. We know engineering, we know how to simulate engineering and we know ANSYS very well. To address the challenges our customers are facing, in 2015 PADT introduced CoresOnDemand to the engineering community.

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CoresOnDemand offers the combination of our proven CUBE cluster, ANSYS simulation tools and the PADT experience and support as an on demand simulation resource. By focusing on the specific needs of ANSYS users, CoresOnDemand was built to deliver performance and flexibility for the full range of applications. Specifics about the clusters and their configurations can be found at CoresOnDemand.com.

CoresOnDemand is a high performance computing environment purpose built to help customers address numerical simulation needs that require compute power that isn’t available or that is needed on a temporary basis.

Call Us We’re Nice

CoresOnDemand is a new service in the world of on-demand computing. Prospective customers just need to give us a call or send us an inquiry here to get all of their questions answered. The engineers behind CoresOnDemand have a deep understanding of the ANSYS tools and distributed computing and are able to asses and properly size a compute environment that matches the needed resources.

Call us we’re nice!

Two Halves of the Nutshell

The process for executing a lease on a CoresOnDemand cluster is quite straight forward. There are two parts to a lease:

PART 1: How many cores & how long is the lease for?

By working with the PADT engineers – and possibly benchmarking their models – customers can set a realistic estimate on how many cores are required and how long their models need to run on the CoresOnDemand clusters. Normally, leases are in one-week blocks with incentives for longer or regular lease requirements.

Clusters are leased in one-week blocks, but we’re flexible.

Part 2: How will ANSYS be licensed?

An ANSYS license is required in order to run on the CoresOnDemand environment.  A license lease can be generated by contacting any ANSYS channel partner. PADT can generate license leases in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah & Nevada. Licenses can also be borrowed from the customer’s existing license pool.

An ANSYS license may be leased from an ANSYS channel partner or borrowed from customer’s existing license pool.

Using the Cluster

Once the CoresOnDemand team has completed the cluster setup and user creation (takes a couple of hours for most cases), customers can login and begin using the cluster. The CoresOnDemand clusters allow customers to use the connection method they are comfortable with. All connections to CoresOnDemand are encrypted and are protected by a firewall and an isolated network environment.

Step 1: Transfer files to the cluster:

Files can be transferred to the cluster using Secure Copy Protocol which creates an encrypted tunnel for copying files. A graphical tool is also available for Windows users (& it’s freeJ). Also, larger files can be loaded to the cluster manually by sending a DVD, Blu-ray disk or external storage device to PADT. The CoresOnDemand team will mount the volume and can assist in the copying of data.

Step 2: Connect to the cluster and start jobs

Customers can connect to the cluster through an SSH connection. This is the most basic interface where users can launch interactive or batch processing jobs on the cluster. SSH is secure, fast and very stable. The downside of SSH is that is has limited graphical capabilities.

Another option is to use the Nice Software Desktop Cloud Visualization (DCV) interface. DCV provides enhanced interactive 2D/3D access over a standard network. It enables users to access the cluster from anywhere on virtually any device with a screen and an internet connection. The main advantage of DCV is the ability to start interactive ANSYS jobs and monitor them without the need for a continuous connection. For example, a user can connect from his laptop to launch the job and later use his iPad to monitor the progress.

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Figure 1. 12 Million cell model simulated on CoresOnDemand

The CoresOnDemand environment also has the Torque resource manager implemented where customers can submit multiple jobs to a job queue and run them in sequence without any manual intervention.

Customers can use SCP or ship external storage to get data on the cluster. SSH or DCV can be used to access the cluster. Batch, interactive or Torque scheduler can be used to submit and monitor jobs.

All Done?

Once the simulation runs are completed customers usually choose one of two methods to transfer data back. First is to download the results over the internet using SCP (mentioned earlier) or have external media shipped back (External media can be encrypted if needed).

After the customer receives the data and confirms that all useful data was recovered from the cluster, CoresOnDemand engineers re-image the cluster to remove all user data, user accounts and logs. This marks the end of the lease engagement and customers can rest assured that CoresOnDemand is available to help…and it’s pretty fast too.

At the end of the lease customers can download their data or have it shipped on external media. The cluster is later re-imaged and all user data, accounts & logs are also deleted in preparation for the next customer.

CoresOnDemand-Advert-Rect-360w

Five Ways CoresOnDemand is Different than the Cloud

CoresOnDemand-Logo-120hIn a recent press release, PADT Inc. announced the launch of CoresOnDemand.com. CoresOnDemand offers CUBE simulation clusters for customers’ ANSYS numerical simulation needs. The clusters are designed from the ground up for running ANSYS numerical simulation codes and are tested and proven to deliver performance results.

CoresOnDemand_CFD-Valve-1

POWERFUL CLUSTER INFRASTRUCTURE

The current clusters available as part of the CoresOnDemand offering are:
1- CoresOnDemand – Paris:

80-Core Intel based cluster. Based on the Intel Xeon E5-2667 v.2 3.30GHz CPU’s, the cluster utilizes a 56Gbps InfiniBand Interconnect and is running a modified version of CentOS 6.6.

CoresOnDemand-Paris-Cluster-Figure

2- CoresOnDemand – Athena:

544-Core AMD based cluster. Based on the AMD Opteron 6380 2.50GHz CPU’s the cluster utilizes a 40Gbps InfiniBand Interconnect and is running a modified version of CentOS 6.6.

CoresOnDemand-Athena-Cluster-Figure

Five Key Differentiators

The things that make CoresOnDemand different than most other cloud computing providers are:

  1. CoresOnDemand is a non-traditional cloud. It is not an instance based cluster. There is no hypervisor or any virtualization layer. Users know what resources are assigned exclusively to them every time. No layers, no emulation, no delay and no surprises.
  2. CoresOnDemand utilizes all of the standard software designed to maximize the full use of hardware features and interconnect. There are no layers between the hardware and operating system.
  3. CoresOnDemand utilizes hardware that is purpose built and benchmarked to maximize performance of simulation tools instead of a general purpose server on caffeine.
  4. CoresOnDemand provides the ability to complete high performance runs on the compute specialized nodes and later performing post processing on a post-processing appropriate node.
  5. CoresOnDemand is a way to lease compute nodes completely and exclusively for the specified duration including software licenses, compute power and hardware interconnect.

CoresOnDemand is backed up by over 20 years of PADT Inc. experience and engineering know-how. Looking at the differentiating features of CoresOnDemand, it becomes apparent that the performance and flexibility of this solution are great advantages for addressing numerical simulation requirements of any type.

To learn more visit www.coresondemand.com or fill out our request form.

Or contact our experts at coresondemand@padtinc.com or 480.813.4884 to schedule a demo or to discuss your requirements.

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