A bit of a twist for this weeks Phoenix Busines Journal blog post… “How far away are we from 3D Printing the androids on ‘Westworld?‘” In discussing this great new reboot of a classic, and yet another fantastic cautionary tale from Michael Crhichton, a couple people started wondering how far off the tech in the show is. The answer, well you will have to read the article.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are pleased to announce a new service that we feel is remote solving for FEA and CFD done right: CoresOnDemand.com. We have taken our proven CUBE Simulation Computers and built a cluster that users can simply rent. So you get fast hardware, you get it all to your self, and you receive fantastic support from the ANSYS experts at PADT.
It is not a time share system, it is not a true "cloud" solution. You tell us how many nodes you need and for how long and we rent them to you. You can submit batch or you can configure the machines however you need them. Submit on the command line, through a batch scheduler, or run interactive. And when you are done, you do not have to send your files back to your desktop. We've loaded NICE DCV so you can do graphics intense pre- and post-processing from work or home, over the internet to our head nodes. You can even work through your iPad.
If you visit our Blog page a lot, you may have noticed the gray cloud logo with a big question mark next to it. If you guessed that was a hint that we were working on a cloud solution for ANSYS users, you were correct. We've had it up and running for a while but we kept "testing" it with benchmarks for people buying CUBE computers. Plus we kept tweaking the setup to get the best user experience possible. With today's announcement we are going live.
We created this service for a simple reason. Customers kept calling or emailing and asking if they could rent time on our machines. We got started with the hardware but also started surveying and talking to users. Everyone is talking about the cloud and HPC, but we found few providers understood how to deliver the horsepower people needed in a usable way, and that users were frustrated with the offerings they had available. So we took our time and built a service that we would want to use, a service we would find considerable value in.
You can learn more by visiting www.CoresOnDemand.com. Or by reading the official press release included below. To get your started, here are some key facts you should know:
- We are running PADT CUBE computers, hooked together with infiniband. They are fast, they are loaded with RAM, and they have a ton of disk space. Since we do this type of solving all the time, we know what is needed
- This is a Bring Your Own License (BYOL) service. You will need to lease the licenses you need from whoever you get your ANSYS from. As an ANSYS Channel partner we can help that process go smoothly.
- You do not share the hardware. If you reserve a node, it is your node. No one else but your company can log in. You can rent by the week, or the day.
- When you are done, we save the data you want us to save and then wipe the machines. If you want us to save your "image" we can do that for a fee so next time you use the service, we can restore it to right where you were last time.
- Right now we are focused on ANSYS software products only. We feel strongly about focusing on what we know and maximizing value to the customers.
- This service is backed by PADT's technical support and IT staff. You would be hard pressed to find any other HPC provider out there who knows more about how to run ANSYS Mechanical, ANSYS Mechanical APDL, ANSYS FLUENT, ANSYS CFX, ANSYS HFSS, ANSYS MAXWELL, ANSYS LS-DYNA, ANSYS AUTODYN, ICEM CFD, and much more.
To talk to our team about running your next big job on CoresOnDemand.com contact us at 480-813-4884 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the official Press Release here.
Every innovator faces the same problem: how do I make sure that I have protection for my Intellectual Property (IP). Back “in the day” when I started in this world we wrote everything down in a numbered lab book and that was the record. But these days we just never write anything down, it is all electronic. Spending hours printing and pasting into a notebook just does not work.
Enter Traklight. This is a portal for people with IP that needs to be protected, from at-home inventors to full sized companies. We met the people behind the site through some mutual friends and had a sit down with them to understand what they were offering. We were so impressed we thought it was definitely worth sharing.
ID your IP
There first offering is a wizard that… well I could write something or just quote their site:
If you don’t know what Intellectual Property you possess, our ID Your IP questionnaire walks you through interactive questions and provides a Potential Intellectual Property report. If you want to identify your risk of losing your IP, take our IP Risk Quiz.
For an established company like PADT, we really like their IP Vault. This is a resource for organizing all your files with time stamps that help prove what you came up with, when you came up with it. Not only does it organize and stamp your IP, it also stores it securely in the cloud so you do not have to worry about loosing it, or even if you do backups, you do not have to worry about moving it if you or your computer moves. Very useful.
As a leader in modern IP protection, the folks at TrakLight.com have also stepped up and created a resource for people creating IP called IP-Cloud. There are some great links here, everything from lawyers to marketing companies to software developers. PADT is even listed.
The best way to learn about TrakLight.com is to visit their website at… you guessed it: http://www.traklight.com.
You can also watch their cool video: