IBM Announces New High-Performance-Computing Cloud Offerings

IBM announces new technology for high-performance-computing clouds.

IBM has announced new high-performance-computing cloud offerings to help users tackle advanced scientific and technical computing workloads like analytics, simulations for product development, climate research and life sciences.

From its experience in the HPC arena, IBM said many organizations operate with separate pools of high-performance-computing systems. However, IBM's new HPC cloud offerings will enable users to link computing resources across their organizations into a single, high-performance private cloud while providing system administrators the flexibility to set priorities based on business or technical needs, the company said.

And for cloud computing to be cost-efficient for scientific use, clouds must be optimized for scientific applications, according to a paper written by the Lawrence Berkeley Lab as part of its Magellan Project. According to Big Blue, IBM is currently the only major vendor to offer a private cloud solution tuned for HPC users.

By knitting disparate systems together into one centralized resource, clients can gain easier access to more computing that can be used to support their most important business priorities, IBM said. For example, instead of segmenting computing resources by department, life sciences organizations can now pool systems from across the organization and devote them as needed to their most pressing, intensive projects like drug discovery or analysis of massive amounts of genomic data without the need to seek outside resources, the company said.

The new HPC cloud offerings from IBM complement the IBM SmartCloud-an enterprise-class secure cloud platform specifically created to meet the demands of businesses-by extending IBM's experience and success with cloud-computing projects to technical users.

Moreover, the HPC cloud offerings from IBM can enable clients to more easily manage and prioritize HPC assets on a global basis while maintaining operations and data securely behind their company's firewall. For instance, this capability will allow organizations in industries like oil and gas or manufacturing that capture large volumes of unstructured data to pool and scale internal computing resources to respond to fluctuating amounts of data that need to be processed and analyzed, IBM said.

The HPC cloud offerings from IBM include the following:

  • The IBM HPC Management Suite for Cloud is a new resource manager with tools to enable administrators to manage the cloud, schedule jobs and handle tasks like metering energy usage while allowing users to view and access the full set of HPC resources available to them in the cloud.
  • The HPC cloud implementation service from IBM is a new quick-start service to help install, configure and optimize a private or private-hosted cloud; the service includes system-administrator training to help ensure ongoing success.
  • The IBM Intelligent Cluster solutions are integrated, optimized HPC cluster solutions with servers, storage and switches-all factory-integrated, tested and delivered ready to plug into the data center.

"IBM is currently the only major vendor to offer a private cloud solution for high-performance computing, which can enable clients to more easily and systematically exploit their HPC assets for important research and development," Brian Connors, vice president of high-performance computing at IBM, said in a statement. "Today's announcement is an evolution of IBM's cloud strategy and delivery capabilities with workload and industry optimized cloud solutions targeted at delivering client-ready clouds to help reduce costs, optimize resources and accelerate success."

IBM also will offer industry-specific versions of the HPC cloud offerings, starting with the IBM Engineering Solutions for Cloud, which is optimized for electronics companies and automotive and aerospace manufacturers.

In addition, IBM officials said high-performance computing has the potential to spur innovative solutions to the challenges facing the global auto industry and the American manufacturing sector, according to a case study from the Council on Competitiveness. The Council found that HPC and computer-aided engineering is helping Ford Motor Company lead innovation in the industry, optimizing product development, creating high quality products and improving time-to-market.

And the IBM Engineering Solutions for Cloud can enable electronics companies and automotive and aerospace manufacturers to ramp up HPC function as needed to support 2D and 3D product design cycles, helping improve their speed and dexterity in delivering new offerings and services to market, IBM said. The Solutions include technology that has been commercialized after early deployment by the IBM Systems Development organization for use by over 3,000 globally distributed engineers to develop the Power7 processor family. IBM cut developer costs in half and reduced the design cycle by six months, company officials said.

The IBM Engineering Solutions for Cloud also include the IBM Rational Software and Systems Engineering Solution, IBM Collaboration Hub and 2D/3D accelerators to create a secure, well-managed cloud optimized for engineering environments along with applications from ISV partners including ANSYS, Cadence Design Systems, Exa and Magma Design Automation.

IBM said the new HPC cloud offerings and IBM Engineering Solutions for Cloud will be available in the third quarter of 2011.