You may not have noticed it, but the cloud has been quietly rolling in to many aspects of your personal and professional life. If you’ve used social media or streamed a video over the Internet, you’ve been accessing the cloud. In fact the cloud has become so reliable and so accessible that it is only natural that the most demanding of applications, realistic simulation, has begun leveraging the virtually limitless resources available on the cloud. These massive capabilities are provided to you on demand and can make it much easier for you to answer the difficult design challenges you face today and the more rigorous challenges you’ll face in the future.
According to the article, “Predicts 2016: Cloud Computing to Drive Digital Business”, published by Gartner, a leading research and advisory company, “By 2020, a corporate ‘no-cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no-Internet’ policy is today”. At SIMULIA we’ve seen acceptance of the cloud concept accelerate over the past couple of years, as our customers have increasingly asked for on-demand access to software and hardware.
In response to customer demand, Dassault Systèmes has created the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud, which combines robust software and elastic hardware infrastructure to provide an easy to deploy software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution with access to HPC compute power for simulation. Available via data centers located throughout the world, 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud is easily configured to suit the size of your business, fluctuations in your workload, and different levels of expertise within your teams. SIMULIA users will find the advantages of this offering particularly compelling, as it provides reliability, scalability, cost-savings, ease-of-use, and secure global collaboration.
A SOLUTION FOR SIMULATION USERS OF EVERY TYPE
Users of all types must have access to the tools they need to quickly test and evaluate ideas when innovation strikes. The designer may have a clever idea to fit a component into a reduced design space but must check that the new concept supports the product’s life requirement, or a team of analysis specialists may need to check for an acoustic response in a complex assembly caused by lightweighting a component. You are likely experiencing situations like this yourself brought on by the ongoing competitive pressure to shorten the product design timelines while delivering products to meet an evermore difficult set of requirements. These demands have heightened the need for, and application of, the most advanced tools available for realistic simulation (FEA, CFD and coupled multiphysics, topology optimization and so on).
This more extensive use of sophisticated design and simulation software in turn requires more high-performance computing (HPC) power. Yet there can still be a dramatic variation between the peak and lull of simulation demand. Consider the graph of simulation workload vs. time in the image below, which illustrates the rise and fall in demand that a typical SIMULIA customer experiences. Normally the level of token use doesn’t exceed the dotted line of licensed coverage. But note the three peaks during which the average is significantly exceeded:
The spikes in simulation demand that typically occur near project deadlines are sometimes dealt with by adding new analysis tokens and adding compute hardware, but this approach is often cost- and time-prohibitive for the occasional peak. In other cases programs are simply delayed until the simulation data is available to make informed design decisions. In still other cases, critical design decisions are made without having the supporting data, often resulting in subpar product performance, or worse, product field failures.
The cloud now provides for another alternative to manage these occasional peaks in simulation demand by cost effectively accessing “burst compute” resources to secure the software and compute power only as they are needed.
This article was published in the December 2017 issue of SIMULIA Community News magazine. Coming soon, stay tuned for the second half of this article where we take a closer look at how the cloud can help different kinds of users overcome a variety of challenges!