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ANSYS, Lenovo and OCF build CFD-ready HPC Appliance

Posted By: Gavin Loader
Date:Thu, 2 Apr 2015, 11:37 a.m.

UK engineers requiring High-Performance Computing (HPC) power for their Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations can now purchase a pre-configured, easy-to-deploy, ANSYS-ready HPC ‘appliance’. The plug-and-play appliance is available following a unique partnership between engineering simulation software provider ANSYS, hardware vendor Lenovo and high performance cluster integrator OCF.

With a minimum configuration of two dual-socket compute nodes, even the smallest server cluster appliance in the portfolio can offer twice as much compute performance as even the most powerful workstation. Combined with 24x7 availability and intelligent job scheduling, the appliance can offer up to six times improvement in engineer productivity over a single workstation.

Pre-built, configured and tested with both job scheduling software and ANSYS software, the appliance provides engineers with an advanced structural analysis and CFD environment that is simple and quick to deploy.

“We’ve come across lots of engineers using workstations and laptops to process their ANSYS CFD simulations which restrict use of their device, even for email, until the job is complete,” says Andrew Dean, HPC business development manager, OCF. “The users we speak to are also unsure when their jobs will finish - it could be after a couple of hours or half a day. The job could finish in the middle of the night when they’re unavailable to start a new action. Plus, of course, the job might even have crashed, they wouldn’t know.”

He adds: “The appliance shifts simulation jobs off local workstations to a central resource enabling engineers to truly multi-task. The appliance, complete with job scheduler, enables maximum utilisation of the appliance with the possibility of submitting jobs 24/7.”

Each appliance comes pre-built with a fixed head node, chassis, memory, the latest Intel processors and fixed switches. Each appliance can be easily expanded to fit customer need, because they use blade architecture making it simple to add additional Lenovo NeXtScale compute nodes.

“Our customers are engineering experts, but that expertise doesn’t always stretch to HPC cluster selection and deployment,” says Wim Slagter, lead product manager for HPC, at ANSYS, Inc. “We want to give our customers the best possible experience and, for that reason, we are working with OCF and Lenovo to provide our customers an ANSYS-optimised cluster solution designed for ease of procurement, deployment and operation.”

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