Is it time for a Hybrid Cloud Strategy for HPC?
Multi-cloud is the preferred strategy among enterprises according to the State of the Cloud Survey 2018 with many companies now moving to a cloud-first or hybrid cloud strategy. The hybrid approach is also being successfully applied to high performance computing (HPC), where instead of purchasing an in-house HPC, there is a drive to examine cloud alternatives.
Read on to find out more about how hybrid cloud strategies could help your business.
What are the differences between hybrid and multi-cloud strategies?
Hybrid cloud combines in-house/on-premise cloud with an external cloud provider. It allows you the flexibility of the external cloud providers in terms of scaling up and down and making use of additional services, while still maintaining some services on your internal infrastructure. Multi-cloud extends this idea to make use of services from multiple external cloud providers. This allows you to combine the best of the available services and also avoids lock-in or dependency on a single provider.
HPC and Hybrid/Multi-cloud
A hybrid approach makes perfect sense for an HPC system too, where you can enjoy the benefits of both an internal HPC system and a flexible external cloud system. An internal cloud is beneficial if:
- You have a workload that requires specialist hardware not available on the external cloud.
- You have particular security requirements for a workload that can not yet be met by an external cloud.
- Your workload requires data from internal sources that cannot easily be migrated to the cloud.
- You have already invested in your internal HPC system and want to maximise its value.
But at the same time, your business can make use of the external cloud(s) to gain the following benefits:
- Scale the cloud HPC resource to match your workload with a flexible infrastructure.
- Offload workloads from your internal HPC to free that resource up for priority workloads.
- Save money and scale your HPC resource to meet peak demands without having to expand your internal HPC.
- Gain access to different hardware configurations without capital expense, for example, the latest GPUs.
At Zenotech we work extensively with the aerospace industry, which could benefit greatly from the hybrid cloud. Aerospace cloud services are examining how aerospace companies running large simulation workloads can best make use of cloud HPC resources.
One challenge to overcome is the fact that the aerospace sector has strict policies around data protection and export control that need to be taken into account when making use of cloud resources. Therefore, aerospace cloud services are embedding their security policies into our EPIC product, which enables companies in this sector to easily and securely implement a hybrid cloud strategy for HPC. The aim is to make it simple for engineers to use, whilst ensuring that company policies are met.
EPIC allows an organisation to make use of multiple cloud providers as well as specialist supercomputing centres. By making use of EPIC, organisations can very easily switch the backend HPC provider without any end-user impact. This is a perfect match for a hybrid or multi-cloud strategy.
If you would like to find out more about how EPIC could help your business, do get in touch.