Queuing or not queuing – is interactive HPC an attractive service for SMEs?

queuingMany companies have been moving from batch HPC processing to nearly real-time data processing, with in-situ visualisation getting all the attention from SMEs as a new user-facing HPC service. In a nutshell, the idea behind the real-time visualization is to perform rendering operations during the execution process, so users could react or even steer computing HPC simulations at any stage, for instance check whether application parameters were set correctly or they have to be modified due to instability. In fact, this scenario is commonly seen among SMEs operating in Architecture, Engineering and the Construction sector, e.g. using different forms of Computational Fluid Dynamics. However, achieving such HPC capabilities where high-speed and reliable network for heavy visualization data transfer is available on-demand, along with HPC resources booked in advanced (for both, simulation and data analysis) is not trivial. Over the last few years Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre (PSNC) has created a set of a set of dedicated user- and service-level components called QCG (www.qoscosgrid.org) for HPC centres that simply hide the complexity of the underlying network and computational HPC facilities. In order to enable remote communication and data exchange, the application code has to be recompiled with the external in-situ visualisation library. For the data analysis, visualisation and steering the computation usually well-know software ParaView is used, whilst the rendering is performed on dedicated, remote hardware resources enhanced by GPGPUs. The client-side ParaView software is a gateway to remote HPC resources and simulations, and it looks that this is exactly what many users want. The in-situ visualization solutions have been successfully applied to improve the process of a computational construction design at FIDES DV-Partner SME. During some experiments we have developed a new methodology and provided corresponding software products for a computing simulation of wind pressure distributions in space and time resulting from a (wind) – construction (bridge/building) interaction. By integrating a CFD application with the in-situ visualisation library, in this case ParaView on the client desktop, demanding fluid flows may be rendered and controlled remotely on a dedicated GPGPU cluster at PSNC to show a real-time visualization of generated results what is crucial from the engineering users perspective. The example screenshot from our experiments is presented below.

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