High-performance computing (HPC) can be expensive and complex to set up and use efficiently. Traditionally, HPC has been restricted to academia, research institutes, and enterprises with the capacity to operate large datacenters. Furthermore, it has always been a challenge to deliver optimized HPC systems with complex workflows involving different applications in a user-friendly and accessible environment. Dev Subramanian, CTO at Drizti Inc., elaborates on the challenges and describes how the Toronto startup aims to democratize HPC with Microsoft Azure:
Even enterprises that can afford to build massive datacenters can deliver HPC from only a few locations, limiting the availability of HPC for a globally distributed workforce. Additionally, applications requiring HPC generate a lot of data, and a centrally located datacenter increases the strain on networks.
These inherent complexities have limited the use of HPC across industries, slowing down cutting-edge innovation and leading organizations to investigate ways to make HPC more accessible and easier to use.
Drizti offers a cloud-based HPC platform for “personal supercomputing.” The HPCBOX platform on Microsoft Azure Marketplace delivers turnkey vertical solutions with optimized HPC for accelerating innovation in advanced manufacturing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and finance. Drizti’s mission is to make supercomputing technology accessible on the PC of every scientist, developer, and engineer, wherever they are and whenever they need it.
With 58 global regions and availability in 140 countries, Azure is one of the few public cloud infrastructure providers focused on implementing HPC capability in the cloud.
Various Azure instance sizes are built for handling HPC workloads and are offered alongside high-speed RDMA InfiniBand networking and high-performance file systems. Furthermore, the rich set of APIs that Azure exposes enables HPC to be combined with other services, and this is what Drizti has done with its HPCBOX platform.
HPCBOX user interface
HPCBOX delivers a fully interactive, workflow-enabled HPC platform for automating complex application pipelines. It offers a PC-like user experience and delivers various turnkey vertical solutions optimized for applications such as ANSYS, Simcenter STAR-CCM+, Siemens Nastran, Abaqus, Horovod, SU2, OpenFOAM, and many others that can benefit from big compute on Azure. The HPCBOX platform uses big compute capabilities Azure offers, including state-of-the-art HB2, HB, HC, H, N, and NC-Series instance sizes.
Through the reach of the Azure Marketplace, HPCBOX delivers turnkey HPC solutions directly within an end user’s subscription, whether it is an EA, web-direct, or CSP subscription. This approach lets users access HPC for their applications within minutes of deploying an HPCBOX cluster while remaining compliant with all the corporate policies set by their organization. Furthermore, by delivering the HPCBOX solution directly within a user’s subscription, Drizti can make sure all the data resides within the user’s subscription and in their region of choice.
Finally, being a Microsoft co-sell certified solution makes HPCBOX fully compatible with Azure services and infrastructure, giving users confidence they can utilize HPCBOX on Azure to dramatically cut costs, get significantly faster results, and spend more time on innovation rather than system setup and configuration.