Fortissimo Marketplace: a one-stop-shop for modelling and simulation services
Posted: 3 Jun 2016 | 14:34
A consortium of Europe’s leading supercomputing centres and HPC experts is developing the Fortissimo Marketplace, a one-stop-shop where end-users will access modelling and simulation services, plus high-performance data analytics.
The advantages of using high performance computing (HPC) in modelling and simulation are well established. However it has proved more difficult for small companies to gain these benefits compared to larger ones. This is typically because the cost of entry has been too high: only larger companies have been able to afford the investments required to buy and run HPC systems, and to provide the necessary expertise to use them.
Fortissimo has learned from the success of cloud computing by offering HPC on-demand as a pay-per-use service, so removing any need for the end-users to buy and run their own systems. This dramatically reduces the risk for first-time users of HPC, and allows users to cut costs since they only pay for the resources they use. Access to HPC experts through the Fortissimo Marketplace helps to get users up and running more quickly.
The Marketplace development is being driven by over 50 experiments involving various types of stakeholders such as end-users, simulation service providers and software vendors. The experiments are designed to prove the concept of the Fortissimo Marketplace and determine what features it should have. They will also provide an initial set of services that will be available through the Marketplace.
One of the services that will be offered through Fortissimo is being developed by Dublin City University and EPCC. It uses discrete event simulation to model the operation of industrial manufacturing processes, allowing them to be optimised to improve business performance.
Evaluating the many possible scenarios requires a lot of computing power. The benefit of the Fortissimo approach is that the experts at discrete event simulation do not need to own or run their own HPC system, they simply access the systems in the Fortissimo HPC cloud when they need to. This allows them to focus on their area of expertise and to build up a scalable business.
A prototype of the Marketplace was released a few months ago and work has been continuing to validate the approach and add features. An updated version, intended to fully support the services being developed by the experiments, will be launched in the near future.
Fortissimo Marketplace: www.fortissimo-marketplace.com
Fortissimo is a collaborative project that enables European SMEs to be more competitive globally through the use of simulation services running on an HPC cloud infrastructure. The project has attracted much attention from industry, with a number of software and service companies interested in joining the Marketplace. HPCwire awarded it Best Use of HPC in the Cloud in both Readers’ and Editors’ Choice categories at the Supercomputing 2015 conference.
About the image above
Koenigsegg is a leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance sports cars. The challenge facing Koenigsegg was to perform simulations of the flow over its hypercars which were sufficiently detailed to model real physical effects accurately. Such simulations require suitable simulation codes and expensive computer resources, which are normally beyond the means of an SME. Read about this and other Fortissimo projects on the Fortissimo website.
Mark Sawyer, EPCC
This story was also published on our Medium.com account.