If your day-to-day tool is a powerful workstation, then the chances are very good that you need high-performance computing as well. Philippe Trautmann of Hewlett Packard Enterprise talks to PW about the changes he sees in the market today.
No Silver Bullets
A properly spec'd workstation is essential. No workstation, or even network of workstations will meet all your design, creative, and engineering needs. From high-end rendering to big-data analytics to design optimization with CFD simulation, you are very likely to need your own high-performance computing resources.
These resources may already exist at your company. They may be in the plan. It might be more or less easy to integrate them into your workflows. But then it is not just a question of design and engineering workflows today. Today it is a question of engineering the financial workflow of your company as well.
Philippe Trautmann from Hewlett Packard Enterprise understands that his customers for HPC are changing. The company has a palette of computing products, but M Trautmann knows that computing products can not be sold by themselves into HPC environments today.
This means that HPC solutions are integrated at a most fundamental level. Certainly compute is "integrated" with a bit of storage, interconnect, and management software. This has been the way of providing solutions for the last 10 years.
Integration of solutions today means working with a range of partners, Mellanox, NVIDIA Ansys, and Intel, for example. And it means listening to the real needs of customers. Managing resources is critical. This requires M Trautmann to take care of more than just delivering computing clusters to customers. This could include moving some number of desktop workstations to the data center, adding VDI for remote graphics and allowing more team members access to dedicated hardware - both around the clock and around the globe.
Special requirements from clients, like VDI, mean that HPE needs to create special solution packages for customers. This can be solutions integrating products from multiple partners and this can include custom-developed products from HPE.
What Philippe sees today is that the request from customers to run HPC is changing from a traditional solution to a much more varied request, and a much more complex solution. And in any case, HPC is no longer a stand-alone solution. HPC becomes part of the process. From gathering data, developing a design, simulating, visualizing, manufacturing, delivery and service - this is an entirely integrated environment.
This changes how clients view workflow. Workflows no longer focus on design, engineering, or manufacturing. HPE customers are looking at their workflows with a much broader perspective and a more inclusive definition. And many customers are looking at their engineering, design, creative, and computing processes with the perspective of focus. Often, they no longer view their part of the burden to be the information systems themselves. They are searching for adaptable, flexible systems and often times this comes from switching from a capital expense model to an operational expense model.
This style of engagement allows customers to specify their computing needs, adapt their consumption, change it as they require, increase, decrease, and modify.
This changes the approach that a provider such as HPE needs to use for the market. Often they will provide hardware, software, and solutions to other service providers who, in turn, are then providing you, the end customer, the information services for engineering and computing.
For you as a customer, you have more choices than before. You can decide to keep all of your resources on-site. Or you can move it all external to your company. Or you can mix these two together. Your structure of IT consumption can be organized partly under your own IT and partly under a service model. Your engineering or creative projects may require short-term access to specialized systems.
The PW Perspective
If you bought a car 40 years ago, you would never have considered leasing a vehicle. If you bought HPC equipment 15 or 20 years ago, it would never have been a "service". Today your design, creative, and engineering teams have a very high level of flexibility and many choices for designing a combined workstation and computing environment. The flexibility can make your company more agile as your systems become more adaptable. And that's important because every team that needs a high-performance workstation is very very very likely to require high-performance computing as well.