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High Performance Compute

HPCaaS – know why it is better than setting up an On-Premise environment

By Manish Israni
|
Dec 02, 2020
|
5 min read

High Performance Computing (HPC) is transforming organisations across industries, from healthcare, manufacturing, finance to energy and telecom. As businesses in these sectors require dealing with complex problems and calculations, High Performance Computing solutions can work with huge quantities of data and enable high performance data analysis.

The gigantum computing prowess of High Performance Computing infrastructure aggregates the power of multiple high-end processors which is boosted with a GPU to provide quick and accurate results. Moreover, High Performance Computing supercharges digital technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Analytics to deliver data insights faster and gives any business a competitive edge in the market.

Despite the growing demand, High Performance Computing has its own set of challenges. For instance, enterprises need to make huge investments to set up a High Performance Computing infrastructure and undergo long procurement timelines while opertionalising AI infrastructure. Further, High Performance Computing infrastructure requires extremely high maintenance and specific skill-sets to manage; and at the same time, scaling it is difficult if workloads increase. A cost benefit analysis also indicates that setting up and maintaining an on-site High Performance Computing cluster is increasingly difficult to achieve – the costs are disproportionate to meet unexpected demand and the hardware procurement cycle is never ending.

Why HPC-as-a-Service is a viable option?

Historically, on-premises solutions are perceived to be the proven investment, however, there are significant hidden costs to run and maintain on-premises High Performance Computing infrastructure. According to Hyperion Research, the demand for on-premises High Performance Computing resources often exceeds capacity by as much as 300%.

Looking at these roadblocks, the whole concept of High Performance Computing-as-a-Service (HPCaaS) has picked up lately, as it provides enterprises with simple and intuitive access to supercomputing infrastructure wherein they don’t have to buy and manage their own servers or set up data centers. For example, the workloads required for research, engineering, scientific computing or Big Data Analysis, which run on High Performance Computing systems, can also run on High Performance Computing-as-a-Service.

As per the forecasts from Allied Market Research, the global High Performance Computing-as-a-Service market size was valued at $6.28 billion in 2018, and is projected to reach $17.00 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 13.3% from 2019 to 2026.

In today’s dynamic environment, organisations that opt for High Performance Computing-as-a-Service are poised to gain competitive advantage and drive greater RoI. Enterprises must look at High Performance Computing-as-a-Service to avoid unexpected cost and performance issues, as compute-intensive processing can be done without making capital investment in hardware, skilled staff, or for developing a High Performance Computing platform. With the support of High Performance Computing-as-a-Service, organisations can also receive efficient database management services with reduced cost.

On-Prem vis-à-vis As-A-Service 

The biggest advantage of leveraging High Performance Computing-as-a-Service is the ‘cost’ factor – users who are looking to take advantage of High Performance Computing but cannot invest in the upfront capital and avoid prolonged procurement cycles of on-premises infrastructure implementation. With flexible pricing models, the enterprises just need to pay for the capacity they use.

For instance, on-premises High Performance Computing requires large capital investment in GPU servers, storage, network, security, and other supporting infrastructure which could run into tens of millions of Rupees, approximately INR 1-1.5 crore, depending on the scale of the infrastructure; whereas, High Performance Computing-as-a-Service offers zero Capex investment with flexible pricing along with ready-to-use pre-provisioned High Performance Computing infrastructure including switching routing infrastructure, internet bandwidth, firewall, load balancer, and intrusion protection system.

High Performance Computing-as-a-Service can also enable organisations to easily scale up their compute power as well as infrastructure. With this kind of scalability, the enterprise can flex their infrastructure to match the workloads instead of throttling workloads based on infrastructure.

Pay-as-you-consume model is also acting as a great enabler in democratising High Performance Computing, as it brings powerful computational capabilities for the scientific researchers, engineers, and organisations who lack access to on-premises infrastructure or need to hire expensive resources to manage their High Performance Computing infrastructure. The service providers offering High Performance Computing-as-a-Service manages the infrastructure maintenance so that enterprises can focus on their projects.

Additionally, businesses with a deep focus on innovation can do away with the periodic tech or infra refresh cycles, as on-premises High Performance Computing run the risk of becoming obsolete with changing technology or getting under-utilised with changing workloads. Organisations even have to incur additional expense while upgrading the infrastructure; on the contrary, service providers can easily handle upgrades and updates for optimum performance. With on-premises High Performance Computing, enterprises have to deal with unreliable power, whereas, adopting High Performance Computing-as-a-Service provides fail-safe power infrastructure, thus ensuring 100% uptime.

Making the right choice 

By now, it is evident that High Performance Computing-as-a-Service can provide for speedier data processing with high accuracy and due to the low investment costs, it has emerged as an alternative to on-premises clusters for High Performance Computing. However, despite all the advantages associated with adopting High Performance Computing-as-a-Service, there are certain perceived barriers preventing enterprises from realising its true potential.

For organisations to lean on High Performance Computing-as-a-Service to grow their business and accelerate product and service development, they need to be constantly showcased or educated on its benefits and in turn, breakdown the common roadblocks. All the benefits of High Performance Computing-as-a-Service clearly suggest that there’s substantial headroom for growth.

Advantages of High Performance Computing-as-a-Service at a glance

* The cost factor - no need to for upfront capital investment

* Access to supercomputing infrastructure without buying or managing servers

* Pay only for capacity utilised

* Organisations can opt for flexible pricing models

* Avoid unexpected cost and performance issues

* Upgrades and updates managed by the service provider

* Fail-safe power infrastructure, ensuring 100% uptime

Manish Israni
Head of IT Operations & CIO

Manish Israni heads IT Operations & Engineering. He has over 25 years of experience in IT Infrastructure and Hyperscale Data Centers for ITES, BFSI and Telecom industries. He comes with rich and valuable experience in strategising and delivering innovative managed IT services. He is responsible for 24X7 IT operations and overseeing delivery of complex IT solutions.

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