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Tips For Small To Midsize Businesses Leveraging HPC

Apr. 26, 2016 ⋅ Categories: HPC

Once dominated by tech-centric industries, high-performance computing is becoming a more mainstream option for a variety of businesses. According to InfoWorld, while big Fortune 500 companies have used HPC for a number of years, it’s become increasingly important for mid-sized businesses as well. As it’s become easier to use, more companies can leverage their data with HPC.

However, because this is a relatively new experience for businesses of this size, there are inherent challenges in transitioning from a traditional IT environment to HPC. To help manage and deploy an HPC cluster, consider the following tips:

Construct A Big Data Workflow
More companies have made the choice to leverage big data as a way to keep up with competitors. However, not everyone has access to the same resources, putting certain businesses at a disadvantage. Open source software Hadoop and other such technologies have become important for that reason.

To further combat the financial and logistical constraints of HPC and big data analytics in midsize companies, TechTarget suggests using a “big data workflow.” This approach, the site says, helps divide and organize sets of data into reports ready for analysis. Because this is within open source software, it can be configured as needed.

For example – Airbnb, a site that allows users to rent out or stay in an apartment for a short amount of time – has experienced a significant boom in business since launching in 2008, using Hadoop along the way. However, in 2015 , the company outgrew its original Hadoop workflow and decided to create its own called “Airflow.”

According to InformationWeek, this customized workflow allows the company to ensure that Hadoop jobs run in the right order, use the correct resources and aren’t repeated.

Use A Virtual Environment
While the relationship wasn’t always clear, virtualization has become extremely useful for HPC. It’s especially true for businesses that may not have the space to house all the hardware they need. According to insideHPC, this method also allows a certain flexibility that physical clusters don’t have.

“Virtualization also helps businesses become productive quickly and cost-effectively.”

Virtualization also helps businesses become productive quickly and cost-effectively. According to GCN, adding more nodes to a physical server can easily rack up costs. The site estimates that it can get up to $10,000 each. Opting for virtualization allows you to scale and save money all at once. insideHPC also points out how virtualization supports high-level security, in addition to its resistance against external damages.

Another advantage of virtualization is the ability to test applications in a “sandbox” before deploying them. According to EdTech, this enables enterprises to bring the traditional IT practice of a multitiered testing strategy to HPC.

Virtualization, as Senior System Engineer and Virtualization Edmond DeMattia of the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory discovered, can significantly increase CPU. As DeMattia told GCN, when transitioning into a virtual environment, he expected a performance loss.

“I had it figured that doing it this way would result in a 6 to 8 percent loss, which would have been acceptable,” he said. “But I was shocked when we measured a 2 percent gain instead.”

For a business just beginning to leverage big data with HPC, knowing the tips that simplify the process of deploying and managing can help you increase your chances of success and bring you a better return on your investment. In such a data-driven world, everyone deserves the opportunity to use it to their advantage.

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