The HPC Threshold

Posted on 11 November, 2022

In HPC there are generally two types of problems: CPU-bound and memory-bound

  • A CPU-bound problem is usually one where you need to crunch some very complex numbers.
  • A memory-bound problem involves a set of data larger than the memory capacity of the processor undertaking the computation.

Regardless of which camp you fall into, if you are finding yourself ‘bound’ by the limits of your current hardware, it might be time to upgrade to a cluster.

If you’re working on a laptop and some aspect of your job is starting to take up too much time, you might look at upgrading to a workstation. A workstation is typically a high-spec PC with a larger amount of memory, processors and graphics cards than a standard laptop or desktop PC. But there are jobs which even workstations struggle to undertake. It's not uncommon for engineers, designers and researchers to save up large jobs until the end of the day, and then run them overnight because they would take that long to complete. Even if the job in question doesn’t take all night, if the job takes more than a few hours, it can seriously impact other work that needs to be done at the same time. If this is the case, you might need a cluster!

Clusters allow teams to more efficiently use their time and resources to solve problems

A well specified and configured cluster can benefit more than just one team. Using the right software, a cluster can offer benefits to numerous teams within an organisation, even if their workloads differ. In today’s economic climate, with power costs rising and budgets shrinking, the right cluster can seriously impact carbon emissions created by teams working without resource sharing.

There are a lot of areas where larger compute capacity can help:

  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Genomics
  • Engineering
  • Design
  • Graphics
  • Astronomy
  • Market Research
  • Finance

If yours is one of the many market sectors which is discovering the advantages and benefits of #machinelearning or #AI, then chances are you’ll soon learn that it’s no small undertaking to get computers working smarter.

Whether you’re training a chat bot or a fully automated production facility, the amount of data required before your AI can be relied on to make smart decisions is often a lot more than people initially think. This data needs to be loaded into memory, searched for patterns, and classified, before it can produce a ‘neural network’ capable of making a difference to your business.

The largest supercomputers in the world today are being adapted to run machine learning workloads. By using the latest innovations supplied by us and our partners, the same hardware running AI software can increase your ROI by orders of magnitude.

If any of the above sounds familiar, or you’re wondering if a cluster might be a good fit for you, get in touch to see if we can help.

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