G-Cloud 10 makes accessing high performance computing easier then ever...

HPC Insights

As the Director of Research at Verne Global I spend a lot of my time working with our colleagues and partners within the UK’s publicly funded universities and research and science community. I’m privileged to get to see some of the truly innovative and inspiring research that is taking place, using high performance computing (HPC) and further encouraged with how Verne Global is helping them do this. This is why I was delighted to see Verne Global’s participation in the G-Cloud 10 (G10) framework confirmed last week and indeed strengthened for 2018/19 – enabling more public sector bodies to enjoy the benefits of our on-demand true hpcDIRECT platform.

A common frustration I regularly come across is the public sector procurement cycle and the ‘hoops’ that need to be jumped through to get to the point when you can actually buy something. Against that background G10 will become an essential tool to making this task less onerous and providing the public sector with an efficient way to buy cloud-based products, services and compute at market leading prices, accelerating their cloud adoption and saving IT budgets.

The G-10 digital marketplace which forms the corner-stone and vendor ‘shop-front’ of G10 enables public sector IT buyers to search for private sector solution providers of cloud services, HPC, as-a-service solutions for example, and then compare and select the right solution provider for their project at the click of a button.

G10 is crucially important as the rate of compute and cloud demand is escalating across the UK academic and research communty. If we look at HPC as an example, the adoption and increasing use of high performance computing across the public sector has been quite remarkable over the last 2-3 years. It has become an integral part of the IT portfolio for the UK’s major university research hubs, and even smaller regional university campuses are establishing supercomputing capabilities. The vast majority of the UK’s bioinformatics research, genetic sequencing and scientific computational workloads are now funnelled through HPC and the advances we’re seeing are quite staggering.

European projects like CERN – the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, who operate the largest particle physics laboratory in the world, are well known, but most people in the UK are unfortunately completely oblivious to some of the wonderful scientific establishments based in the UK who are using HPC on a daily basis. Take for example Diamond Light Source - the UK's national synchrotron science facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. I often visit the facility and am left with nothing but admiration for the breakthrough research that is being conducted there by a team of extraordinary scientists and technicians.

Having established strong, on-premise HPC infrastructure across the last 5 years many institutions and universities are now hitting up against new pressures, largely being economic in terms of reducing science and research budgets during the era of austerity, scalability issues around maintaining and extending existing hardware (especially when trying to keep up with increasing demand for access to HPC processing time) and finding the sufficiently trained HPC technicians to operate these vast machines.

This is where Verne Global is ideally placed to help and in particular with our hpcDIRECT platform, which provides a fully flexible and scalable HPC service which perfectly complements existing in-house HPC. Put simply, we allow an institute or university’s computing department to effortless expand their compute capability, fully supported at all times by our team of HPC specialists, by either deploying a set amount of compute up to our bare metal hardware in Iceland on a monthly basis (reserved), or using our platform to burst into (on-demand) to cover peak computing workloads.

Breaking down the barriers to accessing HPC by making it easier to find and procure through G10 is the first step, which is all the more reason why I am not only pleased that Verne Global is once again part of the G10 framework, but it’s fantastic to see us strengthening our position within the marketplace, being the provider of the top 6 solutions (out of 64 results) under ‘HPC’, and also the top provider (out of 298 results) under ‘High Performance Computing’.

If you’re working with HPC or managing a compute cluster within a UK publicly funded body I welcome you to view our hpcDIRECT listings on G10 and contact us to schedule a free, no obligation trial of our platform. You can quickly spin-up some of your applications on our resources to test their compute performance and witness for yourself the benefits our HPC-optimised location and infrastructure can offer.

We’ll be shortly announcing the latest UK public sector research institution that has decided to opt for hpcDIRECT as their HPC-as-a-Service option and I hope they are the next of many.

Written by Spencer Lamb

See Spencer Lamb's blog

Spencer is Verne Global's Director of Research and head's up our high performance computing work with European research and scientific organisations. He is also a member of the European Technology Platform for High Performance Computing (ETP4HPC).

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