IBM HPC cloud

IBM has announced new high-performance computing (HPC) cloud offerings to help users tackle advanced scientific and technical computing workloads like analytics, simulations for product development, climate research and life sciences. Today, many organisations operate with separate pools of HPC systems. The HPC cloud offerings from IBM will allow individuals to link computing resources across their organisations into a single, high-performance, private cloud while providing system administrators the flexibility to set priorities based on business or technical needs.

In order for cloud computing to be cost efficient for scientific use, clouds must be optimised for scientific applications, according to a paper written by Lawrence Berkeley Lab as part of its Magellan Project. IBM is currently the only major vendor to offer a private cloud solution tuned for HPC users. By knitting disparate systems together into one centralised resource, users can gain easier access to more computing that can be used to support their most important business priorities.

For example, instead of segmenting computing resources by department, life sciences businesses can now pool systems from across the organisation and devote them as needed to their most pressing, intensive projects like drug discovery or the analysis of massive amounts of genomic data, without the need to seek outside resources.  

The HPC cloud offerings from IBM can enable clients to more easily manage and prioritise HPC assets on a global basis while maintaining operations and data securely behind their company’s firewall. This capability will allow organisations in industries like oil and gas or manufacturing that capture large volumes of unstructured data to pool and scale internal computing resources to respond to fluctuating amounts of data that need to be processed and analysed, for example.  

The HPC cloud offerings include:  

• IBM HPC Management Suite for Cloud: A new resource manager with tools to enable administrators to manage the cloud, schedule jobs and handle tasks like metering energy usage while allowing end users to view and access the full set of HPC resources available to them in the cloud;  

• HPC cloud implementation service from IBM: A new quick-start service to help install, configure and optimise a private or private-hosted cloud with system administrator training to help ensure ongoing success;

• IBM Intelligent Cluster solutions: An integrated, optimised HPC cluster solution with servers, storage and switches – all factory-integrated, tested and delivered ready to plug into the data centre.  

These new offerings complement the IBM SmartCloud – an enterprise-class, secure cloud platform specifically created to meet the demands of businesses – by extending the company’s experience and success with cloud computing projects to technical users. IBM will also offer industry-specific versions of the HPC cloud offerings starting with the IBM Engineering Solutions for Cloud, which is optimised for electronics companies, and automotive and aerospace manufacturers.

The new HPC cloud offerings and IBM Engineering Solutions for Cloud will be available in 3Q11.



For functionality and security for externalised research, software providers have turned to the cloud, writes Sophia Ktori


Robert Roe looks at the latest simulation techniques used in the design of industrial and commercial vehicles


Robert Roe investigates the growth in cloud technology which is being driven by scientific, engineering and HPC workflows through application specific hardware


Robert Roe learns that the NASA advanced supercomputing division (NAS) is optimising energy efficiency and water usage to maximise the facility’s potential to deliver computing services to its user community


Robert Roe investigates the use of technologies in HPC that could help shape the design of future supercomputers