ESI installs HPC data centre to support virtual prototyping

Cloud computingManufacturing service provider ESI Group has announced that a new high performance computing (HPC) system is powering its cloud-based virtual prototyping service to a range of industries across Europe.

The new European HPC-driven data centre is based on the Teratec Campus in Paris, close to Europe’s biggest HPC centre, the Très Grand Centre de Calcul, the data centre of The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). The location was chosen in order to make collaborative HPC projects possible, according to ESI. The 13,000 square metre CEA campus has a supercomputer with a peak performance of 200 Teraflops and a CURIE supercomputer capable of running a 2 Petaflops per second.

ESI’s virtual prototyping, a product development process run on computer-aided design (CAD), computer-automated design (CAutoD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) software in order to validate designs, is increasingly run on the cloud, it reports. Before manufacturers commit to making a physical prototype they create a 3D computer-generated model and simulate different test environments.

The launch of the new HPC data centre gives ESI a cloud computing point of delivery (PoD) to serve all 40 of ESI’s offices across Europe and the world. The HPC cloud PoD will also act as a platform for ESI’s new software development and engineering services.

The HPC facility was built by data centre specialist Legrande. The new HPC is needed to meet the change in workloads driven by virtualization and cloud computing with the annual growth in data is expected to rise from 50% in 2010 to reach 4400% in 2020, according to Pascal Perrin, Datacenter Business Development Manager at Legrand.

Legrand subsidiary Minkels supplied and installed the supporting data centre hardware, including housing, UPS, cooling, monitoring and power distribution systems. The main challenge with supporting a super computer that can ramp up CPU activity by the petaflop and with petabytes of data moving in and out of memory is securing the supporting resources, said Perrin. “Our solutions ensure the electrical and digital supply of the data centre at all times,” he said.