VP Sales & Marketing,
Increasing competition, evolving customer needs, demand to reduce time-to-market for new product launches, are some of the factors driving growth for HPC solutions in the enterprise both in India and across the world. In an exclusive interview with CXOtoday.com,Sandeep Lodha, VP Sales & Marketing, Tyrone Systems explains why the HPC market is set for substantial growth in the coming months.
What are the some of the major drivers for growth in HPC market?
Increasing competition, evolving customer needs, demand to cut time-to-market for new product launches, need to cut costs in pre-development are only some of the factors driving growth for HPC solutions in India and around the world. Anything and everything that can be simulated or processed using high I/O computations is today done using HPC. For instance, an automobile manufacturer uses HPC to simulate a crash test of its latest car. A pharma company uses HPC to understand how the proteins in the new drug designed by them will react to various molecular connections and chemical reactions within the human body. A skincare product company uses HPC to predict how a particular dermatology formulation will react when applied to a skin model also developed using HPC. A diaper company is using HPC to test effectiveness of a newly designed product all without ever reached the production line.
And of course there are the high tech industries like aerospace, aviation, weather forecasting, oceanography, defense, automobiles that have long been using HPC in their product development and research labs. Naturally we see a huge upswing for HPC solutions in India and believe it will be widely used for all kinds of product design, simulation and modeling.
HPC is often seen as a niche market. How can it go more mainstream in the enterprise?
We believe HPC is already mainstream. But yes more can be done. The examples I gave earlier definitely demonstrate that HPC is already being heavily used in the both public and private sector enterprises for pre-development product research, behavioral simulation, modeling and big data analytics. And evolving imagination it could be applied to ever more areas in public and social life and industry.
To help transition this to a mainstream industry, we need a larger pool of trained HPC talent in this country. And we need to promote communities that can nurture and share available knowledge amongst technology developer & users. We could start small by including HPC as a subject into engineering curriculums and provide students and end user communities with access to affordable HPC infrastructure and provide hands on experience right from college. Big data solution, a rapidly growing market, uses HPC to make sense of mountains of structured and unstructured data to deliver strong value to its customers. An example where such convergence is visible would be in the oil and gas industry. Since our childhood we have heard stories of how our oil will not last more than a twenty years. Fact is we have so far only explored under 40% of our known reserves and there is still a lot to be explored. With HPC being extensively deployed for reservoir simulation, there is noticeable improvement in oil/gas reserve finds.
We are 100% sure, HPC and related services will drive the next wave of economic growth for India just like software development/outsourcing boom transformed our way of life in late ‘90s and in the early 21st century.
In the world of big data, how can data analytics benefit from technology that comes from super computing?
Supercomputers are specialized devices built to perform extremely difficult calculations extremely quickly. They routinely capture, process and deliver complex results. And they can be used to play chess, render high-quality computer graphics or accurately simulate weather systems.
Supercomputing technologies are not being used in mainstream business environments especially for big data analytics. And its not just about having an ability to foresee disasters but more about delivering early forecasts that can create business opportunities instead.
For example, a weather forecasting agency would use HPC to know when a blizzard is going to hit and warn citizens in advance. But a business enterprise, on the other hand, would use the same data to warn retailers in the path of the blizzard on how to adjust their retail inventory management and profit from it.
Companies like Intel are helping evolving HPC evolve from a technology reserved for an elite few to an essential and broadly available tool for discovery. Data intensive applications including weather forecasting and seismic analysis have been part of the HPC industry from its earliest days, and the performance of today’s systems and parallel software tools are making it possible to create larger and more complex simulations for business as well.
How can cloud computing play a role in bringing HPC to the larger business community?
Acquiring HPC is no easy job, on many counts. For starters, you will need a very high end hardware and that could be expensive. Next you might need specialized applications each with its own unique computing needs. Then you would need trained expertise to maintain this infrastructure. Lastly you will need to realize ROI on your investment within its lifecycle. And we all know that computing lifecycles are maximum 5 years.
HPC on Cloud – an acronym for HPC environments that are accessible via the cloud – offer a definite advantage to businesses. For example, a movie production house that once in a while needs to animate a particular scene now need not invest in HPC hardware of pay administrators huge amounts of money to manage it. Instead it can access a state of art HPC environment on demand and pay by use. The same is the case for research organizations. By accessing latest hardware on demand they can stay focused on their core capabilities.
HPC environments require specialized hardware, latest interconnect technologies, application platforms and highly trained manpower who can juice out the maximum performance and deliver extra processing power wherever required. Sometimes hand holding maybe required to provide the on-premises assistance to the customer. And all these critical factors need to be taken into consideration while considering HPC on a cloud. Having said that HPC on cloud is going to be definitely helpful to customer and even to large companies in pharmaceutical, automobile, research, oil and gas industry as sometimes even they don’t have much work and don’t want to invest on such huge capital expenditure.
How is Tyrone contributing in field at present and in next 1-3 years?
Today, HPC is in center of lot of activities of Tyrone. We have a dedicated HPC team tasked to deliver newer offerings, validation of existing solutions, and working on avenues where our customers can benefit. As a leading providers of HPC solutions in India Tyrone was instrumental recently in development of Param, India’s fastest parallel super computer with the lowest energy footprint in the industry today. We have also introduced our very own HPC-on-cloud offering wherein we provide a lot of computing power on demand to customers, mostly those outside the government and needing HPC platforms to differentiate their offerings in the marketplace. We are also developing our own HPC application management suite for effective management of HPC job queues as well as various parameters of application performance, component trouble shooting, reconfiguration and restoration on the fly.
We are investing a lot of money into HPC and I believe our customer see the benefits of that investment every day already. And that is perhaps why most of our business comes from referral or existing customers. To give back something to the industry that has helped us grow so much, we are also in the process of setting up “HPC foundation” to promote knowledge share amongst and bring all stakeholders of the HPC story – users, researchers, students and vendor companies – under one umbrella.