The evolution of HPC and its critical role in future

Mar 7, 2024

The evolution of high-performance computing and its critical role in future
by HPC Cloud Sales Director, Iago Fernandez

High Performance Computing (HPC) is not a new concept within our industry or the world at large. It has, in fact, been around since as early as the 1940’s when the first supercomputer was built, bringing millions of processors together to form a powerful computing system. For decades, the supercomputer has been at the heart of technological innovation and the precursor to HPC as we know it today, which makes new inventions in data processing, analysis and storage possible – from the origins of electronic mail and music streaming to advances in weather forecasting and now ChatGPT.

Tech development

From the first commercially successful supercomputer system Cray 1
in 1978 to one of atNorth’s HPC data halls at our ICE02 data center in Iceland.

Limitless possibilities
HPC does just what its name suggests – drives high density compute to fuel our data-intensive world. HPC is capable of delivering at both a small, localized scale as well as its much larger potential to support global efforts such as climate change, healthcare and medical advancements. Using clusters of powerful processors with extremely high computational power, HPC systems can solve hugely complex and demanding problems at extremely high speeds. HPC systems can perform at speeds more than one million times faster than the desktop, laptop, or server system making them an integral component for the future of digitalization.

As today’s organizations are increasingly more ambitious in their use of data, real-time insights, machine learning and artificial intelligence, they are equally increasingly reliant on the next generation of compute needed today and going forward: HPC as a Service (HPCaaS) to deliver digital innovation with scale, flexibility, complexity, and efficiency. HPCaaS has become fundamental to the future of digitalization and vital to fostering economic growth and competitiveness across Europe and the global economy.

Breaking down barriers
In the past, there have been large barriers to entry for many looking to adopt HPC – particularly with regards to cost, skills, and resource, which put it out of reach for many businesses. Yet, as cloud technology, internet bandwidth and data center innovation have matured, so too has the growth of HPCaaS, allowing users to easily tap into powerful computing resources without the need to own or maintain the physical infrastructure. HPCaaS allows easier access for businesses of any shape and size to analyze and process the growing volume of data as well as provision computing resources to scale to meet the unique demands of their workloads and applications.

Solving real-world challenges
HPCaaS solutions have been incredibly innovative in addressing high density needs over the years. At atNorth, we’re working hard to deliver an HPCaaS approach that meets the specific requirements of their modern organization. Then, we go one step beyond this to help them future proof their most important digital assets through scale, flexibility and agility. We can do this because we have built an industry-unique full-stack HPCaaS solution to give our customers complete control and transparency, unlike that offered from any other solution on the market today.

At the backend of last year, atNorth acquired Gompute, to strengthen our HPCaaS offering in a way that enables us to meet our customers in a very different way to what has been possible thus far. The result is the atNorth Gompute HPCaaS platform, which has been built on market-leading advanced simulation technology to run sophisticated high-performance applications and workloads at near lightening speeds.

A layered approach to supporting customers

Our platform is unique in its ability to layer infrastructure and software as a service to create a full-stack, scalable solution – from the data center to hardware and software. One of the clear advantages of our platform is that it is ready to use immediately and with extreme ease. This helps engineers, researchers, and teams to focus on their day-to-day responsibilities without having to worry about the HPC set-up or infrastructure management needed. Our platform approach also provides bespoke services so that our customers can deploy the exact solution to fit their business needs today, tomorrow, and in two years’ time.

From our plug and play Platform as a Service solution to high-density colocation services, our data centers are designed to allow our customers to scale any workload as needed. By taking advantage of HPCaaS, the Gompute platform gives the best performance based on bare metal hardware. We combine this with our CAE application expertise to make sure we can offer our customers the best, high quality support for all of their needs in a sustainable and cost-efficient manner.​

The future is reliant on harnessing the capabilities of HPC
High-performance computing is a transformative force poised to redefine the landscape of computation and pave the way for ground-breaking advancements that will shape future generations to come. With its unparalleled computational power, HPC enables scientists, engineers, researchers, innovators and beyond to tackle complex problems, run simulations, and extract data insights that were once beyond reach. 

As our global society continues to push the boundaries of technological innovation and digitalization, innovation in high performance compute will be critical to fuelling the future successes of business, scientific discovery, climate stability, the economy and society as a whole. 

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