Transcript: Introduction to HPC Wales

Transcript: Introduction to HPC Wales

Computing was once only used by specialist companies; today almost everyone uses it. Now, high performance computing, or ‘supercomputing’, is moving the same way. High Performance Computing Wales provides businesses and researchers with access to this innovative technology, along with the technical support and training to exploit it effectively.

Supercomputing can speed up computationally heavy tasks, help you accelerate processing, rendering, modelling and simulation, and achieve more accurate results - saving you time and money and enabling you to take on more ambitious projects.

HPC Wales provides access to a pan-Wales distributed network of supercomputers and support staff. Our systems are connected by a secure private network, which means you can access any of our systems from anywhere in the world, directly from your laptop or desktop computer. You simply upload your data via our secure web portal……and download your files when they’re ready.

You don’t need to be an expert in computing or know anything about supercomputing; our team is there to walk you through the whole process, making it easier for businesses and researchers to access supercomputing than ever before.  What’s more, as HPC Wales is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (through the Welsh Government), if you live or work in what’s known as the Convergence area in Wales, our services are fully funded.

Laura Redfern, Training & Outreach Mentor, HPC Wales

“Some businesses can benefit from high performance computing more quickly than others. So some companies we’re working with, for example, Knowtra, know that they have a requirement, but there are many other businesses that don’t know they have a requirement and for me that’s the exciting part; talking to businesses who don’t know what high performance computing is and helping them to get to grips with this new technology.

“So HPC Wales can offer to businesses time, consultancy, we can offer Business Diagnostics to help businesses explore how they might use this new technology, and of course we can offer them time on the system.”

Ade Fewings, HPC Systems Engineer, HPC Wales

“The most fulfilling part of the role is definitely seeing the benefits that can be brought to an end user and really the revolutionary change it can give to a business’ processes and the services they can offer, and really when that hits home it’s very fulfilling for me.

“HPC Wales offers a full service from beginning to end, including access to systems, training surrounding the disciplines required, software access, and really making the most of it in the end to benefit the businesses we serve.”

So how does it work? Understanding how you could benefit from supercomputing is the first step. A member of our experienced team will come and meet with you to discuss your work, talk through the computational challenges you face, and identify where we could help.

Where appropriate, we can provide you or your colleagues with relevant training. We may also be able to introduce you to researchers or businesses that you’d like to collaborate with.

Then we’ll get you set up on our system so you can start accessing the technology. If you’re new to supercomputing, you can access the network through our user-friendly web portal – if you’re more experienced, you can use secure shell.

We can help set up your applications and workflows, provide you with access to market leading software and assistance to optimise your codes and algorithms. Our team provides support every step of the way to ensure your project runs smoothly and delivers the results you need.

In some circumstances, we can also help with funding contributions, advanced training and graduate placements.

We have helped a number of businesses and researchers to realise the benefits of supercomputing and harness its power.

Dr Ben Evans, CFD/Aero Engineer, Bloodhound Programme Ltd. Lecturer, College of Engineering, Swansea University.

“HPC Wales has been invaluable to us.  The support that I’ve received working with HPC Wales has been fantastic.  Whenever I have had a problem or I’ve had a question there have always been people right there who have been able to respond almost immediately and sort out the little problems you inevitably have working on something like this. The HPC Wales system is incredibly user friendly; considering how sophisticated the technology is that I now have access to, actually getting started, running on the machine, going from taking my software, data, transferring it to the machine and starting running simulations was a very easy process.”

Dr Graham Foster, Technical Director, Calon Cardio-Technology Ltd.

“We’re developing a novel heart assist pump for treating people with advanced heart failure.  HPC Wales has allowed us to optimise the design of the pump and reduce the damage to the blood caused by the pump, and we’ve already gone through two design iterations using computational simulations.  HPC Wales has invested in the software needed to simulate a device like this and also provided the high performance computing hardware.  HPC Wales has allowed us to access high performance computing without actually having to have high performance computing experts employed by our company, so it’s made the whole process seamless and easy.” 

Dr Simon Neill, Research Lecturer, School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University

“With Xodus Group, we’re looking at how large arrays of tidal energy devices could impact on the environment.  High performance computing has made us rethink what is actually possible.  Up until now we had just been running model simulations of maybe a few months.  Now, with high performance computing and HPC Wales’ project, we’ve been able to simulate a decade or longer.  Now with HPC Wales there’s a lot of support for setting up these models and I can focus my attentions on analysing the model outputs and getting on with the scientific work.”

Dr Steve Spall, Xodus Group Ltd.

“High performance computing is making a difference to the work that Xodus is doing in that it allows more options and perhaps different projects to be taken on, limitations of computing become less of an issue; it just generally removes the bottleneck of perhaps not knowing whether you’ve got enough computing on a given project.”

Supercomputing is becoming more accessible and important to innovation and growth than ever before - How could HPC Wales help you access this exciting resource?


If you would like to know more or discuss a project idea, get in touch.

Get in touch