Feb. 1, 2016 by Nicole Hemsoth
When it comes to high performance cycling, one might not think of high performance computing immediately, even though the majority of the speed, aerodynamics, and design process is heavily dependent on modeling and simulation at scale.
One of the world’s leading manufacturers of such bicycles is Wisconsin-based Trek, whose engineers regularly perform a large number of computational fluid dynamics simulations to design more aerodynamic, faster bikes. In addition to CFD codes, the company is reliant on other off-the-shelf computer-aided design codes to help work toward new models. At the helm of much of this effort at Trek is Mio Suzuki, the company’s lead analysis engineer, who not only performs CFD analysis, but is also responsible for bringing a new way of thinking about executing such models on high performance computing resources.
Currently, Trek, under Suzuki’s guidance, is moving toward a solution using a unique approach to Docker containers, Univa middleware, and clusters provided by UberCloud, which was initially one of the consulting groups Suzuki worked with when choosing a cloud platform provider, but has since branched out to offer their own HPC on demand services that wrap modeling and simulation-specific needs on the backend with the various performance, licensing, usability and other features that can keep some companies off the public cloud.
With Univa Grid Engine Container Edition enterprise workload management and orchestration software at their core, UberCloud containers present a bundle of ready-to-rill software with core codes, including STAR-CCM+ and a wide range of other modeling and simulation codes for better code portability, repeatability (where users get one package that runs anywhere) and quick deployment. This lets Suzuki’s team alternate the infrastructure they are using between numerous providers, including Rescale, R Systems, the Ohio Supercomputer Center, and now UberCloud’s forthcoming infrastructure.
Suzuki says that the process of moving from the first on-site environment to the current model of using resources on demand and with software that is quickly portable and easy to deploy will speed Trek’s development times. It also lets her teams get back to analysis without having to become hardware experts on the side. The price and performance are more attractive for a mid-sized company like Trek, whose value lies in the ability to do design and engineering better than their competition, and tools that let them manage such workflows via containers aid in overall productivity.
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