High-performance computing infrastructure is very complex, and choosing the right combination of components can be a challenge. IT teams must consider how these systems will scale over time. Will they be able to upgrade the system incrementally, or will it need a complete overhaul to stay current? Additionally, IT teams should consider how new hardware will integrate with the current infrastructure that isn’t being replaced. This will impact interoperability, migration, and overall system performance. The challenge with upgrading HPC infrastructures is that they usually require long procurement cycles, high upfront investments, and regular technology refreshes. Let’s see how keeping components in balance and leveraging the cloud can help solve these challenges.
HPC Components Need to Be Balanced With Each OtherCost is a major constraint of building high-performance computing solutions. Thankfully, the highest performance, highest cost components aren’t always the right option for your business. Yes, you’re trying to maximize performance, but hardware must also be optimized to work together efficiently to receive the most value from your investment. For example, imagine your team installs the fastest processors they can find but keep legacy hard drives in an effort to cut costs. Despite fast processing speeds, your system won’t be able to write to the system fast enough to get the most out of the processors. The hard drives will now be a bottleneck that hampers performance and limits the ROI of your hardware investment. Instead, teams should purchase networking tools and hard drives that can match the performance of their processors. However, if that exceeds their budget, it may be better to choose lower-cost processors to free up capital for storage and networking tools whose capacity matches the processors. This is because when computing components are not in balance, computing capacity, and by extension, your investment, will be wasted. Another consideration when upgrading your HPC solutions is compatibility.
Consider system compatibilityCompatibility is important when building HPC solutions because it’s unlikely that your business will upgrade all of its computing hardware at the same time. You’re more likely to employ a phased approach to upgrading. This means that new infrastructure must work well with existing components. Your team should consider the following:
- Is your hardware locked into a closed software ecosystem? If so, will your new hardware integrate with your software ecosystem?
- Will current systems be capable of communicating with the new systems? Will they be limited?
- What are your team’s goals for future infrastructure? Are you trying to leverage open source technologies?