Smaller businesses now have access to High Performance Computing, thanks to the Cloud
We seem to be moving forward into a new age. Access to what should be considered “upper-level technology” is becoming possible for virtually any size business. In the past, being able to leverage something like high performance computing (HPC) meant that an organization was going to have to invest fairly large sums of capital into building their own system. Those days are gone. Thanks to the cloud, performing more extensive and involved computing operations is not only possible, these resources can often be tapped without the need for significant investment.
So, just what is high performance computing and what are some of its potential uses, you ask? For a long time, HPC has been something that was reserved for very large companies or institutions that can afford to purchase supercomputers. Research groups who routinely analyze large volumes of data and large corporations that need to process a great number of sales (perhaps online orders and storage of customer data) are among those that have use for high performance computing. But who’s to say that only the “big boys” should get to have all the fun, eh? Though smaller businesses might not generally need to store and analyze genomic data for complex bio-genetic research, there are still many ways in which they might use HPC.
Improving upon known systems and processes is something that is always going to be in high demand, but we seem to be witnessing a form of exponential growth as far as cloud computing is concerned. We simply don’t know how these hundreds of smaller businesses which are emerging to take advantage of HPC are going to use the technology. However, one thing is certain, smaller businesses tend to focus more intently upon individual details, technologies and products, often improving them in ways that larger organizations never even consider. When you consider the fevered pace with which modern tech is growing, it’s obvious that there will likely be an increased demand for high performance computing emerging (anyway).
Going back to research groups using cloud computing to help with analysis of large data sets, what if we see more scientists (and smaller research groups) breaking off and going rogue? One of the things that have always prevented scientific researchers from implementing ideas themselves has been restrictions in terms of access to expensive tools. Cloud Computing’s high performance capabilities offer fairly inexpensive access to research assets that your average scientist can now take advantage of. In short, yet another control mechanism has been broken thanks to cloud computing. Instead of scientists being entirely at the mercy of large corporations (who might seek to use their research for purposes that run contrary to their direction or values), they now have more options and might even find a better home with a smaller organization.
The end result (of more users of high performance computing going independent) is likely to spur miniature technological revolutions of sorts. Already we’ve seen smaller businesses impact the cloud market in very big ways, with most of them quickly becoming major companies within a couple years. What is the reason that these types of organizations are making waves? Well, most of them start off with a unique idea or approach to some aspect of the delivery or improvement of cloud computing (or some type of corresponding service). The point is, you don’t have to be a major corporation to develop and/or bring cutting edge concepts to the market thanks to cloud computing’s more affordable approach to HPC.
Now is the time for scientists and professionals to more forward and explore more independent ventures. Certainly there are some things which are only made possible through the direct effort of larger corporations (no one in their right mind would deny their overall usefulness to society), but they’re often too isolated. In other words, the bigger an organization is, the more detached it generally is from the viewpoints and insight possessed by those at the “ground level”.
When you consider that most cloud computing technologies and services are now moving to target individual consumers / users, it only makes sense that more developmental ideas should also flow from more commonly held perspectives. Ideas or concepts like Facebook and Youtube for example (both of which make use of cloud tech), were started by small groups of individuals that were not connected to multi-national corporations. Both of these companies eventually grew into the powerhouses that they are today and are now an integral part of the global fabric. The bottom line is, there are still plenty of opportunities out there for smaller businesses and groups to innovate on a large scale, and HPC is one of the best tools available to help you achieve such goals.
Seeking stability while you upgrade your cloud capabilities?
Most businesses that are connected to the tech world (in any way) are moving to implement cloud computing infrastructure. This is largely because of the economic benefits and increased capabilities which they hope to leverage. However, the upgrade plans of competitors also might play a role in one’s move to implement the cloud. Where there is pressure there is also increased drive, which can lead to a rushed cloud adoption / transition. In order to counteract any instabilities one might face as they switch over to the cloud it is advised that an organization explore more advanced cloud training and certification programs for its tech and IT personnel. It’s not simply about keeping adoption stable; it’s also about averting risk and capitalizing on opportunities as they emerge. For businesses that are new to the cloud, IaaS specialist certifications and conventional cloud certification packages should be among the top areas of focus.