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April 4, 2024

Powering Startup Innovation in The Cloud: An Interview of Dr. John Baker

Cloud technology has been a game-changer, disrupting traditional methods of running computational and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads. Similarly, startups are often the disruptors in their markets, seeking to push boundaries and innovate. This synergy between cloud and startups is where the real magic happens.

Startups and Ansys Gateway powered by AWS make a perfect match because they both thrive on pushing boundaries and disrupting industries. With a shared goal of innovation, startups find the power they need to disrupt through the robust capabilities on the AWS platform from Ansys Gateway powered by AWS.

With Ansys Gateway powered by AWS, every engineer in a startup company essentially has access to their own supercomputer, enabling them to run as much computation as they need — which is often necessary in disrupting the markets they're in and outperforming competitors.

We asked Dr. John Baker, a cloud business development manager at Ansys, about the relationship between startups and cloud technology. He has 10 years of HPC infrastructure and application workflow experience and spent six years working in the motorsport sector in many IT roles. He assists analysts in breaking down the hardware barrier and utilizing the benefits of the cloud. 

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Dr. John Baker, a cloud business development manager at Ansys

Question: How does Ansys Gateway powered by AWS benefit startups in terms of computational resources and scalability?

John Baker: Ansys Gateway powered by AWS can provide startups with the competitive advantage they need to run bigger, better, faster simulations to achieve their product design goals, and all of this comes with an easy-to-use platform.

We make running in the cloud straightforward, with minimal IT expertise needed. With many startups, there’s often only a small team of specialists in the physics they're using, whether that’s computational fluid dynamics (CFD) or finite element analysis (FEA). The specialists know that aspect of the problem, but the dedicated IT personnel may not be there. So, with Ansys Gateway powered by AWS, we make it easy to be able to get access to cloud resources to run Ansys applications at scale.

Ansys Gateway workflow

Startups can benefit from the AWS startup program AWS Activate, which helps companies gain access to cloud credits, technical support, and personalized guidance.

Q: How can startups leverage Ansys Gateway powered by AWS to accelerate their product development in time to market?

JB: The reasons why cloud was the disruptor in the HPC market were because of the ability to scale and rapidly reduce time to solution. Traditionally with on-premises equipment, if you run 10 simulations that take an hour each, you must run them serially — one after another — so your 10 simulations take 10 hours. Then cloud came along and made it possible to run those 10 simulations all at once. The product design timelines drop from 10 hours to one hour while using the same amount of hardware.

Startup companies can take advantage of the ability to scale up, scale out, and deliver better products by being able to explore more of the design space, creating more detailed models and getting a better product at the end of it.

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With Ansys Gateway powered by AWS, an engineer can essentially have access to their own supercomputer.

Q: What specific features of Ansys Gateway powered by AWS make it well-suited for startup environments and workflows?

JB: A lot of the challenges involved with getting into the cloud are resolved by Ansys Gateway powered by AWS. A lot of companies know Ansys Fluent fluid simulation software or Ansys Mechanical structural engineering software better than anybody; they can run any simulations they want. They know all the ins and outs. But in terms of configuring that software to run in an optimized way on an HPC computer or an HPC cluster, they may not have that experience. We make it easy to pull in optimized, stable versions of Ansys applications to work well and fast. That overhead of configuring and deploying the software stack is completely taken away.

There are three powerful features of the cloud for engineering workflows: capacity, capability, and collaboration. The collaboration tools we have inside Ansys Gateway powered by AWS enable teams to work efficiently and productively together, whether that's by using a central file system so that they are all working on the same data source or from using effective budget controls. 

Q: Can you tell us how startups are leveraging AWS Activate and the Ansys Startup Program with Ansys Fluent in Ansys Gateway powered by AWS?

JB: The benefit for your startups is that you can scale out when you need to, especially if your simulations are not small. If you require a lot of time to solve, you can leverage Ansys Gateway powered by AWS to be able to scale out when you need. The combination of the AWS startup program AWS Activate with the Ansys Startup Program is invaluable in being able to run all the physics you need to accelerate and enhance your workflows and explore the potential that the cloud can give you to improve your product design. This is what we have observed with customers like ACWA Robotics, which is explained in the video below.

Interested in learning more? Contact us now for a demo of Ansys Gateway powered by AWS.

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