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May 31, 2022

8 Best Practices for Cloud-Based Simulation

Cloud-based applications and computing resources are playing a greater role in engineering simulation workflows. The need to analyze large and increasingly complex models, coupled with the expansion of simulation across the entire design workflow, has highlighted the need for high-performance computing (HPC) resources, along with flexible and responsive simulation tools. Engineering organizations are performing simulation more frequently, demanding faster results and extending the use of simulation tools to non-specialists.

The use of cloud-based simulation tools and HPC infrastructure are an appealing, often critical and necessary, option to enable the simulation scalability required for modern engineering workflows.

best practices

But simulation in the cloud presents new challenges and questions related to software licensing, security, user access, HPC workload management, and business process. We have published a new white paper, Cloud Computing Best Practices for Engineering Simulation, that describes eight key best practices related to cloud adoption for simulation.

Flexible Simulation Power

The benefits of cloud-based simulation are well documented. For large engineering simulations, cloud solutions can provide faster run times with a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than tapping into on-premises resources. A well-designed cloud solution provides the flexibility to match computing resources to simulation needs without requiring engineers to limit model size or complexity. Multiphysics simulations can be run quickly and thoroughly, while maximizing engineer productivity and providing better results.

How companies can make the best of cloud-based simulation will vary based on their application needs and processes. The white paper lists several important implementation tips that can help engineering firms tap into the cloud successfully. Below is a sneak peek at some of the best practices the white paper covers.

Steps to Better Cloud Computing

  • Don’t Move the Data (More Than You Have To)
    Simulation processes create massive amounts of data that can take days to download. While some data movement is necessary, the cloud should be leveraged as both a storage and computing solution.
  • Secure Network Communications and Data Storage
    Data and intellectual property (IP) security are always a top concern for companies when it comes to launching an external cloud initiative. The white paper explains the basics of securing data in motion and at rest, and which security responsibilities fall on the cloud provider, the software vendor, and the customer.
  • Reuse On-premises Licenses (or Not)
    License management is another top concern for end users. Optimally, simulation users should use existing on-premises licenses in the cloud to streamline their migration processes. The paper also explains other cloud-based licensing options as well.
  • Consider a Mix of Business Models
    Most engineering organizations will use a mix of on-premises and cloud-based computing and application resources. They should evaluate their workloads to determine whether it is more cost-effective to use a traditional lease versus a pay-as-you-go model, along with the right mix of on-premises and cloud-based hardware.
steps to cloud

For more detail on the steps to take to achieve cloud computing best practices, download the free white paper Cloud Computing Best Practices for Engineering Simulation.

  • Match Your Cloud to Your HPC Workload
    Cloud-based computing needs vary depending on whether an organization needs to simulate very large models, large numbers of simultaneous simulation jobs, and if the applications will benefit from the graphics processing unit (GPU) acceleration. Ansys is working on benchmarking standards to help customers ensure they correctly match the technology to their applications.
  • Start Small, Grow Organically … but Think Big
    Many companies would benefit from identifying projects or workflows that can quickly benefit from migrating to the cloud and then building on that success to expand cloud-based simulation. Executive buy-in and IT department involvement are critical for success.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every company's cloud-based simulation journey will be different. Ansys is extending the reach of its technology portfolio into the cloud, offering flexible simulation solutions and deployment models for companies at every stage of cloud adoption. 

To learn more, read the free white paper Cloud Computing Best Practices for Engineering Simulation.

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