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SimpleHPC: Bridging Technology and Science with the Power of HPC
High Performance Computing (HPC) is bringing a fresh wave of operational benefits to companies across industries. However, when it comes to some domains—including life sciences and radio astronomy—the adoption of HPC is being hampered by a lack of industry-specific talents with HPC expertise. "HPC customers are from different science domains, and it's difficult to find people who have knowledge in both computer science and life sciences," says Menglong Bill Chen, CEO of SimpleHPC.
As an HPC service provider, SimpleHPC wants to solve these challenges by being a "bridge" that connects technology and science and simplify HPC for customers. "We help design, build, and maintain HPC systems while letting customers focus more on their research," Chen adds.
With his experience working with different companies and building HPC systems for the past fifteen years, Chen identifies the core issues that make HPC a "complex landscape" for customers. The overwhelming presence of hardware and software, along with the evolving requirements in the life sciences and radio astronomy sectors are a few among them.
"We work closely with customers—not just to know what they want us to do, but also to understand what they are doing," says Chen. This approach helps SimpleHPC to customize solutions for customers, especially in the life sciences space. Along with setting up a powerful HPC system, the company provides program operation troubleshooting, GPU performance optimization as well as code porting and optimization. "The major performance issue in life sciences is from storage," says Chen.
We help design, build, and maintain HPC systems while letting customers focus more on their research
SimpleHPC resolves this issue by building a parallel file system and an archive file system, which can auto-compress FASTQ format data.
To assist the customers in the radio astronomy space, SimpleHPC offers VLBI software processing platform, a high-performance storage tool that enables each station to stream data in real-time. This is coupled with a data-publishing platform that is developed according to the users' requirement. "We also build a database to archive customer's data and a high-speed data recorder system that acts as the data source for HPC," adds Chen.
Apart from their product line, SimpleHPC offers a comprehensive suite of services, which makes them a one-stop-shop for all HPC requirements. One such service is program porting and parallelization that will help users improve computing speed and solve intensive problems. The company's performance benchmark service allows clients to analyze their existing HPC architecture and optimize it. Coupled with this, SimpleHPC offers standard and specialized HPC technical training to improve clients' technical expertise and help them maximize the benefits from investments. A cluster management platform that provides cost-effective maintenance of HPC clusters, system cloning, and system backup completes SimpleHPC's services portfolio.
SimpleHPC's prowess in the HPC arena has helped them gain customers from different domains. The company's recent engagement with Shanghai Jiaotong University (SJTU) Innovative Center is one such example. Rerouting SJTU's dependence on complex legacy HPC processes, SimpleHPC helped design, build, and maintain an HPC/ AI system that included 14 GPU compute nodes with 84 Nvidia GPU cards. Along with the state-of-the-art hardware solution, SimpleHPC provided training and maintenance services to SJTU. The university was able to utilize the full potential of their HPC system and subsequently, gain an edge in their operations.
Several such success stories have helped SimpleHPC earn multiple awards in the industry. The company was a proud recipient of Shanghai technology Innovation plan awards in the year 2017 and 2019, as well as 2019 Innovation and Entrepreneurship Construction Partner of SIC. Powered by such feats, SimpleHPC is setting their trajectory for the future. According to Chen, a major focus for the company will be on improving its cluster management platform and building a cloud-based HPC system. SimpleHPC also has plans to invest more resources on developing a useful, hands-on HPC training class for customers.