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The Impact of High Performance Computing (HPC)

Telecommunications Software Solutions

High Performance Computing

Today’s modern world is data-driven, especially where business is concerned. Many businesses are turning to insights, deep learning, and data to make informed decisions, analyse risk, and identify opportunities for improvement or to create new revenue streams. But what makes this possible? The answer lies in High Performance Computing technology which allows for efficient and fast processing, storing, and analysing of massive amounts of business-related data. We examine this and the impact that this technology is set to have on Telcos below. 

What is High Performance Computing, and what value does it add? 

High Performance Computing is a technology that uses parallel processing to process data and perform complicated calculations efficiently and reliably at high speeds. This solution provides the computing power and performance needed for running advanced applications and solving complex problems. HPC is made possible through the convergence of different technologies under one system, such as computer architecture, algorithms, system software, programs, and electronics. This technology was initially a use case for scientific research by academic institutions to assist with processing, storing, and reporting on large amounts of data. 

With the evolution of Machine Learning (ML) and the Internet of Things (IoT), this technology has been adapted and is being used by different enterprises across several industries. High Performance Computing assists in processing larger amounts of data, running analytics, and other applications. In many ways, HPC provides the framework and performs the background work that allows Artificial Intelligence (AI) to make sense of all data available and present it in a way that is easy to understand and utilise.  

The real value of this technology lies in the speed at which data can be processed and the amount of data that can be processed at one time. This is a valuable business tool, especially when considering the amount of big data that many enterprises are navigating through and working with. The knock-on effect is that businesses can now access this vital information in real-time through data analytics and gain insight into everything from demographics. to service and product use, costs, expenses, etc. This ultimately helps businesses identify areas for improvement or opportunities to enhance business performance and profitability.

High Performance Computing

How does High Performance Computing work? 

High Performance Computing consists of three main components, including compute, network, and storage. The HPC architecture consists of multiple computer servers that are networked together to form HPC clusters. Each cluster consists of hundreds or thousands of computer servers called nodes, the architecture of these nodes includes an HPC processor. 

These nodes work parallel with each other to boost processing speeds and deliver high performance. Algorithms and software programs are also run on servers in the cluster. The cluster is then networked to data storage to get the results. Each of these components operates together to perform several different tasks. See illustration below:

High Performance Computing

High performance computing and the cloud 

Traditionally High Performance Computing technology was only accessible to large organisations, universities and government institutions. This was primarily due to the fact that these institutions could afford the procurement and maintenance of the expensive on-premises supercomputers (high performance computers) required for the High Performance Computing infrastructure and processing. Cloud computing is changing this.

Cloud computing provides the infrastructure required for the parallel processing that is needed for High Performance Computing to work. With HPC as a cloud service, small and medium businesses across a wide range of industries are able to access and utilise this innovative technology. Cloud based HPC services offer more accessibility, versatility and flexibility without the cost of having to maintain expensive on-premises infrastructure. This offering also reduces the long wait times associated with renting on-premises supercomputer capabilities thereby enhancing profitability and performance. We examine more of the benefits associated with this innovative technology below. 

Key Benefits of High Performance Computing 

With High Performance Computing becoming more accessible through the cloud, there are several expected benefits that businesses can take advantage of. These include: 

  • Quicker results – by moving your HPC workloads to a cloud-based application you gain access to the infrastructure capacity you need to run your HPC applications instantly. This allows you to get faster results, create data centres and enhance the implementation of Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications. 
  • Cost savings – the development of cloud HPC has meant that businesses do not need to invest in expensive infrastructure. In this case, HPC is usually rented via public clouds by Cloud Service Providers which is a more cost-effective solution for smaller businesses. 
  • Enhanced scalability – cloud HPC offers elasticity and scalability, allowing you to scale resources up or down depending on your specific needs. 

Ensures reliabilityHPC systems are known to be fault-tolerant meaning that if one part of the system fails, the rest of the system can carry on with the processes required, making it more reliable. This is essential when considering the heavy workloads being computed at any given time.

Big data and analytics

The impact of High Performance Computing on Telcos

According to research, the global HPC market is expected to grow from USD 32.11 billion in 2017 to USD 44.98 billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 7.0% during the forecast period, and with so many business benefits it is clear to see why. In a recent report, it was also estimated that 45% of revenue will be directly attributed to the cloud-based business model via HPC services. But what does this all mean for Telcos? Simply put, HPC provides an opportunity for Telcos to expand on its service offerings and add more value to customers, especially where the Internet of Things is concerned. 

Telcos can use HPC technology to gain critical business insights and understand patterns as it facilitates faster access to big data and analytics. This allows for the identification of opportunities for new revenue streams, trends, issues, and advanced problems relating to products and service offerings. Through the superior analytics that this technology provides, Telcos are also able to identify opportunities and ways to enhance customer experience, relating to customers’ wants and needs. Each of these elements impacts the performance and profitability of the business. 

Conclusion 

With data and analytics becoming such an essential business tool, the growth in the use of High Performance Computing is expected to soar in coming years. This is primarily due to the increased accessibility of HPC solutions, made possible by cloud-based applications. This technology provides Telcos with the insight needed to enhance their product offerings, identify opportunities for new revenue, and improve customer experience. We expect to see HPC continue to impact the industry as a whole and make an even more significant impact in relation to 5G and the opportunities that lie in that segment. 

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