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Applications -2

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A Personal Supercomputer can be your next step in advanced computing if you do:

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics Simulations (CFD),
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA),
  • Computet Aided Design (CAD),
  • Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM),
  • Computer Generated Image (CGI) processing, rendering,
  • Video Editing,
  • Code/Software Development,
  • and many more.

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CAD, Simulation: Fluid Dynamics Simulations at Flow Computing Technologies

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One of the codes we use for our simulations has a Pre/Post-processor software tool which runs on Windows only. Using its handy Graphical User Interface (GUI) we can apply boundary conditions, mesh parameters and solver settings. After all is set we run mesh calculations on this Windows node as well.

We use the 3 computing nodes with SuSe Linux to run Solver and save results. We can monitor the whole process either on the Master node or on any computer connected to the local network by accessing computing nodes through VNC. When they are done we collect results and post-process them on the Windows node. A DEXTER Personal Cluster is at the desk of all our simulation engineers. They have the computing power of four simulation workstations without the extra floor space these would normally need.

Dr. Robert Dul, MSc PhD, general manager

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Video Editing, CGI, Rendering

It often happens that one software tools is just not good enough for everything. It also often happens that the best software tools for each part of the job need different computer environment. Meaning that one sofware runs on Windows, the other runs on a different OS.

When CGI artists have DEXTER personal clusters, they have four workstations built into a computer case. They can choose to have Windows on two of the workstations with all necessary software tools performing best on Windows. And they can have an other OS on the other two so that all the best performing programs can utilize the resources of separate  graphics optimised workstations. Since all four workstations are connected by a high speed network, files can be quickly moved between them. All four workstations can have their full-size graphics cards, loads of RAM and hard drives. And the whole personal cluster fits beside a regular office desk.

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Software Development: coding at the university

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Common situation when a Department has its rack supercomputer but its computing capacity is almost fully taken by students. It is so because their thesis projects have the priority. Lecturers would like to run their own simulation projects or develop their own computer codes and want to test them in a multi-node computing environment.

Codes, user defined functions or any complex simulations are famous for not running perfectly right at the first time. When a lecturer has the window of opportunity to run the newly written code on the rack supercomputer, well, most probably it will not be perfect. So they have to work more on it and wait again for the next opportunity to run a new test on the rack supercomputer.

This kind of waiting is over when using a personal cluster.

DEXTER personal clusters have four nodes ready to be used as a multi-node test environment to run a code. DEXTER nodes can either work together as a cluster or as four individual workstations if they run different operating systems. This way staff can run their codes in personal cluster mode (all OS are the same) or on all those different ones without the need for a new installation.

When the code is ready, it is time to use use the 1000 or more cores of the rack supercomputer again.

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