“I’m hoping for Constellation ……..”  |  Image courtesy of: Discover Magazine

Supercomputing Gift Vouchers for Christmas?

Well this may seem like a ridiculous notion, ‘Supercomputing gift vouchers for Christmas’ – but maybe the option to put that on your list isn’t so far, far away after all!

Back in the hazy mists of research time, Dr Nicolas Tonello experienced the repeating pain and frustration of an engineer continually challenged to access on-tap supercomputing power to run large projects. He realised that it should be possible to connect the world to HPC Centres, allowing science, engineering and discovery compute power to be accessible for all, without the need for lengthy application forms, budget sign-off and the heavy lifting of getting ‘loaded-up’ onto a system that then queues your workflow.  Working with a number of clients who were hitting the wall of hardware drought, Nicolas engaged with major players in the world of HPC and some years down the line, the Constellation solution had arrived.

Constellation provides a unique gateway for HPC Centres (as many as you like) to engage with users (again, as many as want to) wherever they are and allow them easy access and to run their own projects, on-premises – no cloud involved.  Fully transparent reporting for usage and budget purposes means there is a unique flexibility, which is much in demand with explorers of the scientific and engineering ilk.

This got me to thinking what having access like this may have meant for our pioneering discovery community – for example, Professor Stephen Hawking had access to the awesome power of the world class COSMOS in-house supercomputer (Superdome Flex) – but what more could he and his team have achieved and shared with the world, with access to 5 or 10 x that facility, 24/7?

But then it’s easy to make comparisons with one of the world’s best known and well-funded academics, how about the hard working researchers in engineering, bio-sciences or even animation/entertainment? All exponents of the need for a higher level of access to compute.  Any company, or even country that does not buy in to the need for collaboration with HPC providers to explore further and many times over for the elusive proof of concept for innovation will lose not just millions but potentially trillions in future revenues or GDP as a result. The flow of talent will follow where the best opportunity is offered and that isn’t all about $$ signs, it’s about stretching the realms of what’s possible to change the world for the better.

So perhaps the time is now…. To put in a request for HPC gift vouchers on your Christmas list. Or just go to and place your own order online.

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