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How Bare Metal Cloud Changed High Performance Computing


High-Performance Computing (HPC) systems have advanced since their first appearance in the 1970s in the form of supercomputers. Many businesses are leveraging HPC for computationally intensive workloads like artificial intelligence, deep learning, and predictive analysis. Experts predict that the HPC market will reach $49 billion by 2023. This is a huge increase compared to $4.37 in 2015.

HPC is now accessible for large and well-funded enterprises, as well as small teams, thanks to server technology advancements and services such as bare metal cloud. This article describes why bare metal clouds and HPC are a good match, and what you should look for in bare metal cloud solutions for HPC.

What Is High Performance Computing?

HPC systems use a significant amount of resources to handle extensive, and complex computational problems. High performance computing usually consists of clusters of servers, also referred to as nodes. As opposed to standard servers and virtual machines, HPC clusters are configured to work together on a given computational task.

HPC hardware is usually more robust than the hardware used by dedicated servers for light workloads like standard web applications. HPC workloads run on high-end processors and GPU accelerators to enhance processing power. In addition, HPC clusters use a fast private network to increase the communication speed between nodes, while directly attached storage enables fast I/O operations.

There are many tools that enable you to take advantage of HPC systems. Most HPC workloads run on Unix-based operating systems like Linux, Ubuntu, RHEL, and CentOS. Additional common software in HPC includes Hadoop for NoSQL databases, Apache Mesos for orchestration management, and Open MPI for cluster communication.

High-performance computing use cases include BI Services that require analysis of large amounts of data. HPC enables users to upload the relevant BI data to the cloud and run the model on multiple servers simultaneously. Another application is in compute-intensive 3D graphics tasks. Users can run multiple 3D graphics tasks simultaneously and save a lot of time.

What Is Bare Metal Cloud?

Bare metal cloud is an environment that provides a way to use physical, dedicated servers with the simplicity and speed of the cloud. Bare metal cloud servers are not virtualized, but they are still offered via a cloud-like service model.

Bare metal cloud provides the required hardware for HPC systems and the flexibility and scalability required to optimize performance. As a result, small companies can make new discoveries by tackling complex problems and processing massive amounts of data.

Bare Metal Cloud for HPC Benefits

1.     Hardware level control for HPC performance

Traditional virtualized cloud servers and network resources provide limited control for users, resulting in limited HPC application performance and increased costs. Bare metal servers, on the other hand, have no virtualization layer. As a result, companies get access and control of all server hardware. Companies can customize hardware components and remotely control servers.

Customization and control make a huge difference when tackling complex and compute-intensive problems. Companies can select the most suitable server for their HPC application, instead of being limited by general purpose cloud instances.

2.     HPC application migration

Most organizations prefer to migrate apps to the cloud while keeping the benefits of on-premise tools. Bare metal cloud enables companies to host HPC apps somewhere else while keeping the same workflows and processes. Additionally, you do not have to modify your apps when migrating from on-premise to bare metal cloud. As a result, there is no performance loss during migration.

3.     Dedicated compute resources

When companies run virtual machines in a public cloud, they have no idea what workloads other customers are running on the same hardware. This results in a competition for CPU resources and memory.

For example, you can run an HPC workload today, then run it again tomorrow and get half the speed. As a result, users create multiple virtual machines, test them and kill the instances that don't perform well. Bare metal clouds solve this problem by providing dedicated servers for HPC workloads.

4.     No capital expenses

Organizations have to spend on cooling, powering, and maintaining server hardware in on-premises HPC projects. Bare metal cloud eliminates the need to invest in non-core business functions and focus only on operational expenses. As a result, organizations can significantly lower the cost and time of HPC projects and invest in expensive short-term projects.

What to Look for in Bare Metal Cloud Solutions for HPC

Every HPC project is different. Therefore, you have to choose a bare metal cloud solution that makes sense for your business.


Cloud computing eliminates infrastructure maintenance tasks and focuses only on business objectives. In addition, the scalability of the cloud enables you to instantly spin up new servers.

Bare metal cloud solutions should offer both infrastructure control and cloud scalability. Look for HPC cloud solutions that enable you to implement Infrastructure as Code (IaC) and programmatically spin up new servers.

Private networks with large bandwidth

HPC clusters communicate over private networks. Private networks isolate HPC cluster communication from the public Internet. This results in increased security of valuable corporate data and assets. Furthermore, large amounts of network bandwidth can reduce bottlenecks. You should look for bare metal cloud providers that offer sufficient downstream and upstream bandwidth.


Organizations usually need some help in setting up complex HPC projects. You need to look for a cloud provider that offers 24/7 support and focuses on the customer. Read customer reviews, testimonials, and case studies to understand what a given vendor offers.


Organizations often prefer to use high-performance computing in the cloud instead of on-premises resources. Thereby, businesses are able to solve extremely intensive tasks in the shortest possible time. By doing so, they get a competitive edge at a lower cost. Bare metal cloud drives innovation and productivity in different markets by making advanced HPC insights accessible to all businesses.


About the Author


Gilad David Maayan is a technology writer who has worked with over 150 technology companies including SAP, Samsung NEXT, NetApp and Imperva, producing technical and thought leadership content that elucidates technical solutions for developers and IT leadership.


Published Friday, January 17, 2020 9:36 AM by David Marshall
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