New Power for Research from Cloud

Sampsa Hautaniemi, University of Helsinki

For the first time, a research team at the University of Helsinki has now utilised the enormous computing capacity of the Windows Azure cloud service with the help of Techila. A computational task that would previously have taken around 15 years can now be completed in less than five days.

– The fact that computational resources provided by the cloud service are available, increases prospects to conduct really demanding projects that were not possible few years ago, says Sampsa Hautaniemi, docent, University of Helsinki.

– Computation was performed in a cloud with the help of the autonomic computing technology developed by Techila, using 1200 processor cores. “Up till now, scientific cloud computing has usually used two or four, at best eight processors. There are a lot of applications also outside universities, as similar computations can be utilised, for example, by insurance companies for risk management. The possibilities are wide open, as the systems in question are global, describes Rainer Wehkamp, founder of Techila Technologies.

Techila’s high performance and technical computing (HPTC) technology was originally designed to utilise the free computational capacity of desktop computers in companies and universities. “As an example, on the average 95 % of the capacity is wasted at universities. On the other hand, when people are interactively using the computer, the computations must not disturb its normal use in any manner. It was rather easy for Techila to move from such a diverse environment to a cloud environment. As Azure can be purely harnessed for computational use, it has a high utilisation rate of up to 99 %. A person who is paying for one hour of computation time, also gets that one hour”, Wehkamp promises. “The speed, efficiency and ease of use of the computation are competitive edges in both the research and business worlds.”

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