Most organizations that have managed large batch processing resources, or HPC clusters understand the economics of computing pretty well. The difficulty has always been in capacity planning, software application management/deployment, and trying to keep up with changing compute, storage, and networking technologies.
When you add public cloud computing to the mix of possible resource options, the reaction from traditional infrastructure managers is mixed. On the one hand, the idea of an elastic, pay-as-you-go compute model is very attractive, but on the other, the pain of migration, perceived data risks, and uncertain economics may eliminate the public cloud option altogether.
The other challenge with the mainstream cloud deployment model for processing intensive applications is that all of the software tools typical in an HPC environment have to be built and tested all over again in the cloud environment. Add to this issues and costs associated with moving large data sets in and out of that cloud and it is easy to see why cloud elation can quickly fade.
Theses realities should not deter organizations from evaluating options. As time progresses, it is becoming increasingly clear that even the largest of organizations will have trouble swallowing the costs of building and scaling their own dedicated computing environments and keeping pace with changing hardware and software technologies. Ironically, there is a reciprocal challenge for younger companies, too, that have come of age using pure cloud resources for infrastructure. These organizations have learned that while public clouds have their place, as their processing environments have grown in scale, so has their cloud bill. They’ve reached a point where the economics start to tip in favor of deploying dedicated resources for portions of their environment.
To address these unique “hybrid” requirements in medium to large scale processing environments, Nimbix offers a blend of do-it-yourself and cloud. Nimbix enables users to scale both their own computing assets in Nimbix datacenters right alongside managed “private” clouds and the Nimbix Accelerated Compute Cloud. This flexibility helps solve for some of the technology and economics challenges mentioned above. By hybridizing in Nimbix HPC datacenters, infrastructure managers can operate traditional in-house clusters while taking comfort in knowing there is more floor space and compute scale available from an infrastructure provider that understands HPC and processing intensive application environments.
Additionally, the ability to leverage Nimbix resources that are deployed as a scalable batch processing cluster simplifies many of the challenges associated with turning up a processing cluster in a commodity cloud utility service. Users can integrate workflows between collocated, managed, and public cloud resources with a simple API call while only paying for actual processing time billed in minutes on the cloud side.
Web service enabled infrastructures will continue to evolve over time enabling smoother migration between public and private clouds. Thinking about hybrid environments might just be the best solution in terms of flexibility, productivity and economics.