Running ANSYS in the Cloud (Pt. 2)

August 5, 2014 VIEW ALL

This posting is a follow up to my previous blog post Running ANSYS in the Cloud. In that previous post I shared Nimbix has created a Portal just for our ANSYS users. It operates very similar to our NACC Portal where we offer several other pre-configured applications as well as the ability to setup your own custom application or a 3rd party application that is not yet in our catalog and run it on our HPC cluster in a pay-per-use fashion.

ANSYS Portal end-users are able to connect their profiles to their existing ANSYS license server or host licenses here at Nimbix.  They are then able to use remote interactive sessions for any prep and post work as well as submit their simulations to solve across multiple cores and depending on the application leverage GPGPU accelerators for additional processing power.

On-Demand Interactive Clusters

If you have been following our blog you have likely seen the other posting about our new capability of creating/launching multi-node InfiniBand interconnected HPC clusters with either a single API call or a few clicks via a portal. (TORQUE Cluster as a Service! and Hadoop Cluster in the Cloud: Snapshot a Supercomputer!) Based off of customer feedback we have added that capability to our ANSYS portal as well.

In my previous post I touched on the ANSYS Interactive Cluster capability briefly. In this post I would like to expand on this in some more detail.


The image above is of the Task Builder interface used to launch the interactive cluster. This builds the API call to provision a secure, pay-per-use 3D graphics-enabled desktop and computation cluster with the supported ANSYS applications already installed and configured.  The nodes in the interactive cluster have the latest Intel Xeon Ivy Bridge processors, leverage 56Gbps Infiniband for the interconnect and have dual GPGPUs for true bare metal HPC Performance.

After submitting the request, the environment is provisioned and ready for the end-user to either create or upload their simulations and start processing.  We provide up to 1 TB of storage within our datacenter at no cost per account.  End users can also transfer data into and out of this storage at no cost.  Here is an FAQ article How do I transfer files to and from NACC? that describes the different methods available to transfer data.

This storage is automatically mounted to your NAE (Nimbix Application Environment) when they are provisioned making data exchange very easy.

secure, pay-per-use 3D graphics-enabled desktop for ANSYS

As you can see from the screenshots above, there is more than one way to connect to the interactive session. You are able to connect via a VNC client (TigerVNC is recommended) or via a browser. In both cases you have a full desktop which makes working with user defined functions (UDFs) much easier and provides a familiar experience for end users.

As mentioned earlier, end users are able to use the interactive cluster for pre/post processing as well as run simulations and solvers using ANSYS’s built in RSM capabilities. Depending on the number of nodes selected in the cluster ,the end user would select the number of processes they wish to use. (For example, if you selected two 16 core nodes then you would set the processes to 32). For the GPGPUs you would select 2 because that is the maximum number of GPUs per machine.  You will also want to select “Distributed Memory on a Cluster” and then select the nodes file located at /etc/JARVICE/.  This file provides the ANSYS software all of the information needed about the nodes within the cluster.


The On-demand Interactive Cluster option for ANSYS offers a familiar and powerful experience for the end users. This capability allows end users to have large simulations running during their work day without bogging down their workstation. This allows them to stay productive rather than having to deal with a Zombie Desktop.  When you add the productivity increase of freeing your highly paid engineer’s workstations along with the inherent cost savings and flexibility of the On-demand Infrastructure, running your simulations in the Cloud really becomes an easy decision to make.  Contact us today to get started.


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