SMEs - How HPC Ready are you?
Assess the maturity level for the usage of HPC services and technologies!
This tool will support your SMEs to evaluate its level of preparedness and potential engagement, through carefully designed questionnaires catered to the specific needs of SME institutions. The results of the questionnaires will help to understand your SMEs' maturity level and provide a challenge map with actual data on the HPC landscape in the region as well as propose steps to take next in order to establish potential collaboration with Higher Education Institutions.
SME HPC Maturity Level
Most Answers A: Low
If the maturity level is low, the institution should contact the SME/HPC team on the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The institution will get access to HPC knowledge to both young researchers and entrepreneurs as future HPC practitioners, hence with the need to stay up-to-date with the current trends in HPC or to learn about them.
Most Answers B: Medium
If the maturity level is medium, the institution should access the InnoHPC LAB (https://innohpclab.fis.unm.si/) to seek new business opportunities. InnoHPC LAB is a multi-purpose platform, which provides tools to encourage the development of transnational networks between innovation actors, leading to transnational clusters. Through this platform, the o institutions can gain transnational access to HPC infrastructure and boost their innovative process through simulations of business processes, manufacturing or services.
Most Answers C: High
If the maturity level is high, the institution should access the Fortissimo project webpage (https://www.fortissimo-project.eu/). The platform provides one-stop, pay-per-use, on-demand access to advanced simulation, modeling and data analytics resources including software, hardware and expertise. Additionally, the organizations can access the KnowING IPR (https://knowing-ipr.fis.unm.si/) institutional platform (supported by online platform), where different stakeholders will be able to retrieve information on the importance of technology transfer, IP protection, opportunities arising from IP protection and tools to properly manage own IP.
1. What is your current level of HPC environment knowledge?
High Performance Computing (HPC) or Supercomputing is a term used for using systems with massive numbers of processors and parallel processing for solving complex computational problems. HPC environment consists of hardware, software employing parallel computational techniques and administration of those systems. Terms for HPC includes Distributed or Cloud Computing where hundreds or thousands of computers are distributed across a network, Computer clusters and Supercomputers are also terms used.
2. Describe the present state of computing infrastructure available in your region?
Prior to advanced internet connections, most computing was carried out in company premises. However, with advanced high bandwidth internet, computer simulation and computation can be carried out off site in HPC Centres or use cloud resources. There are different service models available: Software as a Service (SaaS); Platform as a Service (PaaS); Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
3. How would you rate the applicability of advanced technologies (for simulations) in your sector?
4. Describe your level of knowledge of simulation methods and tools.
By simulation, we mean the main computational tasks that are important for your business. In some cases, it may also be described as data analysis, prediction or in some other way. In this question, we would like you to assess the company’s knowledge of the main methods and tools that are used in your sector or application area. Examples of tools and methods include mathematical methods like Finite Volume, Finite Elements Analysis, Computational Fluid Dynamics, etc.,. In data processing examples include Map Reduce, Deep learning. The tools may also be software libraries or packages, or middleware such as Hadoop.
5. How important is real time simulation and data processing for your company?
Where the simulation needs a lot of interaction with the expert while running it, the bandwidth of the internet connection becomes of vital importance, and any latency that occurs that could affect the simulation process. So, if you have any interaction during the simulation, do you need a response within seconds, minutes or hours?
6. How important is the simulation duration for you? (i.e. time between start and end of each iteration)?
HPC Centres offer access to additional compute power when needed, which can speed up the process and secure results sooner when time is a critical factor. This question is focused on the Importance of the duration of the simulation.
7. How often do you perform the simulations?
If your organisation is carrying out computing simulations, you may have already invested in an in-house computing environment. As the company grows in the future, e.g. in terms of the scale of production or the amount of data being processed, you may require faster computing simulations. You will have the opportunity to make a decision as to buy or outsource all or some of your computing simulations to an external agency or use the ‘cloud’. This question asks you to estimate the frequency of potential simulation requests you may generate in one year.
8. Rate the importance of the simulation and data processing for your company.
9. How likely is that your company would rent Hardware & Software instead of buying it?
Renting or buying Hardware & Software depends on the company’s needs and requires understanding the technology and calculating the financial aspects of the options, and the Return on Investment (RoI). Renting, which includes buying cloud-based solutions (IaaS–PaaS-SaaS), requires much smaller upfront cost, short-term commitment and enables a company to keep up with their competitors without draining their financial resources. The services are more flexible in turning them on/off when needed and expanding significantly as required, offering vast scalability and potentially lower storage costs.
Buying hardware/software (on premises) gives the company control and flexibility, may overcome any internet connectivity issues, and mitigates external security risks, should either be an issue. There is also a ‘hybrid’ solution, which leverages the best of both ownership and cloud-based solutions.
10. Quantify your company's investments in Research & Development (R&D) and Innovation.
Research & Development expenditure refers to any expenditure that seeks to develop, design and enhance the company's products, services, technologies or processes. R&D allows a company to come up with innovative new products or features that increase market share.
To quantify a company’s investments in R&D and Innovations, choose from the following options.
11. How confident are you with HPC provider from your region?
As mentioned earlier, trust and confidentiality can be critical factors in deciding whether to use the services of an HPC Centre. Most HPC Centres have security standards and data governing procedures in relation to administering data transfer, storage and backup, which you may wish to review. Furthermore, a suitable None Disclosure Agreement (NDA) can be put in place to govern and guide the data management policy between the HPC provider and client. The question here is to establish the confidence in the HPC provider.
12. How confident are you that your Telecom services provider will deal with your data in a trustworthy manner?
When accessing the Internet through any Telecom Service Provider, all the exchanged Data/ Information will be available to the Service Provider. How confident are you that no-one will access your data?