Frequently Asked Questions  (scroll down to send us your question)

Q: What are the goals of the experiment?
To identify, test and document potential solutions to the known roadblocks for running CFD workloads on high-performance-computing-as-a-service.

Q: Who can participate in the experiment?
The experiment is open to the entire community including international participants. Please fill in the registration form to participate.

We are looking forward to working with:
The industry end users: A typical example is a small or medium size manufacturer in the process of designing and prototyping its next product

The CFD software providers: This includes software owners of all stripes, including ISVs, public domain organizations and individual developers.

The CFD experts: This group includes individuals or companies with CFD expertise.

Q: I can't provide resources at this time, can I still participate in the experiment?
Yes. If you are interested but can't actively participate, please select the option to "receive reports at the conclusion of the experiment".

Q: Are there participation fees?
No, there are no fees for participation. Each active participant will be expected to contribute the necessary time and effort. Resource providers are expected to offer needed software licenses, compute resources and expert help to other active participants free of charge during the experiment. The resource providers will define their own level of participation and the limits of the resources provided.

Q: How much time will I be expected to spend on the experiment?
Each participant is free to define their own level of participation.

Q: I would like to participate, but can I remain anonymous?
Yes. Please check the related box as you fill in the registration form.

Q: When will the experiment start and end?
The Experiment is conducted in 3 month long rounds.
Round 4 of the Experiment started in August 2013.

Q: Will the data sets used in the experiment be publicly available?
No, the data sets used in the experiment will not be publicly available. The data sets will be made accessible by the owner and only to the participants who need access to it. For example, the input data sets required for a workload will be uploaded to the compute resource providers systems by the owner of the data set.

Q: Are there any established hashtags we can use on Twitter… to tweet bits of information?   
#hpcexperiment and follow us at @hpcexperiment

Q: What are the time commitment expectations from participants, can you walk through an example?
We got this question from multiple participants and we have included a scenario in our kick off packet. However, the short answer is that there is no specific requirement. Each participant is free to set his/her own level of involvement to achieve success. We will not track the amount of time participants spend related to the experiment.

Q: Can I have a list of the participants?
With the permission of our participants (organization) we publish their names on the home page of the hpcexperiment website. However, we are not able to publish the full list of our participants upon their request.

Q: What are the capabilities of your HPC resources?
We have a number of HPC resource providers with a variety of HPC cluster architectures. We encourage our end-users to submit their specific requirements to allow us to match them with the best suited HPC resource provider.

Q: Which application software vendors are participating in the experiment? Which packages can we use in the projects?
As an example, we have ANSYS and SIMULIA (Abaqus) on board right from the start. We have other popular software providers such as CD-adapco, ESI, Autodesk on board as well. In case of applications based on other ISV software, as part of this experiment, we will talk to them and convince them to participate.

Q: Are there any specific workloads that this experiment will be focused on?  
Any application workload an industry end-user is bringing in, is welcome. Most of the industry end-user applications we got so far are in Computational Fluid Dynamics, Finite Element Analysis.
Q: Can we use the presentation documents after the presentation?
Please use all documentation we are sending out to you just for your own and your team’s use, but not sending it to people who don’t participate in this HPC Experiment. However, the ones which we publish in the public section of our website can be distributed to anybody.
Q: Is this experiment more focused on data analysis / data mining type of workloads?   
The focus of this first experiment is on compute-intensive industry applications. But you certainly can bring in a data analysis application if it does not add additional complexity to the process like huge data transfer, for example.

Q: How much storage will be available for a group?
This depends on the availability of storage at our resource providers’ HPC centers. Because for this first experiment we recommend moderate-size experimental workloads (and not full-production workloads) we expect moderate-size storage requirements.
Q: What is the difference between the HPTC model and HTC/GRID model?
The High-Performance Technical Computing model focuses on compute and data intensive workloads to be executed on an HPC system. The Grid model focuses on collaboration, communication, and computing in a distributed networked environment interconnecting different resources accessible jointly by the collaborators. This experiment does not include the Grid model, but focuses on single computing resources in an HPC Cloud or HPC Computing Center.
Q: In addition to "software providers", will hardware accelerator and software/hardware co-design approaches be involved in the experiments?   
We have participants who offer moderate-sized clusters with GPGPUs. Co-design approaches are not the focus of this experiment.

Q: Is the network Ethernet or InfiniBand?
We have resource providers who offer HPC clusters with both Ethernet and Infiniband interconnects.
Q: To follow-up on a previous question regarding software/hardware *co-design* (rather than to hw accelerators by themselves): will a high performance cloud computing Platform as a Service approach be considered, to cross-layer optimize the architectures from parallel program development tools down to the execution layer?    
This is certainly an important computer science challenge our community has to solve on our way to Exascale. However, this experiment will just try to solve existing industry end-user problems in existing HPC environments.

Q: Will there be a possibility to select the resources by the territorial principle?   
Yes. In fact this is one of our primary rules in setting up the teams, for good reasons. We first pick an industry end-user, then match the HPC expert, and both, together with the experiment organizers, with look for the nearest resource provider. In case we can’t convince this provider (e.g. the HPC Center ‘around the corner’) to join our experiment, we look for a resource provider among our participants.

Q: Will there be a possibility to use more than one resource provider?   
Absolutely. For example, after a team has successfully completed their task on an HPC Center’s resource (e.g. Rutgers, Indiana, SDSC), in a next step they can turn to a commercial HPC Cloud provider like Nimbix or Amazon.

Q: Will you send the Kickoff PPT to me?
Yes, every experiment participant (including those who could not participate in the GoToWebinar) will receive the kickoff meeting packet, including the slides, the updated kickoff document, the link to the recorded webinar, and the link to a new CAE article (just appeared in HPC in the Cloud) which highlights especially the benefits for industry end-users and for ISVs.

Q: Can you give examples of the types of projects you are working on?
A: We have teams actively working on a diverse set of industry end-user projects ranging anywhere from car acoustics to turbine dynamics, from fastening capacity of anchor bolts to simulation of blood flow inside rotating micro-channels. 

The half time report which was published in September 2012 describes two of our projects as well. You can see the report at:

Download the pdf version of the report

Half-Time of the CAE Experiment article at DigitalManufacturingReport.com

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