High Performance Computing (HPC) is the IT practice of aggregating computing power to deliver more performance than a typical computer can provide. Originally used to solve complex scientific and engineering problems, HPC is now used by businesses of all sizes for data-intensive tasks. Companies that provide automotive engineering, pharmaceutical design, oil and gas exploration, renewable energy research, entertainment and media, financial analytics, and consumer product manufacturing rely on HPC for scalable business computing.
An HPC system is typically a cluster of computers or nodes, with each node containing one to four processors and each processor containing two to four cores. A common cluster size in many businesses is between 16 and 64 nodes, with 64 to 256 cores. Linux is the dominant operating system for HPC installations. HPC applications usually require fast network and storage performance, large amounts of memory and very high compute capabilities. An HPC cluster running in the cloud can scale to larger numbers of parallel tasks than most on-premises environments. A cloud-based HPC cluster allows users to focus on their applications and research output instead of IT maintenance. HPC cloud systems only charge for the services clients actually use, so businesses can optimize costs without paying for idle compute capacity.
HPC infrastructures are complex in both design and operation, involving a large set of interdependent hardware and software elements that must be precisely configured and seamlessly integrated across a growing number of compute nodes. SUSE Linux Enterprise for HPC is designed for scalability and includes tools that simplify configuration and management. SUSE Linux Enterprise Real Time is ideal for time-sensitive HPC applications.