Altair Sets HPC Challenge, Renews OEM Cntract

TROY — The Troy-based engineering technology developer Altair has announced a “High Performance Computing Cloud Challenge” using Amazon Web Services and Intel technologies.

The aim of the challenge is to demonstrate the benefits of using the cloud for large-scale design exploration in the area of computer-aided engineering.

The challenge asks computer aided engineering users to submit project ideas to a team of Altair, AWS and Intel representatives who then select qualified projects to accept into the program. Altair will supply accepted participants with software, computing resources, and product support for the duration of the program.

The companies said the challenge aims to democratize the use of cutting-edge CAE tools by reducing barriers for highly complex engineering tasks.

Participants may choose from among six different configurations of Altair’s HyperWorks Unlimited Virtual Appliance, turnkey software for high-performance computing in the cloud in minutes. Access is free, and participants may use the Virtual Appliance for seven or more days to complete engineering tasks for their Challenge project.

The lowest configuration starts with 32 cores and the highest can go up to 128 cores or more on the Intel Xeon processor E5 product family. The free use of Altair’s HWUL Virtual Appliance is supplemented through free credits from AWS.

“Getting a system ready in less than 15 minutes, with unlimited licensing of Altair’s industry-leading HyperWorks application software and seamless integration with PBS Works middleware and Altair’s HyperStudy for design of experiments and numerical optimization, paves the path for infinite design exploration,” said Ravi Kunju, Altair vice president of strategy and business development. “Making this completely turnkey for the engineer is our No. 1 job.”

Added Hugo Saleh, Intel’s director of technical computing segment marketing and industry development for the enterprise and HPC platforms group: “This Cloud Challenge is a great opportunity for the engineering community to experience the power of scalable CAE capabilities on the AWS Cloud. The collaboration with Altair and AWS brings the best of software, infrastructure, and hardware based on leading Intel E5 Xeon Processors, together to enable broader use of advanced simulation and modeling techniques.”

And Terry Wise, vice president of the worldwide partner ecosystem at AWS, said: “AWS is committed to providing a seamless platform for the engineering community that has historically been challenged to do more with less while dealing with reduced product release cycles. Through collaboration with Altair and Intel, the High-Performance Computing Cloud Challenge marks a significant opportunity for engineers to get hands-on experience with the AWS Cloud and transform their experience with CAE’s rich toolset.”

Proposals will be accepted through Sept. 30. Additional information about the Cloud Challenge is available at

Altair also announced that Milpitas, Calif.-based Silicon Graphics International Corp. has renewed its original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement naming PBS Professional as SGI’s workload manager and job scheduler with global support provided by Altair.

Originally signed in 2012, the renewed agreement makes it possible for SGI to continue integrating Altair’s PBS Professional scheduler on SGI HPC systems.

SGI and Altair provide solutions to some of the largest supercomputers in existence including SGI’s largest TOP500 system, Pleiades at NASA Ames. The companies have recently collaborated to offer power-efficient computing via a PBS Professional integration with SGI Management Center 3.0, announced and demonstrated at the 2014 Supercomputing Conference in New Orleans. A video demonstration of the capabilities can be found at this link.

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