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Huawei Brings HPC Solutions to Cloud and AI

by Addison Snell
for Intersect360 Research
November 2017
White Paper

Simulation has become a “third pillar of science,” allowing scientists and engineers to explore hypothetical materials, products, or environments in ways that cannot be replicated in a lab. In addition to academic and government research, HPC is used at the forefront of development across a range of industries. The result is that HPC is a strong, growing segment of enterprise computing, with over $35 billion in worldwide spending in 2016, forecast to grow to nearly $44 billion in the year 2021. The biggest new area sparking investment in HPC technologies has been artificial intelligence (AI). Recent advancements in image, speech, and pattern recognition have driven a revolution in the use of AI, with the potential to materially change multiple industries.

Huawei originally made its mark as an upstart telecommunications company in the 1990s, at the dawn of mobile communications. Intersect360 Research is now tracking Huawei as a provider of HPC solutions as well. With its Huawei High Performance Computing Solution portfolio, Huawei has established itself in the HPC market, with key wins in multiple geographies and vertical markets.

• Supercomputing: The University of Waterloo has announced plans for a 2 Petaflops Huawei supercomputer with more computational nodes than any other Canadian university system. Huawei previously exceeded one Petaflop with the “Eagle” supercomputer, run by Poland’s PSNC.

• Automotive: The top three Fortune 500 automotive companies’ manufacturing sites in Germany have turned to Huawei for applications such as aerodynamics and virtual crash testing. Huawei bolsters its success in this segment through partnerships with leading software providers, such as ANSYS, ESI, and Altair, to provide optimized performance on Huawei HPC solutions.

• Oil & Gas: HPC strategy is increasingly important to oil companies, and presently some of the world's leading oilfield service providers, such as Schlumberger, Halliburton, and CGG, have completed certification of Huawei's servers and cluster systems. In addition, CNPC, Sinopec, Saudi Aramco, and Turkish Petroleum currently use Huawei solutions for oil and gas exploration.

• Entertainment: Illumination Mac Guff, the animation studio behind the Despicable Me franchise, relies on Huawei for high-performance rendering solutions emphasizing computational density.

With its entry into the HPC market, Huawei has assembled a complete portfolio of high-performance solutions, including computing, storage, and networking elements. Huawei’s HPC solutions also provide options for facilities optimization, along with end-to-end services and partnerships that optimize an HPC environment.

These solutions are highlighted by the newest entry, the FusionServer G5500, which offers modular, heterogeneous solutions for HPC and AI. In keeping with the latest HPC datacenter trends, Huawei HPC Liquid Cooling Solutions work both at the board level with direct liquid cooling cold-plate technology and at the racklevel with warm-water inlets capable of cooling the heat output from up to 60 kilowatts per cabinet.

Huawei’s on-premise HPC expertise is supplemented by a robust cloud strategy. At Huawei Connect 2017, Rotating CEO Guo Ping announced Huawei’s intention to be “one of the five” major global cloud providers that will emerge. As a foundation of that strategy, Huawei announced its “new generation intelligent cloud hardware platform,” Atlas. The intelligent resource pooling tools in Atlas allow users to configure resources—such as GPUs, FPGAs, storage, or edge computing devices— independently, according to application needs. With a complete set of HPC-tailored offerings and established bellwether accounts in the top echelon of the supercomputing market, Huawei has the opportunity to become one of the leaders in HPC.

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