SICOS BW: HPC and more for IndustryThe competitive pressure for enterprises grows continuously. Especially for, but not limited to companies in the field of manufacturing (automotive, aerospace, machinery, etc.) the importance of optimal efficiency with respect to their products cannot be overestimated. In times of dramatically increasing energy cost the weight of products plays a key role for example in the transportation context. Being able to decrease the weight of parts while at the same time improving their structural stability is an important advantage over the competition.
Simulation technology has been developed by scientists in the last decades into an extremely powerful tool. Large companies have taken simulation up and integrated it into their development process. Modern cars for example would either be less secure or much more expensive if they had not been developed using crash simulations.However this take-up, that is not so easy even for large companies, has not yet fully reached the smaller and medium sized enterprises. They are usually not able to invest into the learning time, that every company that wants to us simulation technology needs, until the benefits can be harvested. And even if they are successful in applying this technology: especially smaller companies find it difficult to scale their IT infra structure to the growing needs, once they want to integrate simulation into their standard development process.This is the background that led the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and the University of Stuttgart to found the SICOS BW GmbH more than one year ago. SICOS stands for SImulation, COmputing and Storage, which outlines the technology fields that SICOS BW will address primarily. Its main task is to facilitate the access to the resources of its founders for industry, with focus on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs); regionally SICOS BW concentrates on Baden-Württemberg, but is not limited to it.
Parts of the activities of SICOS BW are also oriented towards the internal structures of its founders’ computing centres, the HLRS in Stuttgart and SCC in Karlsruhe. In order to be able to offer an attractive platform for industrial users, SICOS BW will work with the two computing centres on optimizing the internal processes to meet the needs of these customers (which in turn also helps the academic users in many aspects). Currently a common security concept is under development and the first steps towards an integrated user management between the two centres have been made.Of course these activities are fully aligned with the HWW - Höchstleistungsrechner für Wissenschaft und Wirtschaft GmbH. Since more than 15 years KIT, the University of Stuttgart and the State of Baden-Württemberg closely cooperate with industry (today: Porsche and T-Systems) in the field of high performance computing as partners in HWW. HWW is naturally integrated in the projects that SICOS BW pursues regarding common security and user management in order to provide a professional and integrated service to the outside.SICOS BW will be developed into a one-stop-shopping institution for industrial users that are looking for a way to utilize numerical simulation or large scale data facilities for their needs. This ranges from novices, who must be led through the initial phases of the use of simulation technology, over occasional users, who just need some help now and then, up to high end users, who can use the resources of the shareholders in order to be able to improve their offering. With the power of its shareholders in the back and a wide spread network with highly competent partners, SICOS BW will be able to identify the best solutions and support the companies on their way to apply them successfully.