For optimal reading, please switch to desktop mode.
The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) has launched an initiative
in partnership with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority
to invest in and develop UK manufacturers and their workforce to
successfully build global competitiveness. The Digital Manufacturing
Accelerator programme supports companies of all sizes and at all
stages of their adoption journey. The MTC do this by providing
world-leading engineering experts, alongside access to purpose built
digital and physical testbed facilities. MTC expertise and facilities
help identify, implement and de-risk the adoption of digital and
automation technology solutions to transform businesses and their
manufacturing processes. StackHPC engaged with the MTC to deliver
a system “design to support” solution based on OpenStack to provide
a Digital Factory Environment (DFE). This platform delivers a secure
multi-tenant sandpit environment, providing segregated access to
resources for multiple industrial partners.
Based on the core infrastructure, the DFE includes an application
catalogue to enable self-service deployment of virtual compute
platforms with pre-configured software solutions. Likely application
workloads include: 3D environments and visualisation, modelling
assets in a 3D environment and their interactions with physical
properties. For the protection of these industrial partners, the
service implements data encryption at rest and in transit.
The rapid creation of software platforms on demand will be essential
to delivering expedient results from the platform. A user-friendly
portal also plays an important role in helping industrial partners
access results quickly. The following use-cases formed consideration
of the design:
- Simulations and Modelling.
- The primary workload for the DFE will
be simulations. Such simulations may include physics modelling and
discrete event simulations. Simulations are expected to be performed
using commercial software packages, which would be selected from
the user-friendly application catalogue. Application codes will
be deployed in various forms on the OpenStack infrastructure:
- Linux VMs.
- Windows VMs.
- Containerised application deployments, for example using Kubernetes.
- Batch-queued workload platforms.
- Machine Learning
- Support is provided for AI/ML platforms and workloads,
in particular python-based ML runtime environments (such as PyTorch)
and Tensorflow. GPU devices will also be available for supporting
CUDA and linear algebra workflows for CFD etc.
“Kayobe OpenStack was selected as the infrastructure solution for
the DFE through a vigorous down selection process which evaluated
the private cloud landscape, taking a capability driven approach
to comparing each solution. StackHPC was chosen to deliver our
use-case through a series of technical discussions in which their
knowledge and expertise reassured our decision-making process by
providing evidence of the capabilities we aspired to take advantage
of.” – Dr Hannah Edmonds, Chief Engineer, Digital Manufacturing
Accelerator @ The Manufacturing Technology Centre Ltd.
StackHPC engaged with the MTC over a long period to:
- Design a hyper-converged infrastructure solution based on commodity
hardware taking into account workflow and workload characteristics;
performance requirements; existing compute, storage and networking
hardware inventory; scale-related issues; security; integration
with existing systems and tooling. This allowed the MTC to separately
run procurements for compute, networking and storage hardware.
- Deploy an OpenStack Kayobe environment in a reliable and consistent
method configured and managed as version-controlled source code.
- Train MTC staff in the day-2 operations of the system with third-level
support provided by StackHPC.
- Maintain the system in such a manner as to ensure the system is
kept up to date with the latest versions of OpenStack and Ceph.
“It has been a great pleasure to work with the MTC on this project”
says Dr. John Taylor, CEO of StackHPC Ltd. “On-premises clouds, as
opposed to public clouds, provide specific virtual organisations a
high degree of flexibility, autonomy and data sovereignty to pursue
collaborative research and development within a resilient and highly
targeted software-defined environment specific to a community. The
system built for the MTC will provide the means to strengthen the
digital manufacturing ecosystem in Liverpool helping organisations
to prototype solutions in a timely manner.”
The MTC is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, supported
by Innovate UK, and was established to prove innovative manufacturing
processes and technologies in an agile environment in partnership
with industry, academia and other institutions. Housing some of the
most advanced manufacturing equipment in the world, and with
facilities in Coventry and the Liverpool City Region, the MTC
provides a high quality environment for the development and
demonstration of new technologies on an industrial scale, supporting
skills, productivity and growth across the UK manufacturing industry.
StackHPC Limited is a UK-based SME that provides professional
services and solutions for high-performance computing (HPC), cloud
computing, and scientific and engineering research. The company
specialises in designing, building, and supporting HPC and cloud
infrastructures for scientific research organisations, government
agencies, and private companies. StackHPC's services include
consultancy, architecture design, system integration, software
development, and support services for HPC and cloud infrastructures.
The company also provides custom solutions for scientific data
management, machine learning, and artificial intelligence applications.
StackHPC has a team of highly experienced HPC and cloud experts who
have worked on some of the world's largest and most complex HPC and
cloud infrastructures. The company is committed to open source and
is actively involved in several open source communities, including
OpenStack (through the OpenInfra foundation), Kubernetes, and HPC
tools such as Slurm.
Get in touch
If you would like to get in touch we would love to hear
from you. Reach out to us via
or directly via our contact page.