One of the difficulties in shared resource is determining the scale of the resources you need, especially in a "shared" environment. Probably 3 or 4 times a year the program schedules of different divisions align and overload our shared analyses capabilities for days. In this era of "just in time" everything (including engineering) a critical schedule gets blown rseulting in very unhappy customers. To effectively use these shared resources companies will have to find a way to manage IT resource demand on a global level.
Doug: You hit the nail on the head in terms what is driving a lot of this innovation in the design tool area. As companies have centers of excellence and expertise located all around the globe, it is no longer realistic or reasonable that everyone involved in a particular engineering effort is housed in the same building, let alone the same country. That's why we're seeing so much interest and activity around new collaborative design tools as well as capabilities like this HPC in the cloud, which can minimize the IT investment that individual design centers would have to make in order to own their own HPC horsepower, when the truth is, they don't really need it all the time so why have that capital investment.
Use of the cloud for complex design would seem to also require greater collaboration between different design centers that previously operated more as discrete units using their own computing power systems. Do you find this is the case, or I am just engaging in wishful thinking? Either way, it's a really interesting trend.
Also, I know the POWER7 is loaded, but the size of the piece shown in the picture still surprises me. I relaize it probably has the computing power of a zillion Univacs, but it still surprsies me. Is the size and the shape of the processor configurable?
You really have to hand it to IBM under the leadership of Sam Palmisano. This story is a great example of how they're not content to stop at what would be the logical endpoint for most other companies. They continued onward, and took the tools which successfully supported their POWER7 design effort, and turned around and packaged it as a product. So, depending on how you look at it, they ended up paying for those tools (by selling them), or all the revenue is basically found money (very high margins for incremental sales).
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