In Year 2, CFD Direct updated its OpenFOAM cloud computing platform — CFD Direct From the Cloud (CFDDFC) — to OpenFOAM 4.1, running on Ubuntu 16.04. Feedback from users was very positive, including a 5-star rating on the CFDDFC Marketplace Product page at at Amazon Web Services (AWS). We became an Advanced Technology Partner of AWS, and produced a case study on the cost of CFD on AWS EC2 that concluded, in particular, that the cost of Spot instances was approximately 40% of the total cost of ownership of on-premises hardware. We made CFDDFC available on AWS X1 instance types, running simulations on 32 and 64 physical cores in a single instance.
Cloud computing replaces large upfront expenses with low, variable payments that only apply to what you use. CFD simulations cover a range of sizes and complexity. Activity is generally interrupted by quiet periods when simulations are halted, e.g. when a simulation ends non-working hours, during analysis of results or preparation of a new simulation, etc. The fluctuating demand makes CFD well suited to a pay-per-use model. Users need to understand the costs involved to get the best value from cloud and be confident that they fall within budget. This article explains the costs, with an example of an external aerodynamics calculation with OpenFOAM using CFD Direct From the Cloud™ (CFDDFC) on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
In 2015, we launched CFD Direct From the Cloud (CFDDFC), a complete OpenFOAM cloud computing platform that includes the latest version of OpenFOAM and supporting software running on Ubuntu. The platform provides OpenFOAM in its native Linux OS, which users can access directly from a terminal or via a remote desktop. CFDDFC is available for Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a product on AWS Marketplace, pre-configured for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). CFDDFC is in constant use, on a range of EC2 Instances ranging from the small instance, eligible for Free Tier, to the Compute Optimized instances including the largest with 36 virtual (18 physical) CPUs, and with multiple instances networked as a cluster for larger workloads.