Most in-house IT personnel do not have a deep understanding of HPC. Despite this, Engineering, IT, and the vendor need to collaborate closely when making high-performance technology purchase decisions. Here are 8 pre-procurement steps to follow for seamless collaboration toward the optimal purchase decision:
- Define Requirements: Engineering and IT teams need to work together from the start by clearly defining requirements. This includes understanding the technical needs of engineering and the infrastructure capabilities and constraints of IT.
- Perform an Engineering Needs Assessment: Engineering should identify specific needs and objectives. This involves assessing the performance, scalability, security, and compatibility requirements of the technology. CAE applications that will run on the HPC cluster also need to be identified.
- Perform an IT Infrastructure Evaluation: IT needs to assess the existing infrastructure and its ability to support the new technology. This includes considerations for network bandwidth, storage, security, power, cooling, noise, and any potential integration challenges.
- Decide on a Budget: Together Engineering and IT need to establish a budget that considers both the cost of the technology itself, including applications, and any necessary infrastructure accommodations. IT may need to think beyond preconceived best practices for enterprise servers and think best practices for HPC.
- Determine What’s Out There: Now that Engineering and IT have decided on their needs and requirements, they need to see if a solution exists or can be built that satisfies those requirements. This is the point to bring in a trusted vendor.
- Evaluate All Potential Vendors: High performance technology is a significant investment and there aren’t many vendors capable of supplying the agreed upon solution. The best place to start is with a high-performance technology vendor the company has worked with well in the past. A vendor that can offer a demo is a significant plus.
- Choose a Vendor: Once you have decided on the technology and are confident it is feasible, commit to a vendor. The vendor should be part of the technology team as early as possible in the process.
- Conduct Pilot Testing: Before finalizing the purchase, perform pilot testing to ensure that the technology aligns with engineering requirements and integrates seamlessly with existing IT infrastructure.
By following these steps and maintaining open communication and collaboration between engineering and IT teams along with the vendor, organizations can set the stage for informed technology pre-procurement decisions that lead to a seamless procurement process and post-sale satisfaction. In Part 2 of this post, learn the steps to take from starting the procurement process to assessing performance post-purchase.
To further take the guesswork out of technology purchases, Nor-Tech offers no-cost, no obligation demos of an expansive array of leading-edge, proven and even legacy HPC-related hardware and software. Scheduling a demo is an excellent way to start the buying process and a great way to build trust in Nor-Tech.
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Nor-Tech is on CRN’s list of the top 40 Data Center Infrastructure Providers along with IBM, Oracle, Dell, and Supermicro and is also a member of Hyperion Research’s prestigious HPC Technical Computing Advisory Panel. The company is a complete high performance computer solution provider for 2015 and 2017 Nobel Physics Award-contending/winning projects. Nor-Tech engineers average 20+ years of experience. This strong industry reputation and deep partner relationships also enable the company to be a leading supplier of cost-effective Lenovo desktops, laptops, tablets and Chromebooks to schools and enterprises. All of Nor-Tech’s high performance technology is developed by Nor-Tech in Minnesota and supported by Nor-Tech around the world. The company is headquartered in Burnsville, Minn. just outside of Minneapolis. Nor-Tech holds the following contracts: Minnesota State IT, GSA, University of Wisconsin System, and NASA SEWP V. To contact Nor-Tech call 952-808-1000/toll free: 877-808-1010 or visit https://www.nor-tech.com.