This Chicago Startup is Bringing Supercomputing to the Cloud

Grazed from ChicagoInno. Author: Ustav Gandhi.

Supercomputing has changed the way we process big data in a wide range of industries. Unsurprisingly, these capabilities to perform multiple complex tasks in the least possible amount of time have traditionally come at a price -- in fact, even the first one hundred supercomputers were sold at a price of $8 million each (hefty, especially by the standards of early 1960s standards when they first launched). While this price point has mostly restricted supercomputing to academia, federal research labs and large industry, Parallel Works, a startup incubated at the University of Chicago’s Polsky Exchange, is out to democratize this -- by bringing the underlying technology to the cloud.

Parallel Works’ platform takes supercomputing to the software-as-a-service, pay-per-use model, thus removing talent and resource maintenance costs typically associated with big machines. The software is domain agnostic--employed in applications as diverse as climate change research to neuroscience to mass media analysis--and the technology's custom interface can be packaged, stored, and deployed as per the needs of the client or industry...

Previously, with resource constraints, industry experts would have to conduct a time-consuming process of creating custom workflows that could handle large-scale parallel computing. Parallel Works hopes to make that process simpler, with a browser-based online platform and a cloud-based workflow -- similar to using an app store...

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