Computing technology really has come a long way since its inception in the late 70’s. Back then some of you may remember computers came as kits, were huge, had no operating system, and stored their data on actual cassettes!
Nowadays, not only can we carry around computers in our pocket in the form of smartphones and tablets, but the top level of computing is now so powerful that it can handle, analyse and process unfathomable amounts of data within split seconds.
Combine this with blazing fast data transfer networks, and fibre optic technology and you have something truly powerful.
With this technology out of the laboratory and now commercially available, naturally it has been adopted by a lot of high end industries. This allows them to compute data and complete tasks with an efficiency and accuracy that has never been achievable before.
Here we have detailed four of the main industries that are utilising incredible computing power and have very specific requirements for high performance and high frequency hosting.
Large scale industrial design has always relied on some level of advanced, high frequency computing. They use it to analyse performance, gather readings on vibrations and aerodynamics, and even to handle the advanced graphics and modelling in the design processes ranging from iPods to commercial aeroplanes.
High frequency computing has allowed designers to create and accurately simulate environments for a wide range of highly complex physical systems, such as military aircraft, ships, and automobiles. As well as collect and analyse invaluable data during the rigorous testing process.
Quite simply, the role of high frequency computing in design is to provide detailed information to help with decisions during the design process. It allows designers to simulate the behaviour of complex systems beyond the reach of analytic theory, as well as provide detailed design information in a timely fashion. The computers also enhance our understanding of engineering systems by expanding our ability to predict their behaviour, while also providing the ability to perform multiple optimisation tasks throughout the design process.
It’s proven to be vital for working with aerodynamics, as the simulations allow very realistic approximations of how the air travels around certain features of the craft. This has also been used in the design of performance sportswear, as well as equipment, for enhanced streamline effects.
As the technology improves so will the analysis and modelling abilities of designers and manufacturers, giving us the capability to continue reaching for the skies.
Perhaps the most prevalent and widespread use of high frequency computing currently is on the stock exchange.
High frequency computing is used for extremely fast computation to track and measure rapidly changing data in high-tech trading platforms. They are able to automatically analyse stock data while simultaneously executing millions of transactions per second. High-frequency trading (HFT) is a huge business, having generated about $21 billion in profits in one year alone. It was estimated in 2009 to have accounted for 73 percent of all equity trading volume in the United States.
HFT technology is all about combing lightning-fast performance with the lowest possible latency. And the natural competition between traders has meant massive improvements in latency technology. For example, in 2000, HFT trades had an execution time of several seconds. In 2011, they improved to milliseconds and even microseconds. This has become a critical factor in the practice.
The improvements were achieved by not only improvements in wiring and fibre technology for data connections, but also by dramatic computing hardware improvements, such as moving from single core to multi-core computers, and technologies like RAID.
The incredible video below shows some of this trading in action, featuring 1/2 second of trading activity in Johnson & Johnson slowed down to five minutes. It shows how many computing operations occur every second in High frequency trading.
High level scientific research relies on high frequency computing in order to process readings from experiments, compute and analyse massive amounts of data, and model detailed large scale environments or simulations.
For example, many climate scientists use high frequency computers to analyse a huge amount of data on weather and climate patterns. This allows them to compile data on global temperatures, provide detailed weather forecast information, and warn of impending storms or other natural disasters. They can also do incredibly detailed models of the earth and its atmosphere, helping expand our understanding of the natural world and its eco-systems.
Similar things happen in Biology, where the use of high frequency computers can be found in the modelling of protein structures and functions, as well as modelling DNA.
High frequency computing is also used heavily in Physics to compile experimental readings, and help create detailed scientific models of practical experiments, or theoretical systems and environments. A famous example being the Large Hadron Collider in CERN, which is able to analyse large, varied and intricate sets of data. This contributed to the discovery of the Higgs-Boson particle, and changed our understanding of the very fundamentals of particle physics.
Being able to model environments and objects in great detail, and analyse intricate sets of experimental data has led to some amazing discoveries, and is constantly evolving to open new doors in our universe.
Image Source – Luis Llerena (CC0)
And finally, I.T, the creators of high frequency computing. Any kind of dedicated server network, or rendering farm, utilises high frequency computers, and in specific ways to make them work as efficiently as possible.
The most obvious example of high frequency computing in I.T is in Hyperscale computing; to date, they have mainly been used by large cloud-based organisations such as Facebook and Google.
As organisations grow, and handle increasingly large amounts of data, so does their physical infrastructure. This often means two choices are available to manage that growth; you either scale-up or scale-out. Scaling up means increasing the resources within the server or storage device, such as adding processors, interface cards or memory. That’s the normal business model.
The problem with this way of doing things is that if that device becomes redundant, this translates into downtime, and higher costs. The best alternative is to scale out; you do this by adding additional servers and internal storage in a dedicated computing environment.
Hyperscale is the inbuilt ability of a system to scale itself efficiently, as demand is increased on the system. This typically involves the ability to seamlessly add resources to a given node, or set of nodes, that make up a larger computing environment. It is now the accepted way to build a large, robust and scalable cloud, big data, or dedicated storage system. These environments normally work with multi-petabytes of storage and tens of thousands of servers at any one time.
For these large organisations, high frequency computing offers a new operating paradigm. Data is spread across multiple servers, enabling protection from any individual server failure so there is no impact on your service. The use of multiple servers also distributes processing power across many devices, providing scale-out performance for larger workloads, and improving the computing efficiency of your workforce.
With this many advantages to high frequency computing, and the continued evolution of its various applications, there is seemingly no limit to how far we can go with this technology, using it to improve the standards and safety protocols of some of our most fundamental industries.
If you are wondering how your business can benefit from our high performance and high frequency hosting solutions, feel free to get in touch with the friendly team at Veber.