Airbus UK, an aircraft manufacturer, has reduced its costs by using an Intel Itanium-based high performance technical computing platform (HPTC) at its famous Filton site.
The value of the server architecture extends throughout the life of the aircraft. If a plane built 20 years ago requires service, the manufacturer must be able to rerun the analysis code exactly as it was performed 20 years ago to ensure an identical response. Over the last few years, Airbus UK has upgraded its servers from Convex to new Itanium 2-based servers.
According to Nigel Barry, IT architect. The HPTC servers have helped Airbus UK reduce costs by speeding flight simulation runs and reducing the amount of tweaking that needs to be done to software to optimise its performance.
In the past simulation routines could take weeks to run. “The cost associated with analysis is not in buying the hardware-it is in running the software,” says Barry.
“What HPTC means is that we can now run simulations faster. We could always run them, but we could not afford the time it would take to run the big simulations, because some of them would take many weeks to run. Now we can do 20 to 30 a night.”
This was first published in October 2004