News Article

Simulation-as-a-Service for Advanced Manufacturing
Date: Apr 03, 2013
Source: ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: TotalSim LLC of Dublin, OH

What problem are you intending to solve?

We want to transform how professionals and students can make and learn-about advanced manufacturing components through a "simulation-as-a-service" app based on cloud resource and software access.
What is the technological approach, or development roadmap?

As part of this project, a team from University of Missouri, Ohio Supercomputer Center, The Ohio State University and City of Dublin in partnership with TotalSim, VMware, Autodesk and HP have started to:

Establish a functional city-supported hybrid public-private cloud with VMware Horizon and HP GENI Rack hardware with data centers at Tech-DEC (Technology-related Dublin Entrepreneurial Center) and the Ohio Supercomputer Center; a remote site (e.g., Los Angeles office of TotalSim) is being connected via the GENI infrastructure

Enable small and medium size manufacturing companies to rapidly develop advanced products through "software/platform" rentals; related to this rentals, we are conducting user surveys to identify and configure Thin Apps (e.g., AutoCAD, Matlab) and Cloud Apps (e.g., Google Apps, Webex, Dropbox) that can be used to make and learn-about advanced manufacturing components in a transformative and cost-effective manner

Conduct research experiments to configure and evaluate novel Gigabit protocols (e.g., PCoIP, OpenFlow) for thin-clients and data backup/collaboration as part of usability studies with manufacturing companies (e.g., TotalSim and others), and also investigate app deployment and long-term SMaaS offering challenges

Develop web-applications and tools for registering users, administering and analyzing usability studies, provisioning and monitoring virtual desktops, and metering Cloud Apps usage to track billing/expenses when rental access is allowed for manufacturing companies and other communities (e.g., libraries, public schools)

Use the reference architecture obtained form above case study with TotalSim and City of Dublin to have an advanced manufacturing component design "Edu App" project at the Ohio Supercomputer Center Summer Institute for gifted high-school students

How will end users interact with it, and how will they benefit?

The manufacturing users (e.g., TotalSim) have started to use the service offering for advanced design purposes (e.g., computational fluid dynamics design), and are evaluating how they can collaborate and improve their productivity and design effectiveness and make new components in a way not possible today! Also, an example design workflow and "Edu App" from the manufacturing community are being investigated to develop course content for the OSC SI program, where students can learn to make manufacturing components in a way not possible today! We are also investigating ways to stimulate advanced manufacturing startups in City of Dublin, and substantially lower technology/policy barriers to creating new startups by leveraging: (a) collaborative design SaaS apps, (b) public-private cloud computing resources connected to OARnet backbone that is already linked to Dublink, (c) gigabit-class networks such as GENI, and (d) fiber optics as well as data center investments already made by City of Dublin!
How will your app leverage the 1Gbps, sliceable and deeply programmable network?

We are using thin-client protocols (e.g., PCoIP) that require several tens of Mbps of network bandwidth for supporting few tens of users, and low network latency is critical for smooth user interactions, especially when using modeling and simulation software such as AutoCAD, Paraview, Matlab and Moldflow. We are leveraging City of Dublin's broadband resources connected to the high-performance computing resources at the Ohio Supercomputer Center to provide a "Ignite Internet Channel" that offers radically new capabilities to the Dublin community than what are available today with the "Regular Internet Channel". New capability examples include: (i) “Software/Platform” rental access services to libraries, public schools, retail communities, (ii) STEM programs related to Advanced Manufacturing for high-school students that are accessible via thin-clients at their homes, and (iii) Dublin company colleague collaborating over a wide-area OpenFlow testbed on GENI infrastructure with a remote office colleague or customer in LA as though they are "at-the-same-desk".
Further application information
Additional supporting information, materials and resources

Take a look at the existing code - project repository
See also

Metro Data Center, Dublin

Will your work be beta-ready by the end of the Development Challenge?

Yes, we already have a preliminary application demo ready (, and are gathering infrastructure components to have a beta-ready service offering in the City of Dublin to show how advanced manufacturing can be transformed for professionals and students. OARnet has setup a POP at Dublin Metro Data Center to exclusively serve our project. HP has donated a GENI Rack to Metro Data Center to exclusively serve our project, and Mozilla Ignite seed-funds are being used to host the GENI Rack. Mozilla Ignite seed-funds have been used to connect the TotalSim building to the Dublink fiber that connects to OARnet and Ohio Supercomputer Center. VMware is offering Horizon software and support and considers our project as a "Design Partner" effort. Some of the results we are able to already demonstrate with the "Ignite Internet Channel" include: *** 20 times faster file transfer speeds i.e., ~2hrs wait to load Paraview file now takes ~5 minutes *** ~4 times smoother user actions i.e., much higher frame rates supported for manipulation actions of model files on virtual desktop We have created demo videos that illustrate significant differences in “Today’s Advanced Manufacturing Practice” in comparison with the better “Future Advanced Manufacturing Practice with SMaaS” with actual user work flows that feature Paraview load times and manipulation frame rates.
How much effort do you expect this work to take?

The overall effort is expected to take 8 - 12 months.
Do you need help?

No, we have a team with adequate skills for the challenge. However, we encourage manufacturing companies to contact us and take advantage of our efforts and help us refine the idea.