Electronics on missiles and military helicopters need to survive extreme conditions. Before any of that physical hardware can be deployed, defense contractor McCormick Stevenson Corp. simulates the real-world conditions it will endure, relying on finite element analysis software like Ansys, which requires significant computing power.
Then one day a few years ago, it unexpectedly ran up against its computing limits.
"We had some jobs that would have overwhelmed the computers that we had in office," says Mike Krawczyk, principal engineer at McCormick Stevenson. "It did not make economic or schedule sense to buy a machine and install software." Instead, the company contracted with Rescale, which could sell them cycles on a supercomputer-class system for a tiny fraction of what they would've spent on new hardware.