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2021 in Review

22.12.2021
Simon Ponsford CTO

We have grown our team, won Multi-Cloud Solution of the Year, and announced our achievement running a 3.2M vCPU supercomputer on AWS – it has been quite the year. CEO, Simon rounds up 2021.

Although this year may not have resulted in the end of the pandemic, having the opportunity to connect in person, both internally at YellowDog and externally, has been really positive.

While there are many other positives from 2021, here are my three highlights…

1. Building a 3.2M vCPU Supercomputer on AWS

Our achievement in July was a true reflection of all the work the team have put into developing the Platform over the past 18 months. We provisioned a total of 3.2 million vCPUs, across two regions in North America and Europe on AWS. It took 7 minutes to provision 1 million vCPUs; at peak this is 8,000 vCPUs per second! The whole run was completed in just over an hour, by which time it had analysed 200 million compounds for a molecular docking task.

“What’s extraordinary is that this sort of firepower is available to anybody who can afford it.” – TechRadar

“The announcement marks a game changing step forward as, for the first time ever, thousands of servers across Europe and North America were able to work seamlessly together on a single problem.” – HPCWire

What’s more, we have since released several performance improvements that allow YellowDog to provision compute and schedule tasks almost twice as fast. For customers that require a cloud supercomputer at this scale, it takes just a few simple clicks. See our latest release for more details.

The run demonstrates the unparalleled potential of the YellowDog Platform. Even if you aren’t looking for this amount of compute, the ability to spin up cloud instances across multiple regions, means customers can have their own virtual data centre at any scale, easily and cost effectively.

As a team, we are looking forward to enabling discovery for our customers in the future.

2. Winning the Multi-Cloud Solution of the Year

According to the Flexera™ 2021 State of the Cloud Report, 92% of businesses surveyed are using a multi-cloud strategy. In Financial Services, the Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) has been introduced to ensure institutions are resilient to potential cloud failures. This means companies must have mechanisms in place to failover to different providers, if necessary.

As Hashicorp summarise in their research, we are in the “Multi-Cloud Era”.

Given all this information pointing to the importance of multi-cloud, it was great to win Multi-Cloud Solution of the Year at the Cloud Excellence Awards, hosted by Computing.co.uk.

We have developed a truly cloud native solution. It enables our customers to view the full landscape of computing resources through a single pane of glass; across on-premise, multiple cloud providers, regions, and instance types. We prioritise ease of use and flexibility so users can take advantage of multi-cloud, without requiring specialist expertise to do so.

3. Welcoming Five New Starters

Alongside exciting product developments, we also welcomed Elizabeth, Allyson, Sitsofe, Fiona, and Elliot to the team.

Elizabeth has managed projects and system implementations across Financial Services, Engineering, Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Goods industries. As YellowDog’s Delivery Manager, she is responsible for ensuring a smooth client journey, as well as building and maintaining partner relationships.

Allyson is our Finance Director. She is a Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of ICAEW. With her own finance consultancy business, she brings a wealth of experience supporting businesses with their financial management and planning, as well as business growth.

Sitsofe joins YellowDog as a QA Engineer. He has degrees in Computer Science and Software Engineering. He has had a variety of software related roles over the past fifteen years, including the Bristol-based scale-up Graphcore.

Fiona is responsible for our engagements with customers and partners. After a decade working for two leading supercomputing companies, Fiona is a key driving force in helping YellowDog develop its capabilities in the cloud, on-premise and beyond.

Elliot joins as a DevOps Engineer. With a First Class degree in Computer Science and experience at Netcraft, Elliot brings extensive knowledge to the team.

To steal a quote from Alan’s blog on bringing personal values to work

I’m lucky to work for a company that celebrates everyone’s unique values and gives space for people to express their individuality. This is something that will remain an important anchor, as we continue to grow the team.

It is exciting to see the team expand, and I look forward to bringing more people on board in 2022.

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