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Cloud made easy for hydro engineers

Last week Nerdalize got the opportunity to present our cloud platform to Deltares users. Twice a year, Deltares organizes the Deltares Software Days, an event to meet up with users of Deltares software and talk about the latest developments and trends in the field of hydrology. For the past 3 DSDs we were invited to present our cloud platform. These are always very interesting moments to learn more about our users and their cloud needs!

Together with users of Deltares software we developed our platform in a way that makes it very easy for engineers to run their hydro simulations on our cloud resources. Like in other industry segments, you can see an increasing need for computing power in hydro engineering. With needs for higher resolutions and bigger simulations, projects often demand more computing power than an internal cluster can offer in order to meet deadlines.

In close collaboration with hydro engineers we developed a platform:
  • that decreases the time needed to run hydro models in the cloud
  • that offers computing power with the best price performance
  • without vendor lock-in at a specific cloud provider

Deltares User Research
Using Deltares software in the cloud

This DSD we showed users our new Command Line Interface. We developed a workflow for hydro engineers in order to use Deltares software on our cloud resources without needing support from the IT department. This enables hydro engineers to scale up to the cloud and lower the runtime of their projects without having to spend time and effort in setting up the environment. And use compute power of the most affordable cloud provider out there!

Empowering biologists with SeDEx

Data and computations play an increasingly important role in many research fields. From chemistry and physics to economics, a lot of data is being generated these days, and increasingly sophisticated algorithms are being developed to make better use of that data.

Erik Schultes, scientific project lead on FAIR data at the Dutch TechCenter for Life Sciences (DTL), saw the same developments within the field of biology. On the one hand, a lot of data on protein sequence data is already available. On the other hand, over many decades numerous algorithms have been developed that use these data to predict the complex folded structures of proteins. Unfortunately, these two developments, data versus algorithm, remain largely isolated from each other, because biologists are not trained in the necessary computer science skills to put them into practice.

Digital image of a protein

SeDEx, a data platform for biologists without IT training

Large-scale protein structure prediction is still very difficult for the biologist without a lot of IT training. To fill in the knowledge gap between the known protein sequences and the unknown protein structures, Erik came up with the idea for the Sequenomics Data Exchange (SeDEx); a platform to make it easier for biologists to combine all this available data with state-of-the-art algorithms for structure prediction.

With the SeDEx, we need to do a lot of computations. It’s very parallelized but it is a lot. Nerdalize solves this problem for the SeDEx. It makes scalable compute resources easily available to biologists without IT training.

Erik Schultes

Converting protein sequence to structure
SeDEx fills in the knowledge gap between protein sequences and structures

The goal of SeDEx is to help biologists obtain predicted structures by making sequence data, structure prediction software, and compute resources easy to use through a simple graphical user interface. Nerdalize provides the computing power behind the SeDEx, making automatic structure prediction easy and affordable. The SeDEx is also a FAIR publication platform, allowing biologists to easily share their findings with the community. Applications of the SeDEx are found throughout basic research, biomedicine, nanotechnology, and industrial enzyme engineering.

The SeDEx opens a whole new window for the biologist, to the enormous universe of possible protein sequences and structures, even those yet to be discovered by life. A great use for our compute capacity! At Nerdalize we are very enthusiastic to be working together with DTL on making the SeDEx a reality.

Now that our compute jobs are so big, we needed to find a solution. Working together with Nerdalize has been a real breakthrough for us.

Erik Schultes

Stimulating green energy production, while saving energy!

Green energy is the future, that is one thing we are sure about at Nerdalize. So why is not all land filled with windmills and are all rooftops covered with solar panels? Many people are still cautious when it comes to investing in these green technologies. Luckily, Solar Monkey found a way to minimize this worry. They are able to accurately calculate the expected energy production of solar panels on your roof. With a 100% guarantee! Together with Readaar we are working to realize their ambition of a sustainable future.

As part of the YES!Delft incubator and as a Climate-KIC alumni we often connect with people from the most brilliant startups. This is especially exciting when it enables us to work together in a way that is both beneficial for the startups, as well as the environment. This happened when we ran into Sven Briels and Matthijs van Til from Readaar.

Readaar developed a smart way to analyze aerial imagery and LiDAR data (height information) in order to find different kinds of information on rooftops. The YES!Delft startup, Solar Monkey uses this data to design the best configuration for solar panel installations. A problem both companies run into is that the coordinates of the height information don’t match the coordinates of the aerial imagery. Readaar has built an algorithm to match the aerial imagery with the LiDAR data.

LiDAR data Aerial imagery

These algorithms are very compute intensive, thereby requiring vast amounts of computing power. Readaar was looking for a cloud provider for doing their analysis. Of course the well-known cloud computing platforms of Google and AWS are available to them, but instead they chose to use our servers. We offered a more affordable solution, but Readaar was especially charmed by our sustainable approach.

At Nerdalize we provide a sustainable solution for cloud computing. We use the same energy twice, once for computing and once for heating. Computer servers produce a lot of heat, so traditional data centers use energy to cool their servers. Instead we place our servers into homes. This way we use the heat that is generated by useful computations where it is needed. Companies use our server-heaters for many different kinds of computations. This time we use them to analyze aerial images in order to estimate the energy production of solar panels. Next time, who knows? We are very excited to work together with Readaar and Solar Monkey in stimulating green energy production, while saving energy with our servers!

Geological computations, easily deployed in the cloud!

Devices and organisations gather more and more data. When applied right, this data can be very useful in industries like science and engineering. Large amounts of data are used for quantitative analyses, real-time monitoring and simulations. Geology is a good example of an industry where large amounts of data are processed. For example, GPS coordinates, LiDAR data and satellite images. Engineers keep their computers running overnight and during the weekends hoping that their computation will be done when they return to their desk the next morning.

The cloud is a great solution for these engineers and researchers, giving them access to scale up their processes to unlimited amounts of computing power. But how do these engineers and researchers, that are not trained in IT, get access to cloud resources? The Nerdalize cloud platform makes this easy for them!

Yesterday, I presented the Nerdalize Cloud Platform to a group of geologists at GeoBuzz. Engineers and researchers can use our platform to deploy large computations to cloud resources, without needing the help of their IT department!

The presentation was received with a lot of enthusiasm. The nice reactions afterwards ensured me that what we learned from user tests during the development of the platform really appeals to a large target group. Motivating us to keep developing a platform that can easily be used by everybody with a need for processing large amounts of data!

Maaike pitching Nerdalize at GeoBuzz