Let’s say you’re a rocket scientist—or aerospace engineer as NASA calls them— building a new jet engine. You’ve got a lot of variables to design for: you need to improve fuel efficiency, while also increasing power and minimizing noise. What do you do? Turn to OpenMDAO —or Open-source Multidisciplinary Design, Analysis and Optimization— whose software framework lets you pull together all your engineering codes and optimize for multiple variables. OpenMDAO uses the Cloud to test their software, and they use Cloudability to protect their limited budget.
Meet Keith Marsteller. Keith is a developer and cloud ops guy who calls himself a “Utility Infielder” for the NASA-affiliated OpenMDAO development team. “The Cloud was the easiest way to get lots of resources for not a lot of money,” says Keith. OpenMDAO needs to constantly test their software on multiple platforms and across ten different variations/iterations of possible machine builds. In Keith’s words: “The things we’ve done would have been possible before but we would have had to have a lot of machines and VMs running locally. The Cloud has saved us a lot of manhours.”
“We use servers on an as-needed basis, with test scripts that turn on machines and then shut them down. Or at least we hope they shut them down.” One recent morning, a RAM allocation overrun caused them to start killing processes to get under the limit. Some of those processes were responsible for turning off our EC2 instances. “That type of thing gone unchecked could really cripple our budget. Due to our limited budget, a spike of a hundred dollars of extra spend in a day would be disastrous for us. Luckily Cloudability let us know about the extra costs.”
Before Cloudabilty, Keith was logging into his Cloud services a couple of times a day to make sure nothing had been left running. Now, every afternoon he gets a Cloudability report. “If the price shoots up because one of our guys left something on by mistake, I know about it right away. Thanks to all the extra insight, our first month with Cloudability was also our lowest cost month on the Cloud.”