If you’re using the cloud to store music, photos, or the beginning chicken scratches of the next great American novel, the speed at which you are able to access, download, or upload these files might be good enough. But the cloud isn’t just used to store all the photos from your niece’s first birthday party. For a lot of companies, the cloud is used for important, mission-critical workloads that are complex and require a much faster speed than what is typically provided. In this blog, we’ll look at what high performance cloud computing is, why it is needed, and some of the use cases for it in key industries.

What is High Performance Cloud Computing?

High performance cloud computing is the ability to process data at much higher speeds than typically achieved through regular cloud computing. It allows you to run large, complex workloads – such as Oracle or SQL Server databases – on the cloud without experiencing any lag. High performance cloud computing offers very high throughput with very low latency. So whether you are using the cloud for data analytics or to complete high-speed transactions, you’ll be able to gain insights faster and respond much more rapidly.

Why is High Performance Computing in the Cloud Needed?

We live in an exciting time for technological innovation. The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and 3D printing and rendering has expanded how we live and work. And with these new technologies, a growing amount of data is being generated. All of this data needs to be quickly gathered and analyzed to create the most meaning for users. Some examples of this would be: if you are monitoring stock trends, tracking a developing snowstorm, or trying to test a new product before bringing it to market. In all of these cases, real-time processing and analysis is key to success (getting ahead of the market, issuing weather alerts, or having a leg-up against competitors in the marketplace). High performance computing gives all of these use cases (and many more) the ultra-fast performance they need to complete these tasks in practically real-time.

High Performance Cloud Computing by Industry

I’ve already outlined a few use cases for high performance cloud computing, but there really are so many needs for it. Whether you work in Hollywood and are adding special effects to the latest blockbuster film or are working in the oil and gas industry and need to be able to more accurately predict where to drill new wells. Below, we’ve outlined how key industries can leverage high performance cloud computing.

High Performance Cloud Computing for Finance

With the proliferation of online trading platforms, more and more people are entering the investment market, meaning more and more trades are happening electronically. In the stock market, the delay of a trade can make or break investors’ fortunes – literally! Which is why investment firms need high performance cloud computing to help automate trading. For investors who enjoy scouring the Wall Street Journal for the latest hints on whether to buy or sell, high performance cloud computing also makes identifying stock trends in real-time possible.

Faster computing in the finance industry isn’t just limited to investors. More often than not, the average person is leveraging online banking capabilities such as making a deposit, transferring money, or paying bills. For these customers, having the ability to quickly e-deposit a paycheck and turn around to use it to pay rent in a matter of minutes is a highly desirable feature that can keep local banks competitive. High performance cloud computing makes this one-two punch transaction possible.

One final way that the finance industry could leverage high performance in their cloud computing is for fraud analysis and detection. This is especially helpful for credit card companies who can use the high performance to quickly identify suspicious charges on customers’ credit cards, alert the customer to determine if the charge is fraudulent or not, and then take measures to shut down the card and issue a new one.

High Performance Cloud Computing for Healthcare

Healthcare is another industry that can benefit from the use of high performance cloud computing. In the age of telehealth (and COVID) when more patients are opting to be treated from home, it is more important than ever that doctors be able to see in real-time how their remote patients are faring. High performance cloud computing makes this possible. Another possibility that the cloud is opening up is the ability for various providers to integrate their records in order to quickly get a full picture of a patient’s health profile. With high performance cloud computing, this integration is rapid and can enable a provider to quickly (and more accurately) diagnose a patient by having all of the most up-to-date and available information in hand during the time of the appointment.

High performance cloud computing is also making it possible for scientists to quickly test and create vaccines and cures for some of the most notorious diseases and ailments that plague mankind. Whether it be a vaccine for COVID-19 or an eventual cure for diabetes and various cancers, we are now able to quickly develop these medicines and treatments so more patients can take advantage of them as soon as possible.

High Performance Cloud Computing for Insurance

The insurance industry is highly competitive. In order to stay ahead of the competition, insurers need to be able to provide prospective customers with fast and accurate quotes and then quickly underwrite the policy when the customer has made a decision. Cloud-based analytics can help ensure that prospective customers are getting the most accurate quote while high performance cloud computing enables both the analytics and the speed at which the quotes and underwriting are completed.

But it’s not just the presale that high performance cloud computing can help with. By leveraging high performance cloud computing, insurers can help remove the bottlenecks that slow down claims processing and help make the entire experience smoother and faster for customers.

High Performance Cloud Computing for Retail

If you’ve ever clicked “submit” on an online purchase and anxiously waited as your cursor wheel turned and turned and turned… you understand the importance of high performance for cloud computing in the retail space. For the retailers themselves, this wait period is critical: if it’s too long, the customer might click away, canceling the order in the process. And with more customers opting to leverage online shopping compared to brick-and-mortar, online stores are having the boundaries of their website speed being pushed as it is. High performance cloud computing gives them more wiggle room, so online retailers can handle high volumes of customers (such as during the holidays or back to school) without turning away a single customer because of too much buffering.

High performance cloud computing also makes it possible for retailers to take advantage of cloud-based analytics to offer customers a personalized experience (ie “You bought this… you might be interested inthat…”). Being able to offer this experience is critical to remaining competitive and keeping customers loyal. But without high performance cloud computing, it would be nearly impossible to quickly collect and make sense of customer browsing and buying behaviors in order to respond rapidly with suggestions when a customer visits the site.

Get High Performance Cloud Computing with Silk

If you have a use case for high performance cloud computing, you’re probably wondering how you can achieve the level of performance that you need, and if any of the public cloud vendors (AWS, Microsoft Azure, GCP) are able to provide you with that high level of performance. Getting high performance on the public cloud is tricky. Because it’s a shared solution, the public cloud vendors put throttles on the speeds that your workloads can reach. And because the cloud vendors tie performance to the number of resources you buy, it’s going to cost your budget quite a bit to pay for a bunch of cloud resources you don’t need in order to try to get the high level of performance that you want.

But there is an easier way to get high performance on the cloud: by introducing the Silk Platform to your cloud stack. Silk sits between your workloads and the underlying cloud infrastructure. It helps to supercharge your most complex workloads on the cloud so you get up to 10x faster performance compared to native cloud alone. And because Silk keeps your workloads separated from the cloud itself, it makes it easier to simply lift and shift into the cloud without the need to refactor. Silk also offers enterprise data cloud services – such as zero-footprint clones, deduplication, and data reduction – that help keep your cloud resource footprint to a minimum. In turn, this helps keep your cloud budget in check as you create copies of data (whether for test/dev purposes, for disaster recovery, or for something else).

Curious if your cloud of choice is offering you the performance that your most mission-critical databases and applications need? Learn more about performance testing in this blog post