Fire safety engineering firm ignites simulation speeds with Azure Batch

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Wellington-based specialty engineering company Holmes Fire wanted to run faster, less expensive fire simulations using high-performance computing. This would help them deliver better design alternatives and services to more customers. We worked with Holmes Fire to build a service based on Microsoft Azure and Azure Batch, which returns simulation results hundreds of hours faster than before. That’s how Holmes Fire saves time—and lives.
“We tested a model that ran in New Zealand for 336 hours, and it ran for just 56 hours in the environment we built in Azure. That’s more than a 400 percent improvement in turnaround on average,” says Sebastian Herrmann, Technology Transformation Director, Holmes Group.

At Holmes Fire, specialized engineers use complex fire dynamics simulation computer models to predict how fires behave to optimize fire safety in building designs. Those models could take weeks of costly run time, until now. With Microsoft Azure Batch, the firm is slashing simulation times. Its new Fire Dynamics Simulator tool helps engineers improve complex building designs at a lower cost, unleashing growth potential for Holmes Fire.

“We derived real benefit from using the Azure platform and working with Theta... We’ve got the promise of unlimited compute, great scalability, and the ability to run jobs concurrently. That’s flexibility we’ve never had before.” Sebastian Hermann

Read the full Microsoft case study.