MeteoPole Case Study
MeteoPole Zephy-Science combines three business verticals dedicated to the wind-energy industry. The company is both a consulting firm and a software-development studio dealing with the various challenges present in the wind-farm project life cycle. Meteopole Zephy-Science also offers the ZephyCloud computing platform, which allows its customers to use its simulation software online without having to deploy them on their machines. ZephyCloud is an impactful engineering simulation for wind projects thanks to an unrivaled calculation speed and its pay-as-you-go business model. The simulations produced bring a new level of accuracy in the sector, which is a real competitive advantage for Meteopole Zephy-Science, especially in European and Asian markets where the company mainly operates.
To meet the demand of our customers, we reached nearly 400 Amazon EC2 instances opened simultaneously."
Co-founder and CEO, MeteoPole Zephy-Science
MeteoPole Zephy-Science engineers faced limitations while running simulations for their clients, as these tasks are highly demanding on computational power and very time-consuming. As a result, a compromise between the accuracy of the results and an acceptable delivery time was often necessary.
The company managed to overcome these limitations and decided in 2016 to launch its online platform for running wind simulations: ZephyCloud. The goal: provide its customers with more accurate simulations within a fraction of the time it used to take, without any upfront investment in software licenses or on-premises hardware that would soon be obsolete. To keep that promise, the company sought a cloud provider that offered on-demand computational power without any limitations.
Why Amazon Web Services
MeteoPole Zephy-Science benchmarked the offer of four major cloud providers, including AWS. The company chose AWS because of its high quality-to-price ratio. MeteoPole Zephy-Science teams also took advantage of resources available to startup companies via the AWS Activate program. This allowed the company to complete development of its ZephyCloud technology and validate the solution by offering it to early adopters.
Today, MeteoPole Zephy-Science uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances and can open as many instances as necessary to carry out as many parallel simulations as needed for different projects at the same time—which is not possible with traditional simulation solutions in the wind industry. "We were able to validate our solution to provide faster, highly reliable simulation results, helping our clients make million-euro decisions on the most challenging wind projects in very complex sites," says Karim Fahssis, cofounder and CEO of MeteoPole Zephy-Science.
Fahssis, ZephyCloud's advantage is entirely related to the power and elasticity offered by the AWS Cloud. The computational power provided by the AWS platform, combined with the opening of unlimited Amazon EC2 instances on demand, allows ZephyCloud to make simulations in record time.
"On the AWS platform, we can perform—in one hour—calculations that used to take three weeks with a traditional simulation solution, while exploring a whole new level of accuracy in the results," says Fahssis. Another advantage: the ability to conduct multiple simulations simultaneously, which avoids the frustrating queue for customers. "To meet the demand of our customers, we reached nearly 400 Amazon EC2 instances opened simultaneously. The latest version of the solution enables us to simultaneously open Amazon EC2 instances—128 cores, two terabytes of RAM—which offers outstanding on-demand power, at controlled costs," says Fahssis.
The time saved allows ZephyCloud not to sacrifice the accuracy of its results in favor of a faster delivery time, as was required by traditional simulation solutions. Instead, using the power of the AWS platform, ZephyCloud simulations offer a higher level of accuracy and more time for analyzing and refining without affecting delivery times. "For example, in atmospheric studies for wind-power projects, we are able to provide a level of resolution to the meter using the AWS Cloud, whereas we were limited to a resolution of 20 meters with traditional solutions. A low-resolution level is only one of the parameters limiting accuracy--among many others--when it comes to complex fluid modeling. These limitations no longer exist," Fahssis says.
For customers, apart from delivery time and unrivaled accuracy, another benefit is the billing model. Customers can test the solution one time on a small case, then upgrade without having to invest in additional computing power as required by solutions deployed locally on their own servers.
AWS also proves to be a key technology partner in the global development of MeteoPole Zephy-Science. This is especially true regarding the Chinese market according to Fahssis, who has been living for 11 years in the Middle Kingdom. "China installed half of the wind turbines in the world last year and is very likely to keep installing new ones," he says. However, local market players have a strong demand for cloud-based services to be hosted in their country. Thanks to AWS' international network, specifically its data center in Beijing, MeteoPole Zephy-Science can guarantee the data security and local presence required by Chinese customers.
Thanks to competitive advantages that result from the company's use of AWS , the company intends to continue its international expansion and to provide ZephyCloud to other promising industries that use simulations.
MeteoPole Zephy-Science combines three business verticals dedicated to the wind-energy industry. The company is both a consulting firm and a software-development studio dealing with the various challenges present in the wind-farm project life cycle.
AWS Services Used
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud.
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