Having just returned to my home base in the UK after attending the 2nd running of Supercomputing Asia, where I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with many of Bright’s customers and partners attending the show, I started thinking about how our business got started in the Region.
Back in 2010, Bright Computing was barely a one year-old-company, bravely embarking on a mission to demonstrate the value of fully supported, enterprise-class management for high-performance computing infrastructure. With a legacy of working with some of the top research and academic institutions in Europe, and with growing business in the US, our business in Asia got going when we welcomed two new customers to the Bright family – The Tokyo Institute of Technology and the University of Tokyo. It’s worth taking a moment to mention, that the Partner we started our Asia business with – HPCtech Corporation – remains a loyal Bright Premier Reseller and just last year helped us add another five new customers to our Bright family of users. Since that start in 2010, we’ve witnessed increasing interest in Bright right across the Region, growing our customer base steadily with around a dozen new customers each of the years through 2015. It was in 2012, however, when we had what was to become one of our most important wins in the Region – but I’ll come back to that.
As our Asia business grew, we saw our first major win at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia in 2014. In 2017, CSIRO expanded its environment with a new system dedicated to AI research and continues to use Bright today. But that first major installation was only the start. Going back to 2012, it was then that the first Bright-managed cluster came on-line at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore. Fast forward to 2015, and we were proud to have Bright selected as the management system for Singapore’s first Petascale system at the newly formed National Supercomputing Centre, who played host to the SC Asia 2019 conference from where I’ve just returned.
And we didn’t stop there… Building on those early successes, more large-scale facilities have come online with Bright. In 2017, the National Center for High-Performance Computing (NCHC) turned to Bright for their first Petascale system - TAIWANIA 1. Later in 2017, we saw two further large installations get off the ground. The first was the New Zealand eScience Infrastructure, which has recently become fully available with multiple sites and systems relying on Bright to manage their HPC and OpenStack platforms (watch this space for more news on this exciting new national facility). And if that was not enough, our third large success in 2017 saw the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information selecting Bright to manage their latest supercomputer – Nurion 5. This monster of a system consists of 128 racks and still ranks at No. 13 on the list of the 500 most powerful systems in the world.
While these large wins are a fantastic testament to the power of Bright’s management technologies, what is perhaps the most exciting proof point of our growth in Asia is the number of new customers adopting our technology. In 2016 and 2017 we saw the yearly new customer count grow to over twenty, and in 2018 we were delighted to welcome over thirty new customers to the Bright family! Since that humble beginning in 2010, we now have more than 130 customers using Bright to ensure the smooth operation of their institute or business critical high-performance systems. Which leads me to conclude, the future for our business in Asia is, indeed, Bright.