Managed HPC Services Help Space Data Company Thrive

Dell Technologies

Spire Global is a U.S.-based space-to-cloud analytics company that provides advanced maritime, aviation and weather tracking information to its customers around the world. Data about the earth — and beyond — streams in around the clock from the company’s global network of ground stations and a constellation of nanosatellites.

The company runs this data through its proprietary algorithms to create insights that can be applied to a variety of use cases. For example, Spire is helping the U.S. Air Force and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) augment their operational forecast during the COVID-19 pandemic. Merchant shipping companies use information from Spire to route ships to avoid undesirable winds and weather, saving fuel costs, reducing carbon emissions, protecting the safety of its employees, and getting cargo to ports faster. Spire also has deals with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Space Agency, and even Amazon along with other global players that can be significantly impacted by weather.

While Spire’s customers include maritime, aviation, agricultural and mining companies, government agencies and private enterprises with different goals and use cases, the one thing they all have in common is that they want accurate information gained from data captured in space.

A major focus for the company is to help its customers improve weather forecasting. To do this, Spire scientists use a technique called radio occultation to observe and measure atmospheric properties — such as temperature, pressure and water vapor — with a high degree of granularity and accuracy.

To handle massive amounts of data created by the radio occultation, Spire requires HPC systems capable of processing large amounts of data at lightning-fast speed. To meet this need, Spire leverages HPC as a Service from R Systems, a Dell Technologies partner. HPCaaS gives Spire’s engineers and data scientists access to the latest HPC technologies, including Dell EMC PowerEdge servers, InfiniBand networking, Dell EMC Ready Solutions for HPC storage, and more.

With a fully-managed Dell Technologies HPC solution from R Systems, Spire can run its advanced weather prediction algorithms on the radio occultation data via remote, and focus on helping its customers manage their weather risks without the complexities of designing, managing, and maintaining HPC infrastructure and staff.

The HPC managed services model from R Systems is also helping Spire grow its business on its own terms, without having to make large up-front investments in HPC systems that would need to be overprovisioned to handle their ‘bursty’ requirements.

Spire is also benefitting from R Systems’ close relationship with Dell Technologies. R Systems provides HPC resources and technical expertise through the R Systems brand and the Dell HPC Cloud Services Partnership. In addition to those industry-standard solutions, R Systems Engineers assist clients in selecting the components of their optimal cluster configurations.

According to Thomas Henderson, senior director for software engineering at Spire: “We’re not building a giant data center. We’re operating with a company like R Systems on a smaller scale to basically stand on the shoulders of giants. Our job is to add value.”

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You can read more about Spire in the case study, supported by Dell Technologies and Intel. Come visit the Dell Technologies virtual booth at SC20, or explore the latest HPC news at

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