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Video | Is this a flood analysis revolution?

Flood Cloud is an innovative service that enables users of Flood Modeller, TUFLOW and HEC-RAS to seamlessly undertake flood modelling, at any scale, in the cloud.

Until recently the required outputs from flood modelling were typically selected water levels and flood extents from a handful of simulations such as three return period events. Now, a much richer set of results are required, perhaps covering ten or more annual exceedance probabilities, with various climate change scenarios and a range of flood management options with different flood defence performance assumptions.

This, together with the move towards detailed 2D modelling, has resulted in a step change in the computational resources needed to undertake the modelling. Flood Cloud provides the answer by providing an almost infinitely scalable resource pool of processors tightly integrated within our industry-leading flood modelling software.

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Flood Cloud provides the on demand computational resource required to deliver the step change needed for improved information on flooding.

The importance of, and demands on, flood modelling continue to increase. In order to better understand flood behaviour and identify robust flood management options, more and more simulations are required. At the same time pressures are growing to act quicker and be more efficient. Flood Cloud is designed to help you respond to all of these situations.

Example: a project may require simulations for 5 sets of inflow boundaries, at 4 epochs, with 3 climate change scenarios and for 3 flood management options – for a 2-hour base simulation run time this equates to more than 2 weeks of continuous running if one licence/computer is used. But with Flood Cloud all the 180 individual simulations can be undertaken at the same time – saving the project 2 weeks of programme.

Key benefits of Flood Cloud

  • Quicker results: access high performance hardware on demand, allowing you to unlock the full potential of Flood Modeller by running more concurrent instances of the software.

  • Greater analysis: deterministic models for single storm events have been established for decades and modellers have been limited to this method due to the cost of software, speed of computers and availability of alternative analysis. It is now practical to overcome these barriers.

  • Flexibility: perfect for organisations with growing or fluctuating project demands. If workloads increase or you need to undertake more detailed analysis, it’s easy to scale up your processing capacity. Likewise, if you need to scale down again, you have that flexibility.

  • No capital-expenditure and reduced software costs: align costs with revenues and cut out the initial cost and ongoing maintenance of high performance hardware. Having the option to run a greater number of concurrent simulations can also reduce future software costs.

  • Accessible from anywhere: Flood Cloud can be accessed when you need it, at any time, from anywhere in the world. Available 24/7, your projects can continue to run beyond your regular working day.

  • Free up existing software licences: run simulations using Flood Cloud allowing others to use the licence to build their models.

  • Reliability: hosted by Amazon’s state-of-the-art offering, it makes it less prone to in-house IT infrastructure challenges.

  • Competitive advantage: it provides enterprise-class technology, for everyone, allowing businesses to act faster and more efficiently than ever before. Our pay-as-you-go service allows organisations to compete more effectively, while remaining lean and nimble.

  • Only pay for what you use: our cost effective pricing structure makes it even easier for you to plan and manage your projects.

  • Secure: hosted by Amazon, it is built on a secure platform, ensuring your data and personal details are safe.

What is Flood Cloud?

Flood Cloud is a collaboration between Jacobs and Parallel Works that seamlessly integrates Jacobs’ Flood Modeller software with the Parallel Works platform and Cloud platforms such as Amazon AWS, to provide an innovative Cloud-based platform that empowers users to run compute-intensive simulation and data analytics workflows faster, at greater scale, and more cost effectively than ever before.

Flood Cloud enables models to be built using Flood Modeller’s industry-leading 1D and 2D solvers to be run in the Cloud. It also integrates with third-party flood modelling software such as TUFLOW (BMT), HEC-RAS (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) and SWMM (U.S. EPA). By providing users with the opportunity to select and run their preferred model(s), it enables them to utilise the most appropriate tool for each modelling application.

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How does Flood Cloud work?

Once a user sets up their model simulations and submits their runs to the Cloud, Flood Cloud packages the input data in a zip file and uploads the data to a Cloud control server. The data and solvers are then distributed across resources in the Cloud and the model simulations are started. The Cloud system then continually communicates with your local computer to provide updates on your simulation and once the runs are finished, these can be automatically downloaded to your computer or stored in the Cloud and downloaded at a later date. Once downloaded, results can be viewed and post-processed on your local computer as if the simulations had been run locally.

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