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Flood Cloud is an innovative service from Jacobs that enables users of Flood Modeller and TUFLOW to seamlessly undertake flood risk modelling, at any scale, in the cloud. Powered by the Parallel Works platform, Flood Cloud delivers the on demand computational resource required to deliver the step change needed for better information on flooding.

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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Quicker results

Access high performance hardware on demand, allowing you to unlock the full potential of Flood Modeller and TUFLOW by running more concurrent instances of the software.

Flood Cloud is seamlessly integrated within the Flood Modeller interface

Seamlessly integrated

Seamlessly integrated within Flood Modeller. Once you have set up your models locally, you can send them for processing in the cloud, directly from within the interface.

Flood Cloud's interactive dashboard

Interactive dashboard

Monitor the progress of your runs, including percent complete, mass balance and convergence. A graphical summary representing flows, iterations, convergence and mass balance is also provided.

The Flood Modeller interface

Visualise results

Results and other outputs from Flood Cloud can be saved to your network or local computer. They can be viewed and processed using the wide range of tools provided within the Flood Modeller.

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.

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

  • 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.

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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.

Frequently asked questions

A number of frequently asked questions have been answered below. If you have any additional questions or would like to discuss Flood Cloud further, please contact us.

Why would I use Flood Cloud instead of a standalone licence?

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. This information could be easily and quickly obtained using basic hardware and standalone software.

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.

Please note that a Flood Modeller Pro and TUFLOW licence is also required if you wish to run a Flood Modeller (1D)-TUFLOW (2D) linked simulation. Users wishing to run a TUFLOW only model will need a TUFLOW licence.

How do I access Flood Cloud?

You can access Flood Cloud from directly within the Flood Modeller Free and Flood Modeller Pro user interface.

Who are Parallel Works?

Parallel Works is a high-tech company based in Chicago that delivers high performance computing as a service. They are building on advanced computing technology from the U.S. National Labs to make large-scale computing simple, accessible and cost-effective.

How secure is Flood Cloud?

Flood Cloud is extremely secure and leverages Amazon’s state of the art Web Services infrastructure. Flood Cloud protects cloud resources from unauthorized access, and from any un-intentional access to or destruction of user data.

Amazon Web Services has achieved ISO 27001 certification of their Information Security Management System (ISMS) covering their infrastructure, data centers, and services including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC).

What much does Flood Cloud cost?

Flood Cloud is a pay as your go service which uses credits per simulation hour.

Credits can be purchased in packages of 1,000, 2,500, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000.

Flood Modeller only simulations (1D, 2D and 1D-2D linked) and TUFLOW only simulations are charged from 1.69 credits per simulation hour.

Flood Modeller-TUFLOW (1D-2D) linked simulations are charged from 2.02 credits per simulation hour.

HEC-RAS simulations are charged from 1.36 credits per simulation hour.

How do I make payment?

The Flood Cloud pricing structure will allow you to purchase ‘credits’ from the Flood Modeller sales team. An invoice will be raised, allowing you to make payment using a credit card or BACS.

What currency can I pay in?

We can invoice you in GBP, USD or EUR.

What platform is Flood Cloud run on?

Parallel Works provides an innovative cloud platform that delivers easy access to scalable computing. Flood Cloud is built on the Parallel Works platform, and uses Amazon Web Services to deliver the computing power.

What security procedures are in place for Flood Cloud?

Each Flood Cloud user has their own private cloud-based file storage area, not accessible to any other users. Each Flood Modeller execution takes place in a private directory on a cloud computing node. This directory cannot be accessed by any other cloud user, and is destroyed when the model execution is completed.

What information will be stored within the ‘Cloud’?

This is for users to decide. Users will have access to and control over what is stored on the cloud. Basic data (username, email and password) will be stored on the Parallel Works account servers. Beyond that, users have access to an amount of persistent cloud storage for input files and results they want to keep in the cloud. Results can be download and saved once the run has taken place.

Will I need to transfer my models to the cloud and work off a virtual machine?

Users can send analyses to the cloud directly from the Flood Modeller interface. We have designed the system so you only need to define which models are to be run on the cloud – the transfer of files (upload and download), virtual machine start-up and configuration, and software licencing is done for you. Once they have run on the cloud, they will be brought back for further analysis.

How will I know if there are any problems with the simulation?

The returned data from a cloud simulation will contain all output and log files produced by Flood Modeller and TUFLOW. Selected diagnostic information is streamed back to the user in near-real-time in order to determine if a run is proceeding acceptably, or should be terminated and resubmitted to address an error.

Will I be able to stop a simulation once it has started?

Yes. Users will be able to terminate a run and can use streamed output (or exceeding of expected run time) as an indicator that something is wrong with the run.

Do you need Flood Modeller Pro to run Flood Cloud?

Both Flood Modeller Pro and Flood Modeller Free provide access to Flood Cloud.

It you have an existing model that exceeds the restrictions of Flood Modeller Free and you do not have access to Flood Modeller Pro, you will still be able to run this model using Flood Cloud. However, you won’t be able to make changes or updates to it.

You only need a Flood Modeller Pro licence if you wish to run a Flood Modeller (1D)-TUFLOW linked simulation.

Can I run TUFLOW and Flood Modeller-TUFLOW linked models in Flood Cloud?

Yes, Flood Cloud allows you to run Flood Modeller Pro 1D, 2D and 1D-2D linked models. It also enable users to run Flood Modeller (1D)-TUFLOW (2D) linked models, TUFLOW only models and HEC-RAS models.

Please note that users wishing to run Flood Modeller (1D)-TUFLOW (2D) linked models require a Flood Modeller Pro and TUFLOW licence. Users wishing to run a TUFLOW only model will require a TUFLOW licence.

How fast is Flood Cloud compared to your desktop computer?

The default compute type is currently an Intel Xeon E5-2666 v3 processors, 4 CPUs, 7.5 GB memory, however additional, more powerful machines will potentially be added in future versions of Flood Cloud.

Each machine on the cloud will be dedicated solely to running the simulation passed to it, whereas your desktop computer might be working on other tasks at the same time, that affect resources. It is not possible to say how fast simulations will be within Flood Cloud compared to your desktop computer, however recent testing has shown similar speeds.

 

How many users within an organisation can log in to Flood Cloud using a single account?

When you purchase Flood Cloud credits, you will be provided with login details for a Flood Cloud account that has the specific number of credits enabled. We do not restrict the number of people that can use these login details. Additionally, you can set up multiple Flood Cloud accounts if you wish to have an account for different projects or offices.

How much storage space is provided within Flood Cloud?

Flood Cloud provides 50GB of storage space per account (which may provide access to multiple users). The storage space limit applies to model input data and not results.

How many simulations can be run in parallel within a batch?

Many tens of simulations can be run in parallel within a single batch. There will be a practical limit to the number that can be run in one batch but it has not yet been identified.

Is it possible to group together simulations from different projects within a batch?

Flood Cloud will first seamlessly load the simulations from the current project within Flood Modeller. Users can then browse to each additional simulations file from other projects individually. Simulation types cannot be mixed within a single batch.

If multiple simulations are within a batch, will all of them start simultaneously?

Yes, all of the simulations will start at approximately the same time. There will likely be small variations as different simulations may take more or less time to be uploaded to the cloud.

Can Flood Cloud be used on a different third-party cloud service?

Flood Cloud will only work through the designated cloud service that has been built into Flood Cloud.

Is it possible to use Flood Modeller through a third-party cloud platform?

No. Users are unable to operate Flood Modeller through a third-party cloud provider as per our End User Licence Agreement

What real-time updates will a user receive during a simulation?

There will be the progress bars advancing in the main Flood Cloud dashboard, in addition to the option to view run details of each simulation. You can also see the run status in the history window.

Can Flood Cloud run models that include multiple 2D TUFLOW domains?

Yes, Flood Cloud can run models that include multiple 2D TUFLOW domains.

Do Flood Modeller-TUFLOW simulations require TUFLOW relative paths?

Yes, if you are running a Flood Modeller-TUFLOW linked simulation within Flood Cloud, please ensure that the TUFLOW relative paths are correctly set up, otherwise the model is likely to fail.

What versions of Flood Modeller and TUFLOW can I run within Flood Cloud?

Flood Cloud provides access to Flood Modeller version 4.3 and TUFLOW 2016 as standard, however other configurations of the software may be provided on request.

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