When you think of the “cloud,” you may think first of a place for storing and sharing data. That is definitely a part of what it means to be in the “cloud”. However, you may not be aware of the significant benefits that some cloud solutions, including PLEXOS Cloud, can provide. These solutions offer a capability that's immensely valuable and can greatly influence your work. This holds true whether you're an energy analyst, a director of planning for utilities or grid systems, or operating a business reliant on energy for effective operations. This capability is called elastic computing or Scalability. The ability to scale your computing demands rapidly enables you to be ready for any possible future when planning and delivering your energy needs. PLEXOS Cloud is uniquely poised to help!
Scalability and PLEXOS Cloud
Let’s talk a bit about how PLEXOS Cloud can help you. First, PLEXOS Cloud is the same PLEXOS known around the world for its innovation and leadership in energy modeling. Organizations in the power, gas, and water sectors, along with other related fields, leverage PLEXOS when planning their low carbon, high renewable futures. Second, PLEXOS Cloud leverages hyper-scaling technology from trusted cloud vendors which allows Energy Exemplar to deploy thousands of Computer Processing Units (CPUs) at a moment’s notice to solve your hardest problems. Third, PLEXOS Cloud manages data flowing into and out of your energy modeling projects with security, velocity, and a significant analytics boost. PLEXOS Cloud allows you to use the most trusted energy modeling software to solve ever-growing challenges with cutting-edge computing - without having to directly manage all that data and hardware infrastructure.
The demands on energy modeling teams are rapidly increasing, and executives require better insights for data-driven business decisions. Simultaneously, regulators expect increasingly robust proof that plans meet state or country policy goals. The complexity of optimization scenarios continues to grow as new technologies are introduced to enable the energy transition. Meanwhile, the number of hours in the day stays the same. It can be hard to push all the necessary simulations through existing computing resources to keep up with demands. On the other hand, some days, instead of focusing on running simulations, you are focused on model building or analyzing terabytes of simulation results. This is exactly why organizations need flexible and scalable compute capabilities. Priorities change unexpectedly, and you need to be able to adjust. PLEXOS Cloud was built with this in mind.
Modern cloud platforms provide scalable compute, offering numerous benefits for energy utilities. As the energy industry continues to evolve and face various challenges, leveraging cloud computing can significantly enhance operations and services.
Here are some of the key advantages:
- Flexibility and Agility: Cloud platforms provide energy utilities with the ability to quickly scale compute resources up or down based on demand. This flexibility allows you to adapt to changing workloads, seasonal fluctuations, or unexpected events, ensuring optimal performance and cost-efficiency at all times. Plus, as you are likely aware, some simulations need a lot of CPUs (Monte Carlo for instance), and others demand a lot of memory (Capacity Expansion planning). With PLEXOS Cloud, you don’t need to commit to a particular number or type of compute resources. You can select the number and type (lots of RAM, lots of cores, or both) of machines you like, and never have regrets about a buying decision made years earlier.
- Cost Savings: Traditional on-premises infrastructure requires significant upfront investment and ongoing maintenance costs. By moving to the cloud, energy utilities can reduce their capital expenditures (CapEx) and shift to an operational expenditure (OpEx) model. Energy Exemplar’s usage-based pricing model means you only pay for and maintain what you need without hardware sitting idle and unused.
- Enhanced Performance: Cloud platforms typically offer cutting-edge hardware and infrastructure, ensuring high performance and reliability. You can take advantage of the cloud's advanced computing capabilities to process massive amounts of input data, perform complex simulations (Stochastic, Monte Carlo, etc.), and optimize their operations more effectively.
- Scalability for Growth: As the demand for modeling increases, teams must be prepared to handle larger workloads. Scalable compute resources in the cloud make it easier for teams to accommodate growth without facing capacity limitations, enabling them to expand their services and cater to a larger customer base.
Scalability is a crucial benefit, yet there are many additional benefits of Energy Exemplar’s modern cloud platform.
- Data Analytics and Insights: Your team works with vast amounts of data. PLEXOS Cloud provides robust data analytics tools that automate the processing and analysis of this data. You will get more valuable insights, faster.
- Improved Security: Cloud providers invest heavily in cybersecurity measures, ensuring that data and applications are protected from potential threats. Your energy organizations can benefit from the cloud's advanced security features, including encryption, access controls, and regular security updates, mitigating risks associated with cyberattacks and data breaches. Energy Exemplar and PLEXOS Cloud hold and maintain security credentials including ISO-27001 and SOC2 Type 2 certificates as part of our mission to protect your data.
- Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity: Cloud platforms offer built-in redundancy and disaster recovery capabilities. You don’t need to worry about losing access to PLEXOS or your data.
- Collaboration and Integration: Modern cloud-based solutions facilitate seamless collaboration between analysts. Powerful version management and real-time notifications offer strong collaboration. Robust APIs and Command Line Interfaces (CLI) allow you to integrate and automate your processes for efficient teamwork and knowledge sharing.
- Decarbonized Computing: Cloud computing vendors have all made serious commitments to decarbonize their energy intensive data center operations. This is often much more difficult to accomplish on-premise, whereas with PLEXOS Cloud your energy modeling computation is decarbonized with no effort.
PLEXOS Cloud is the easiest and fastest way to Scale Up your energy modeling. Overall, scalable compute from a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud platform empowers your energy industry organization to modernize operations, optimize resource utilization, and deliver more innovative and reliable insights to colleagues and stakeholders, all while reducing cost and environmental impact.