Big Compute has Turned the Corner

Use of public clouds to run Big Compute has turned the corner. There is no market survey or analytics behind the statement; the evidence is purely anecdotal. I call it the “I Got It Transformation.” It is that moment when the majority of customer conversations evolve from “why would someone want to use public cloud for Big Compute” to “how do they do it?” The overwhelming number of conversations we have with potential customers now start with “how do I start?”; as few as six months ago we were spending a large amount of time walking through justifications. One wonderful thing about cloud is dramatically eval and spin-up time. In a cloud environment, the length of time between deciding to start a pilot and getting meaningful results is typically weeks. In a fixed infrastructure model the period is typically months. In fact, we often run customer pilots in less time than it takes to procure, deploy, and image test infrastructure. Differences like these do not make cloud better than internal infrastructure, but does highlight one of the key benefits to utilizing a mix of fixed and flexible resources. And when that happens for the teams running those pilots, it generates one of those “I got it” moments.  ...

Oklahoma Supercomputing Symposium 2014, a Good Week to Talk Cloud HPC

By Tim Carroll, Cycle Computing Vice President Ecosystem For anyone who has been around academic research computing for a while, this is always a good week.  Henry Neeman’s annual Oklahoma Supercomputing Symposium is this week, hosted on the campus of Oklahoma University (OU). It is a two day event jam-packed with presentations and discussions on the latest research and methodologies for people devoted to using computation to tackle important problems. The event is so helpful that in addition to attracting attendees from government, it has begun to attract those from industry as well. I am personally excited to be there because this is the first time I get to see many old friends and colleagues in many months.  And no better place to talk about adding cloud HPC as one more tool in the computational toolbag than OSS14. OU was an early adopter of Linux clusters to bring more tools to their researchers, and cloud will provide even greater reach and flexibility as the footprint of technical computing continues to evolve. We are a proud sponsor, so if you plan on being there, please track us down and say hello.           Background on Oklahoma Supercomputing Symposium 2014 As part of the National Science Foundation’s (NSA) EPSCoR (Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research), the Oklahoma Supercomputing Symposium is the longest running event of its kind. In line with the EPSCoR’s mission of strengthening research and education in science and engineering through the U.S., the event attracts visionaries and innovators from across the...
Enterprise HPC Conference Takeaway: Finding the Best Answer is Most Important

Enterprise HPC Conference Takeaway: Finding the Best Answer is Most Important

By Tim Carroll, Cycle Computing Vice President Ecosystem Last week’s Enterprise HPC 2014 conference in San Diego was a highly focused series of panels and discussions targeting leaders responsible for implementing technical computing within commercial environments. It was a shot in the arm to hear so many companies using HPC to drive business results. Michael Hughes from Cummins, Donour Sizemour from Two Sigma and Arden Anderson from Mercury were an impressive sampling of the next generation of HPC thinkers. They sat on a panel together and the word “result,” was the one used most often. I do not even recall if they described their infrastructure, rather they focused on their users’ needs and the lines of business they support. Of course, that mindset is not limited to the private sector, James Lowey from TGEN and Anthony Galassi from NGA can always be counted on to remind us all that ultimately the value of our work is in the answers we provide not how we provide them. I have never been more excited to be in this industry. I would stack the people in that room up against any whiz kid writing apps to find rides to the airport or street tacos. The more we can direct our brightest minds toward solving the most important problems facing business and society, the sooner people will understand our industry focus has shifted from faster systems to faster answers. It’s exciting to see a broad understanding and acknowledgement that the most important thing today is getting results, and finding better answers; and this is exactly why I am so energized to be here at...