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September 26, 2011

HPC Meets Clouds in Mannheim

Nicole Hemsoth

This week at the second annual ISC Cloud ’11 conference in Mannheim, Germany, the overarching theme is the intersection between high performance computing and cloud computing—public, private and hybrid.

According to conference chairman, Dr. Wolfgang Gentzsch, unlike last year’s event, this year the focus will be specifically on the HPC community’s unique challenges, experiences and future concerns as it looks to cloud computing to solve computational challenges.

He says that although last year the balance was in favor of academic attendees, this year there is increasing interest from industry. He says that at ISC Cloud ’11, instead of the approximately 80% bias toward academic cloud, this year the attendees are evenly split between those with real business needs and those with academic use cases to share or learn from.

Interestingly, this conference, which was put together based on input from the community, decided to leave the focus up to what it seemed was most needed by those making use of high performance clouds. This means that while public clouds are the subject of conversation, private and hybrid cloud computing scenarios are garnering the most interest. Gentzsch claims that the participants from industry are coming to learn from academics about use cases for private and hybrid clouds—and that academic attendees are equally interested to hear about implementations and solutions for enterprise users.

We sat down with Gentzsch before the opening keynote from Dr. Ian Foster to discuss the trends that are emerging in high performance cloud computing—and what awaits as we move past experimentation and into cloud realities for HPC.

As far as cloud computing conferences go, this is certainly right in the sweet spot for many of you, whether you’re coming from a research perspective or from the view of an enterprise end user. Take a quick look at the conference program to see the range of sessions that cover clouds for industry, use cases from academia, and the host of sessions that explore different aspects of cloud’s biggest challenges for HPC—data movement, networks , security and general accessibility.

There are several elements packed into two days; we’ll be bringing you more from these sessions that are well-aligned with exactly what we cover here…stay tuned.