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January 23, 2014

This Week in HPC News

Nicole Hemsoth

It has been a rather eventful week in high performance computing on multiple fronts—people, places and things.  Much of the talk over the last seven days has revolved around some key personnel changes, as well as the loss of an important figure in HPC—we’ll get to that after a brief review of the week’s top announcements, beginning at the top with what was by far the most-discussed news item of the week…

IBM logo 151x151IBM Sheds x86 Business

The top news item this week was covered in depth here and on EnterpriseTech. IBM sold its x86 business to Lenovo for a cool $2.3 billion, raising questions on the HPC side of the fence about what such a move will mean for Big Blue in government-funded high performance computing.

Big Blue accounts for about a third of the machines on the TOP500 list ranking of supercomputers, and many of them are based on its System x rack servers, iDataPlex hyperscale machines, or BladeCenter blade servers. Many customers in the HPC space were no doubt looking at the NextScale “vanity-free” designs that came out last September from IBM, which has higher density and lower costs than the iDataPlex machines.

People Filling a Pie ChartNew Figures Emerge on HPC Market Growth

MarketsandMarkets, which does not frequently weigh in on the HPC market reported this week that according to their findings, the global High Performance Computing Market is estimated to be $24.32 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow to $33.43 billion by 2018.

This represents an estimated Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.6% from 2013 to 2018. In the current scenario, North America is expected to be the biggest market on the basis of spending and adoption for the HPC solutions and services.

Opteron6300AMD Rolls Out New Opterons

This week AMD announced the immediate availability of its new 12- and 16-core AMD Opteron 6300 Series server processors, code named “Warsaw.” Designed for enterprise workloads, the new AMD Opteron 6300 Series processors feature the “Piledriver” core and are fully socket and software compatible with the existing AMD Opteron 6300 Series.

While not targeted specifically for HPC workloads, we’ve followed the development of Piledriver for some time—AMD says this will be ideal for the AMD Open 3.0 Open Compute Platform, which they see as one of their primary keys to enterprise datacenter market.

sgiSGI Branches Out Storage Line

Earlier in the week, SGI introduced a range of new storage products that target “big data” and HPC workloads. The company’s new InfiniteStorage 5100, SGI InfiniteStorage 5600 FC16, SGI InfiniteStorage 5500-F, and SGI InfiniteStorage 5600-F, supported by the InfiniteStorage Storage Management (ISSM) 11.10 are detailed here.

SGI says these enhancements to the SGI InfiniteStorage 5000 series will enable customers to tackle their Big Data challenges with enhanced computing, performance and scalability, accelerating the discovery of actionable insights and innovation.

More News…

As many of you have heard, and probably seen in our headlines this week, we have lost a highly respected and well-liked member of the community. Dr. Hans Meuer, who built a solid community HPC community around the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) and in the process, sparked admiration and a long list of friends, passed away on Monday.

As HPCwire publisher, Tom Tabor said in his thoughtful farewell, “Hans played a preeminent role in uniting the high performance computing (HPC) community from regions far and wide. He was the proverbial father figure of high performance computing in Europe, the quintessential professor – graying beard, German accent, passion for science and discovery and most importantly the desire to use the technology around him to improve humankind’s quality of life.”

In other news on the people front, there have been some notable changes among industry members we’ve written about in the past. Molly Rector, former CMO at SpectraLogic has moved on to a new storage adventure at DataDirect Networks, replacing Jeff Denworth, who is taking on his most challenging role yet—as a new parent. Penguin Computing CEO, Charles Wuischpard has moved into Intel’s HPC and technical group with Tom Coull stepping into the shoes he left behind. Earlier in the month Jay Boisseau retired from TACC. Another industry luminary, John Gustafson, has moved to the world of green materials as CTO of Ceranovo. The times they are a’changing…