Author » Gary Johnson

Gary M. Johnson is the founder of Computational Science Solutions, LLC, and a specialist in HPC management as well as the development of national science and technology policy. He is also involved in the creation of education and research programs in computational engineering and science.

HPC Prospects in Qatar

Nov 11, 2013 |
All countries have some computing capability, but relatively fewer are serious players in HPC.  So far in the Middle East, the only country to place machines on the Top500 list is Saudi Arabia.  Qatar, which is right next door, is a very wealthy and focused country that could easily become a significant HPC power.  Why would Qatar want to play in HPC and how significant a player might it become? 
As evidenced by the 1980 to 2013 comparison photos of
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Convergence: HPC, Big Data & Enterprise Computing

Oct 28, 2013 | Many HPC aficionados probably think of Enterprise Computing as something static and boring: a solved problem; something to be maintained and occasionally updated; or maybe moved to a Cloud – but not a fruitful area for novel approaches or exotic hardware.  Big Data may change those views.  Let’s take a look. Enterprise Computing What is Enterprise Computing?  Wiktionary defines Read more…

Where Has HPC’s Math Gone?

Aug 19, 2013 |

When we think about progress in HPC, most of us use hardware speed, as reported in listings like the Top500, as our yardstick. But, is that the whole story – or even its most important component?

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Consolidating HPC’s Gains

Aug 13, 2013 |

Despite phenomenal progress in HPC over a sustained period of decades, a few issues limiting its effectiveness and acceptance remain. Prominent among these are the repeatability, transportability, and openness of HPC applications. As we prepare to move HPC to the exascale level, we should take the time and effort to consolidate HPC’s gains and deal with these residual issues from the early days of computational science.

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Waiting for Exascale

Jan 22, 2013 |

By current estimates, we’re about a decade away from having exascale computing capability. Never before has the HPC community focused so intensively on a machine so far beyond its grasp. Nevertheless, stalwart cadres around the globe are drafting strategies, plans, and roadmaps to get from here to exascale.

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The HPC Triple Crown

Nov 28, 2012 |

<img style=”float: left;” src=”” alt=”” width=”99″ height=”58″ />The semi-annual HPC “500 list” time and its attendant fall iron horse racing season are upon us. Thanks to the hard work of the list keepers, we currently enjoy three major ones to review, compare and contrast: TOP500, Green500 and Graph 500. Each focuses on a distinct aspect of HPC – number crunching, energy efficiency, and data crunching, respectively – and together they allow us to construct our own type of Triple Crown.

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Big Data Is HPC – Let’s Embrace It

Oct 25, 2012 |

<img style=”float: left;” src=”” alt=”” width=”75″ height=”105″ />Big data is all the rage these days. It is the subject of a recent Presidential Initiative, has its own news portal, and, in the guise of Watson, is a game show celebrity. Big data has also caused concern in some circles that it might sap interest and funding from the exascale computing initiative. So, is big data distinct from HPC – or is it just a new aspect of our evolving world of high-performance computing?

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Too Big to FLOP?

Jul 19, 2012 |

<img style=”float: left;” src=”” alt=”” width=”94″ height=”90″ />At the cutting edge of HPC, bigger has always been seen as better and user demand has been the justification. However, as we now grapple with trans-petaflop machines and strive for exaflop ones, is evidence emerging that contradicts these notions? Might computers be getting too big to effectively serve up those FLOPS?

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HPC Lists We’d Like to See

Jun 15, 2012 |

<img style=”float: left;” src=”” alt=”” width=”85″ height=”72″ />Since the release of the first TOP500 list in June of 1993, the HPC community has been motivated by the competition to place high on that list. We’re now approaching the twentieth anniversary of the TOP500. In recent years, two additional lists have gained traction: the Green500 and the Graph 500. Would a few more lists be useful?

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Petaflop In a Box

Jun 6, 2012 |

<img style=”float: left;” src=”” alt=”” width=”103″ height=”79″ />As we move down the road toward exascale computing and engage in discussion of zettascale, one issue becomes increasingly obvious: we are leaving a large part of the HPC community behind. But it needn’t be so. If we developed compact, power efficient petascale computers, not only could we help broaden the base of high-end users, but we could also provide a foundation for future bleeding-edge supercomputers.

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