Cloud.com Discusses OpenStack and HPC Involvement

By Nicole Hemsoth

July 19, 2010

Today’s announcement of OpenStack, which is detailed here, involved partnerships with NASA and 25 other companies ranging from household names to smaller software companies but the details about the role the partners will play over the coming months are tough to come by. Those few companies that have issued statements cloak their points in generalities about the larger implications for interoperability, standardization, and a more open model for cloud environments.

Among those who were part of the announcement was Cloud.com—one of the few willing to provide some details about the nature of their involvement. While the details are still shrouded in mystery, a conversation with them did shed light on the code itself and its current applicability, among other things.

When Cloud.com launched with its new domain name (do I really need to link it?) this year during its rebranding effort, I spoke with the CEO for a short time to get a scope of the company and what its focus would be. It was clear then that they were aiming to be one of the frontrunners in the turnkey IaaS market, but at the time, it seemed that this was a company that was dedicated to sticking with the small and mid-sized enterprises. Most of their news has landed on the commercial end of the spectrum and hasn’t been covered much here at HPC in the Cloud, but we have been paying attention to the company.

I caught up with them today after seeing their name appear in the list of partners for the hot-off-the-press announcement from Rackspace that it would be opening up its code and collaborating with NASA to get it off the ground this coming year, much to the delight of cloud standards and interoperability folks. RightScale, AMD, Intel, and a host of others were also mentioned but it was nearly impossible to understand what role any of them would be playing.

I made it clear during the email interview that they’d been on my radar but they seemed focused on the small and medium-sized business market rather than HPC or large scale enterprises for the core of their business. Peder Ulander, CMO of Cloud.com responded that they are not simply concerned with this market but that they also see potential (and clients) in the HPC space. As Ulander wrote, “One of our big advantages is the fact that we architected for scale …which is beneficial to large service providers (i.e. Tata) as well as companies seeking to do large scale cloud computing deployments.  Applications like Cloudera for big data analytics run on top of the Cloud.com platform.  We view HPC as a market that we fit into as we have architected for scale, however we will work with partners to solidify the solution offering specific to HPC.”

While it seems that this means that they can work with clients that fit into the big data analytics realm in beyond, it takes some partnerships to pull off. Nothing wrong with that, certainly, but I suppose it’s important to place Cloud.com in the context of their competition for reference’s sake.

Despite a lack of concrete focus on HPC, Ulander did express some excitement about Cloud.com being a partner with NASA and Rackspace. He stated that for those coming from the world of HPC, this news is meaningful. In his words, “One of the largest HPC deployments from a cloud perspective has been developed and delivered by the Nebula team at NASA.  The engagement of this team, coupled with their contribution of code, brings some of the most advanced HPC/Cloud code being used in deployment today and makes it available to users worldwide.   For HPC customers and large scale enterprises, this should help alleviate the concern around the scalability, manageability and security in deploying a cloud for their HPC functions.”

Whether for HPC or small enterprise users, there is no doubt that today’s Rackspace announcement bodes changes for the industry. The only remaining issue is what the partners, aside from Rackspace, will be contributing. Before trying to get an answer to what Cloud.com was throwing into the open source brew, I asked Ulander how their involvement came about in the first place. His response was free from specifics, noting only that Rackspace understood their position as a provider of open source cloud solutions for large scale productions, hence they contacted them at some point in the unspecified past. Like the other partners, some of their folks went to Austin for the workshop that cemented the release and finalized details of partnership agreements.

On this topic, Ulander noted,

“First and foremost, the initiative was kicked off by our customers and partners in the cloud.  Any effort to bring together leaders with like minds to help drive open standards and interoperability in the cloud is critical to our success and important that we participate in.  This is all goodness for the members, the market and most importantly the customers.  As a founding member, we have committed to engage with the community, collaborate on standards projects and contribute code that enhances the community efforts.  As this effort spins up, we will work with the other members to prioritize how and where we can contribute.”

He continued about the status of the release and their plans to continue as partners—and more important, how they expect to see the initial use of the open source project. In Ulander’s words:

“From a code/project perspective, the project itself is geared towards highly technical institutions with resources to put on integrating and testing their own solution.  Two prominent quotes on the organization’s wiki declare that “This is not yet code that comes with certification” and “OpenStack is probably not something that the average business would consider deploying themselves yet.”  These comments are designed to help set expectations that this is not commercial grade, turnkey cloud technology but more something that needs significant investment to get up and running.  This is where it is important to take note that we are the only cloud orchestration layer included to take this technology commercial.  By being part of this initiative, we are in a great position to engage these customers at technical and strategy level which ultimately brings them closer to launching cloud service on Cloud.com product.

The bottom line is that even the most technically savvy customers are not going to invest in areas of non-differentiation (bottom of the stack) and look to partners to integrate, test and support.  This is our role in this initiative and our effort to collaborate, contribute and participate will only further cement our position as the ideal partner for a cloud orchestration solution.  We’ve already received some positive engagements and interest from large customers who are also part of the OpenStack initiative as a result of a summit around this project held last week in Austin.”

There is a great deal of vagueness to the partner statements about their roles in the OpenStack project but time should reveal more about how each partner is leading expertise to the project. If anyone has any ramblings on why the details of an open source project like this are shrouded in mystery and vagueness, I would be thrilled to chew on your conspiracy theories.

Oh, and as a side note: My biggest question for Cloud.com has always been along the lines of “what small countries have a GDP roughly equivalent to what you forked over to score that domain name” but that one never gets answered. If anyone ever finds out, I’d be tickled to know—just for my own special sense of wonderment.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

RSC Reports 500Tflops, Hot Water Cooled System Deployed at JINR

April 18, 2018

RSC, developer of supercomputers and advanced HPC systems based in Russia, today reported deployment of “the world's first 100% ‘hot water’ liquid cooled supercomputer” at Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JI Read more…

By Staff

New Device Spots Quantum Particle ‘Fingerprint’

April 18, 2018

Majorana particles have been observed by university researchers employing a device consisting of layers of magnetic insulators on a superconducting material. The advance opens the door to controlling the elusive particle Read more…

By George Leopold

Cray Rolls Out AMD-Based CS500; More to Follow?

April 18, 2018

Cray was the latest OEM to bring AMD back into the fold with introduction today of a CS500 option based on AMD’s Epyc processor line. The move follows Cray’s introduction of an ARM-based system (XC-50) last November. Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Hybrid HPC is Speeding Time to Insight and Revolutionizing Medicine

High performance computing (HPC) is a key driver of success in many verticals today, and health and life science industries are extensively leveraging these capabilities. Read more…

Hennessy & Patterson: A New Golden Age for Computer Architecture

April 17, 2018

On Monday June 4, 2018, 2017 A.M. Turing Award Winners John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson will deliver the Turing Lecture at the 45th International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) in Los Angeles. The Read more…

By Staff

Cray Rolls Out AMD-Based CS500; More to Follow?

April 18, 2018

Cray was the latest OEM to bring AMD back into the fold with introduction today of a CS500 option based on AMD’s Epyc processor line. The move follows Cray’ Read more…

By John Russell

IBM: Software Ecosystem for OpenPOWER is Ready for Prime Time

April 16, 2018

With key pieces of the IBM/OpenPOWER versus Intel/x86 gambit settling into place – e.g., the arrival of Power9 chips and Power9-based systems, hyperscaler sup Read more…

By John Russell

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cloud-Readiness and Looking Beyond Application Scaling

April 11, 2018

There are two aspects to consider when determining if an application is suitable for running in the cloud. The first, which we will discuss here under the title Read more…

By Chris Downing

Transitioning from Big Data to Discovery: Data Management as a Keystone Analytics Strategy

April 9, 2018

The past 10-15 years has seen a stark rise in the density, size, and diversity of scientific data being generated in every scientific discipline in the world. Key among the sciences has been the explosion of laboratory technologies that generate large amounts of data in life-sciences and healthcare research. Large amounts of data are now being stored in very large storage name spaces, with little to no organization and a general unease about how to approach analyzing it. Read more…

By Ari Berman, BioTeam, Inc.

IBM Expands Quantum Computing Network

April 5, 2018

IBM is positioning itself as a first mover in establishing the era of commercial quantum computing. The company believes in order for quantum to work, taming qu Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

FY18 Budget & CORAL-2 – Exascale USA Continues to Move Ahead

April 2, 2018

It was not pretty. However, despite some twists and turns, the federal government’s Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget is complete and ended with some very positi Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Nvidia Ups Hardware Game with 16-GPU DGX-2 Server and 18-Port NVSwitch

March 27, 2018

Nvidia unveiled a raft of new products from its annual technology conference in San Jose today, and despite not offering up a new chip architecture, there were still a few surprises in store for HPC hardware aficionados. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem

January 17, 2018

"The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved," proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Russian Nuclear Engineers Caught Cryptomining on Lab Supercomputer

February 12, 2018

Nuclear scientists working at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) have been arrested for using lab supercomputing resources to mine crypto-currency, according to a report in Russia’s Interfax News Agency. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

How the Cloud Is Falling Short for HPC

March 15, 2018

The last couple of years have seen cloud computing gradually build some legitimacy within the HPC world, but still the HPC industry lies far behind enterprise I Read more…

By Chris Downing

Chip Flaws ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Loom Large

January 4, 2018

The HPC and wider tech community have been abuzz this week over the discovery of critical design flaws that impact virtually all contemporary microprocessors. T Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Fast Forward: Five HPC Predictions for 2018

December 21, 2017

What’s on your list of high (and low) lights for 2017? Volta 100’s arrival on the heels of the P100? Appearance, albeit late in the year, of IBM’s Power9? Read more…

By John Russell

How Meltdown and Spectre Patches Will Affect HPC Workloads

January 10, 2018

There have been claims that the fixes for the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, named the KPTI (aka KAISER) patches, are going to affect applicatio Read more…

By Rosemary Francis

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Deep Learning at 15 PFlops Enables Training for Extreme Weather Identification at Scale

March 19, 2018

Petaflop per second deep learning training performance on the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) Cori supercomputer has given climate Read more…

By Rob Farber

Lenovo Unveils Warm Water Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 in Rampup to LRZ Install

February 22, 2018

This week Lenovo took the wraps off the ThinkSystem SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with par Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AI Cloud Competition Heats Up: Google’s TPUs, Amazon Building AI Chip

February 12, 2018

Competition in the white hot AI (and public cloud) market pits Google against Amazon this week, with Google offering AI hardware on its cloud platform intended Read more…

By Doug Black

HPC and AI – Two Communities Same Future

January 25, 2018

According to Al Gara (Intel Fellow, Data Center Group), high performance computing and artificial intelligence will increasingly intertwine as we transition to Read more…

By Rob Farber

New Blueprint for Converging HPC, Big Data

January 18, 2018

After five annual workshops on Big Data and Extreme-Scale Computing (BDEC), a group of international HPC heavyweights including Jack Dongarra (University of Te Read more…

By John Russell

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Momentum Builds for US Exascale

January 9, 2018

2018 looks to be a great year for the U.S. exascale program. The last several months of 2017 revealed a number of important developments that help put the U.S. Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Google Chases Quantum Supremacy with 72-Qubit Processor

March 7, 2018

Google pulled ahead of the pack this week in the race toward "quantum supremacy," with the introduction of a new 72-qubit quantum processor called Bristlecone. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This