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!

CMU’s Latest “Card Shark” – Libratus – is Beating the Poker Pros (Again)

January 20, 2017

It’s starting to look like Carnegie Mellon University has a gambling problem – can’t stay away from the poker table. Read more…

By John Russell

IDG to Be Bought by Chinese Investors; IDC to Spin Out HPC Group

January 19, 2017

US-based publishing and investment firm International Data Group, Inc. (IDG) will be acquired by a pair of Chinese investors, China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., Ltd. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Weekly Twitter Roundup (Jan. 19, 2017)

January 19, 2017

Here at HPCwire, we aim to keep the HPC community apprised of the most relevant and interesting news items that get tweeted throughout the week. Read more…

By Thomas Ayres

France’s CEA and Japan’s RIKEN to Partner on ARM and Exascale

January 19, 2017

France’s CEA and Japan’s RIKEN institute announced a multi-faceted five-year collaboration to advance HPC generally and prepare for exascale computing. Among the particulars are efforts to: build out the ARM ecosystem; work on code development and code sharing on the existing and future platforms; share expertise in specific application areas (material and seismic sciences for example); improve techniques for using numerical simulation with big data; and expand HPC workforce training. It seems to be a very full agenda. Read more…

By Nishi Katsuya and John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Remote Visualization: An Integral Technology for Upstream Oil & Gas

As the exploration and production (E&P) of natural resources evolves into an even more complex and vital task, visualization technology has become integral for the upstream oil and gas industry. Read more…

ARM Waving: Attention, Deployments, and Development

January 18, 2017

It’s been a heady two weeks for the ARM HPC advocacy camp. At this week’s Mont-Blanc Project meeting held at the Barcelona Supercomputer Center, Cray announced plans to build an ARM-based supercomputer in the U.K. while Mont-Blanc selected Cavium’s ThunderX2 ARM chip for its third phase of development. Last week, France’s CEA and Japan’s Riken announced a deep collaboration aimed largely at fostering the ARM ecosystem. This activity follows a busy 2016 when SoftBank acquired ARM, OpenHPC announced ARM support, ARM released its SVE spec, Fujistu chose ARM for the post K machine, and ARM acquired HPC tool provider Allinea in December. Read more…

By John Russell

Women Coders from Russia, Italy, and Poland Top Study

January 17, 2017

According to a study posted on HackerRank today the best women coders as judged by performance on HackerRank challenges come from Russia, Italy, and Poland. Read more…

By John Russell

Spurred by Global Ambitions, Inspur in Joint HPC Deal with DDN

January 17, 2017

Inspur, the fast-growth cloud computing and server vendor from China that has several systems on the current Top500 list, and DDN, a leader in high-end storage, have announced a joint sales and marketing agreement to produce solutions based on DDN storage platforms integrated with servers, networking, software and services from Inspur. Read more…

By Doug Black

Weekly Twitter Roundup (Jan. 12, 2017)

January 12, 2017

Here at HPCwire, we aim to keep the HPC community apprised of the most relevant and interesting news items that get tweeted throughout the week. Read more…

By Thomas Ayres

IDG to Be Bought by Chinese Investors; IDC to Spin Out HPC Group

January 19, 2017

US-based publishing and investment firm International Data Group, Inc. (IDG) will be acquired by a pair of Chinese investors, China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., Ltd. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

France’s CEA and Japan’s RIKEN to Partner on ARM and Exascale

January 19, 2017

France’s CEA and Japan’s RIKEN institute announced a multi-faceted five-year collaboration to advance HPC generally and prepare for exascale computing. Among the particulars are efforts to: build out the ARM ecosystem; work on code development and code sharing on the existing and future platforms; share expertise in specific application areas (material and seismic sciences for example); improve techniques for using numerical simulation with big data; and expand HPC workforce training. It seems to be a very full agenda. Read more…

By Nishi Katsuya and John Russell

ARM Waving: Attention, Deployments, and Development

January 18, 2017

It’s been a heady two weeks for the ARM HPC advocacy camp. At this week’s Mont-Blanc Project meeting held at the Barcelona Supercomputer Center, Cray announced plans to build an ARM-based supercomputer in the U.K. while Mont-Blanc selected Cavium’s ThunderX2 ARM chip for its third phase of development. Last week, France’s CEA and Japan’s Riken announced a deep collaboration aimed largely at fostering the ARM ecosystem. This activity follows a busy 2016 when SoftBank acquired ARM, OpenHPC announced ARM support, ARM released its SVE spec, Fujistu chose ARM for the post K machine, and ARM acquired HPC tool provider Allinea in December. Read more…

By John Russell

Spurred by Global Ambitions, Inspur in Joint HPC Deal with DDN

January 17, 2017

Inspur, the fast-growth cloud computing and server vendor from China that has several systems on the current Top500 list, and DDN, a leader in high-end storage, have announced a joint sales and marketing agreement to produce solutions based on DDN storage platforms integrated with servers, networking, software and services from Inspur. Read more…

By Doug Black

For IBM/OpenPOWER: Success in 2017 = (Volume) Sales

January 11, 2017

To a large degree IBM and the OpenPOWER Foundation have done what they said they would – assembling a substantial and growing ecosystem and bringing Power-based products to market, all in about three years. Read more…

By John Russell

UberCloud Cites Progress in HPC Cloud Computing

January 10, 2017

200 HPC cloud experiments, 80 case studies, and a ton of hands-on experience gained, that’s the harvest of four years of UberCloud HPC Experiments. Read more…

By Wolfgang Gentzsch and Burak Yenier

A Conversation with Women in HPC Director Toni Collis

January 6, 2017

In this SC16 video interview, HPCwire Managing Editor Tiffany Trader sits down with Toni Collis, the director and founder of the Women in HPC (WHPC) network, to discuss the strides made since the organization’s debut in 2014. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

BioTeam’s Berman Charts 2017 HPC Trends in Life Sciences

January 4, 2017

Twenty years ago high performance computing was nearly absent from life sciences. Today it’s used throughout life sciences and biomedical research. Genomics and the data deluge from modern lab instruments are the main drivers, but so is the longer-term desire to perform predictive simulation in support of Precision Medicine (PM). There’s even a specialized life sciences supercomputer, ‘Anton’ from D.E. Shaw Research, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is standing up its second Anton 2 and actively soliciting project proposals. There’s a lot going on. Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Beats Azure to K80 General Availability

September 30, 2016

Amazon Web Services has seeded its cloud with Nvidia Tesla K80 GPUs to meet the growing demand for accelerated computing across an increasingly-diverse range of workloads. The P2 instance family is a welcome addition for compute- and data-focused users who were growing frustrated with the performance limitations of Amazon's G2 instances, which are backed by three-year-old Nvidia GRID K520 graphics cards. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

For IBM/OpenPOWER: Success in 2017 = (Volume) Sales

January 11, 2017

To a large degree IBM and the OpenPOWER Foundation have done what they said they would – assembling a substantial and growing ecosystem and bringing Power-based products to market, all in about three years. Read more…

By John Russell

US, China Vie for Supercomputing Supremacy

November 14, 2016

The 48th edition of the TOP500 list is fresh off the presses and while there is no new number one system, as previously teased by China, there are a number of notable entrants from the US and around the world and significant trends to report on. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Vectors: How the Old Became New Again in Supercomputing

September 26, 2016

Vector instructions, once a powerful performance innovation of supercomputing in the 1970s and 1980s became an obsolete technology in the 1990s. But like the mythical phoenix bird, vector instructions have arisen from the ashes. Here is the history of a technology that went from new to old then back to new. Read more…

By Lynd Stringer

Container App ‘Singularity’ Eases Scientific Computing

October 20, 2016

HPC container platform Singularity is just six months out from its 1.0 release but already is making inroads across the HPC research landscape. It's in use at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), where Singularity founder Gregory Kurtzer has worked in the High Performance Computing Services (HPCS) group for 16 years. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Dell EMC Engineers Strategy to Democratize HPC

September 29, 2016

The freshly minted Dell EMC division of Dell Technologies is on a mission to take HPC mainstream with a strategy that hinges on engineered solutions, beginning with a focus on three industry verticals: manufacturing, research and life sciences. "Unlike traditional HPC where everybody bought parts, assembled parts and ran the workloads and did iterative engineering, we want folks to focus on time to innovation and let us worry about the infrastructure," said Jim Ganthier, senior vice president, validated solutions organization at Dell EMC Converged Platforms Solution Division. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Enlisting Deep Learning in the War on Cancer

December 7, 2016

Sometime in Q2 2017 the first ‘results’ of the Joint Design of Advanced Computing Solutions for Cancer (JDACS4C) will become publicly available according to Rick Stevens. He leads one of three JDACS4C pilot projects pressing deep learning (DL) into service in the War on Cancer. Read more…

By John Russell

Lighting up Aurora: Behind the Scenes at the Creation of the DOE’s Upcoming 200 Petaflops Supercomputer

December 1, 2016

In April 2015, U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary Franklin Orr announced that Intel would be the prime contractor for Aurora: Read more…

By Jan Rowell

Leading Solution Providers

D-Wave SC16 Update: What’s Bo Ewald Saying These Days

November 18, 2016

Tucked in a back section of the SC16 exhibit hall, quantum computing pioneer D-Wave has been talking up its new 2000-qubit processor announced in September. Forget for a moment the criticism sometimes aimed at D-Wave. This small Canadian company has sold several machines including, for example, ones to Lockheed and NASA, and has worked with Google on mapping machine learning problems to quantum computing. In July Los Alamos National Laboratory took possession of a 1000-quibit D-Wave 2X system that LANL ordered a year ago around the time of SC15. Read more…

By John Russell

CPU Benchmarking: Haswell Versus POWER8

June 2, 2015

With OpenPOWER activity ramping up and IBM’s prominent role in the upcoming DOE machines Summit and Sierra, it’s a good time to look at how the IBM POWER CPU stacks up against the x86 Xeon Haswell CPU from Intel. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Sees Bright Future for AI Supercomputing

November 23, 2016

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia made a strong showing at SC16 in Salt Lake City last week. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Beyond von Neumann, Neuromorphic Computing Steadily Advances

March 21, 2016

Neuromorphic computing – brain inspired computing – has long been a tantalizing goal. The human brain does with around 20 watts what supercomputers do with megawatts. And power consumption isn’t the only difference. Fundamentally, brains ‘think differently’ than the von Neumann architecture-based computers. While neuromorphic computing progress has been intriguing, it has still not proven very practical. Read more…

By John Russell

BioTeam’s Berman Charts 2017 HPC Trends in Life Sciences

January 4, 2017

Twenty years ago high performance computing was nearly absent from life sciences. Today it’s used throughout life sciences and biomedical research. Genomics and the data deluge from modern lab instruments are the main drivers, but so is the longer-term desire to perform predictive simulation in support of Precision Medicine (PM). There’s even a specialized life sciences supercomputer, ‘Anton’ from D.E. Shaw Research, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is standing up its second Anton 2 and actively soliciting project proposals. There’s a lot going on. Read more…

By John Russell

The Exascale Computing Project Awards $39.8M to 22 Projects

September 7, 2016

The Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) hit an important milestone today with the announcement of its first round of funding, moving the nation closer to its goal of reaching capable exascale computing by 2023. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Dell Knights Landing Machine Sets New STAC Records

November 2, 2016

The Securities Technology Analysis Center, commonly known as STAC, has released a new report characterizing the performance of the Knight Landing-based Dell PowerEdge C6320p server on the STAC-A2 benchmarking suite, widely used by the financial services industry to test and evaluate computing platforms. The Dell machine has set new records for both the baseline Greeks benchmark and the large Greeks benchmark. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

What Knights Landing Is Not

June 18, 2016

As we get ready to launch the newest member of the Intel Xeon Phi family, code named Knights Landing, it is natural that there be some questions and potentially some confusion. Read more…

By James Reinders, Intel

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