Entering Enterprise Territory at Cloud Expo 2010: Notes from the Show Floor

By Nicole Hemsoth

November 3, 2010

Greetings from Cloud Expo in Silicon Valley where HPC in the Cloud is spending the week finding interesting people to talk to about what’s going on in the enterprise cloud space.  I probably don’t need to reiterate that it’s not as similar as one might think to what’s important for high-performance computing in the cloud; it’s apples and oranges — but thus far it’s been quite an experience.

On a side note, it was even more exciting to be in town when the Giants won the World Series. For those who weren’t here, there was a moment where it seemed like the whole valley echoed with one unanimous roar of delight; cool stuff.

But back to the clouds, since that’s why so many gathered…

According to Expo personnel, around 5,000 registrants, from end users, speakers and vendors, were expected to attend. It might not seem like that many were here just by walking around, but the event has been spread over several days and the Santa Clara Conference Center is a rather large venue, so it’s difficult to get a feel for how accurate those numbers are.

Sys-Con Media, organizers of the conference, started the series back in 2007, “the day the term ‘cloud computing was coined” and held an event that same year in New York with 450 delegates that has now grown significantly across their series, which includes other cities and regions. It will be interesting to chart the growth of the event with each passing year in contrast to how the term “cloud” as a buzzphrase (albeit a long-lasting one thus far) fares on the hype cycle. According to some, it’s already peaked.

While there were a few occasions when I actually had to explain to folks what the HPC acronym stood for — an unexpected issue since most conferences I’ve attended have had high-performance computing either directly or indirectly in the title — there has been plenty of food for thought to be found. I expected there to be some separation between what we cover here and what I was going to find in the sessions and conversations with vendors, but I didn’t realize the extent of the disparity, especially for newer companies who are not targeting HPC in any way — between what’s meaningful for cloud discussions for enterprise versus technical users. There’s quite a chasm.

There are some pronounced differences in how the scientific and technical computing folks view cloud computing versus how it’s portrayed here, which didn’t come as a surprise in itself to say the least. It’s just that there are far different approaches, at least from the vendors, when they’re targeting small to mid-sized business with the occasional mega-enterprise score thrown in. I didn’t hear much about latency this week; instead, key words that I kept hearing were “ease of use” and “simple to manage” and the ubiquitous, vague term “solution.”

As you can imagine given the enterprise focus on the conference, many of the sessions at this event were geared toward the CIO-level executive or others who were considering making the move to the cloud. From those potential end users I was able to find and talk to, a common theme was that they had been sent to investigate the clouds based on directives from non-technical personnel at their respective companies since the promise of clouds has been reaching the mainstream business media in a way that’s almost impossible to ignore. Some had already implemented private cloud solutions of one kind or another but I was unable to find anyone who was using the public cloud for any mission-critical applications, only an occasional user who discussed the benefits of using the “cloud-bursting” model to push out into Amazon’s cloud for extra capacity on an infrequent basis.

Speakers were gearing their sessions toward this audience; these groups of scattered enterprise IT folks who wandered through the sessions clutching their notebooks and iPads, tenuously taking notes and walking away in small clusters, talking into the broad range of other topics that were organized by interest “tracks.”

Sessions Upon Sessions

For these enterprise IT professionals, there would have been a number of valuable sessions, indeed. Some did stick to working with definitions of clouds and providing the basics, but others took a more focused approach and delivered some keen insights. For instance, Dave Malcom from Quest delivered a “Masters Class in Enterprise Cloud Automation” and Peter Nickolov, senior vice president of software engineering at 3Tera Cloud Division/CA Technologies, presented a session on advanced cloud architectures.

Of particular interest was a talk given by John Monson called “The Impact of I/O Performance on Cloud Service Level Agreements” and as well as Gunther Schmalzhaf’s presentation, “Integrating Heterogeneity: Managing Applications in Virtualization and Cloud Infrastructures.” Vineet  Tyagi from Impetus presented another great session (we have a video interview with him that will be posted soon) covering the Hadoop ecosystem entitled “Deriving Intelligence from Large Data — Using Hadoop and Applying Analytics” which ended up being one of the few that was very focused on the kinds of issues we cover here.

Otherwise, there was quite a large collection of presentations from across the vendor community that could have all read as “How to Make the Cloud Work for You” whether that was in the cost or efficiency sense or simply for the purposes of selling the cloud idea to those who showed up only because they wanted to learn more about what this catch-phrase “cloud” had to do with all that infrastructure they’d pumped hundreds of thousands (if not more) into throughout the years.

This is a great conference in terms of serving as an “on-ramp” to the cloud for enterprise leaders who are wary or haven’t done much due diligence to find out if the clouds are a good fit for their business. However, if they were on fence before, walking around the vendor booths would certainly leave them feeling that if they hadn’t done something cloud-related, they were somehow missing the boat.

There’s no denying that it’s exciting to be here, even though I’m trying to stay neutral and not forget my high-performance computing roots as I stroll about, investigating what the lower end cloud services are providing and to what types of customers. If nothing else, it lends quite a bit of perspective on what some of these smaller vendors are missing (and why they could never have offerings to match the needs of HPC applications) and conversely, what some in HPC might be overlooking when it comes to their consideration of clouds, particularly on the management level.

I am curious about this hype issue and again, wonder how long the term will remain valid enough to support a conference series and range of solutions that oftentimes, even with some of the bigger players in the computing market, seem a bit underdeveloped and thrown together. Only time will tell.

For now, we’re presenting all of you who couldn’t make it with some video treats to give you a feel for what’s going on in the enterprise cloud space and what folks are talking about. More updates coming today so stay tuned…

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

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

A Big Memory Nvidia GH200 Next to Your Desk: Closer Than You Think

February 22, 2024

Students of the microprocessor may recall that the original 8086/8088 processors did not have floating point units. The motherboard often had an extra socket for an optional 8087 math coprocessor. The math coprocessor ma Read more…

IonQ Reports Advance on Path to Networked Quantum Computing

February 22, 2024

IonQ reported reaching a milestone in its efforts to use entangled photon-ion connectivity to scale its quantum computers. IonQ’s quantum computers are based on trapped ions which feature long coherence times and qubit Read more…

Apple Rolls out Post Quantum Security for iOS

February 21, 2024

Think implementing so-called Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) isn't important because quantum computers able to decrypt current RSA codes don’t yet exist? Not Apple. Today the consumer electronics giant started rolling Read more…

GenAI Having Major Impact on Data Culture, Survey Says

February 21, 2024

While 2023 was the year of GenAI, the adoption rates for GenAI did not match expectations. Most organizations are continuing to invest in GenAI but are yet to derive any substantial value from it. However, the GenAI hyp Read more…

QED-C Issues New Quantum Benchmarking Paper

February 20, 2024

The Quantum Economic Development Consortium last week released a new paper on benchmarking – Quantum Algorithm Exploration using Application-Oriented Performance Benchmarks – that builds on earlier work and is an eff Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Shutterstock 2283618597

Deep-dive into Ansys Fluent performance on Ansys Gateway powered by AWS

Today, we’re going to deep-dive into the performance and associated cost of running computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations on AWS using Ansys Fluent through the Ansys Gateway powered by AWS (or just “Ansys Gateway” for the rest of this post). Read more…

Atom Computing Reports Advance in Scaling Up Neutral Atom Qubit Arrays

February 15, 2024

The scale-up challenge facing quantum computing (QC) is daunting and varied. It’s commonly held that 1 million qubits (or more) will be needed to deliver practical fault tolerant QC. It’s also a varied challenge beca Read more…

A Big Memory Nvidia GH200 Next to Your Desk: Closer Than You Think

February 22, 2024

Students of the microprocessor may recall that the original 8086/8088 processors did not have floating point units. The motherboard often had an extra socket fo Read more…

Apple Rolls out Post Quantum Security for iOS

February 21, 2024

Think implementing so-called Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) isn't important because quantum computers able to decrypt current RSA codes don’t yet exist? Not Read more…

QED-C Issues New Quantum Benchmarking Paper

February 20, 2024

The Quantum Economic Development Consortium last week released a new paper on benchmarking – Quantum Algorithm Exploration using Application-Oriented Performa Read more…

The Pulse of HPC: Tracking 4.5 Million Heartbeats of 3D Coronary Flow

February 15, 2024

Working in Duke University's Randles Lab, Cyrus Tanade, a National Science Foundation graduate student fellow and Ph.D. candidate in biomedical engineering, is Read more…

It Doesn’t Get Much SWEETER: The Winter HPC Computing Festival in Corpus Christi

February 14, 2024

(Main Photo by Visit Corpus Christi CrowdRiff) Texas A&M University's High-Performance Research Computing (HPRC) team hosted the "SWEETER Winter Comput Read more…

Q-Roundup: Diraq’s War Chest, DARPA’s Bet on Topological Qubits, Citi/Classiq Explore Optimization, WEF’s Quantum Blueprint

February 13, 2024

Yesterday, Australian start-up Diraq added $15 million to its war chest (now $120 million) to build a fault tolerant computer based on quantum dots. Last week D Read more…

2024 Winter Classic: Razor Thin Margins in HPL/HPCG

February 12, 2024

The first task for the 11 teams in the 2024 Winter Classic student cluster competition was to run and optimize the LINPACK and HPCG benchmarks. As usual, the Read more…

2024 Winter Classic: We’re Back!

February 9, 2024

The fourth edition of the Winter Classic Invitational Student Cluster Competition is up and running. This year, we have 11 teams of eager students representin Read more…

CORNELL I-WAY DEMONSTRATION PITS PARASITE AGAINST VICTIM

October 6, 1995

Ithaca, NY --Visitors to this year's Supercomputing '95 (SC'95) conference will witness a life-and-death struggle between parasite and victim, using virtual Read more…

SGI POWERS VIRTUAL OPERATING ROOM USED IN SURGEON TRAINING

October 6, 1995

Surgery simulations to date have largely been created through the development of dedicated applications requiring considerable programming and computer graphi Read more…

U.S. Will Relax Export Restrictions on Supercomputers

October 6, 1995

New York, NY -- U.S. President Bill Clinton has announced that he will definitely relax restrictions on exports of high-performance computers, giving a boost Read more…

Dutch HPC Center Will Have 20 GFlop, 76-Node SP2 Online by 1996

October 6, 1995

Amsterdam, the Netherlands -- SARA, (Stichting Academisch Rekencentrum Amsterdam), Academic Computing Services of Amsterdam recently announced that it has pur Read more…

Cray Delivers J916 Compact Supercomputer to Solvay Chemical

October 6, 1995

Eagan, Minn. -- Cray Research Inc. has delivered a Cray J916 low-cost compact supercomputer and Cray's UniChem client/server computational chemistry software Read more…

NEC Laboratory Reviews First Year of Cooperative Projects

October 6, 1995

Sankt Augustin, Germany -- NEC C&C (Computers and Communication) Research Laboratory at the GMD Technopark has wrapped up its first year of operation. Read more…

Sun and Sybase Say SQL Server 11 Benchmarks at 4544.60 tpmC

October 6, 1995

Mountain View, Calif. -- Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Sybase, Inc. recently announced the first benchmark results for SQL Server 11. The result represents a n Read more…

New Study Says Parallel Processing Market Will Reach $14B in 1999

October 6, 1995

Mountain View, Calif. -- A study by the Palo Alto Management Group (PAMG) indicates the market for parallel processing systems will increase at more than 4 Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

CORNELL I-WAY DEMONSTRATION PITS PARASITE AGAINST VICTIM

October 6, 1995

Ithaca, NY --Visitors to this year's Supercomputing '95 (SC'95) conference will witness a life-and-death struggle between parasite and victim, using virtual Read more…

SGI POWERS VIRTUAL OPERATING ROOM USED IN SURGEON TRAINING

October 6, 1995

Surgery simulations to date have largely been created through the development of dedicated applications requiring considerable programming and computer graphi Read more…

U.S. Will Relax Export Restrictions on Supercomputers

October 6, 1995

New York, NY -- U.S. President Bill Clinton has announced that he will definitely relax restrictions on exports of high-performance computers, giving a boost Read more…

Dutch HPC Center Will Have 20 GFlop, 76-Node SP2 Online by 1996

October 6, 1995

Amsterdam, the Netherlands -- SARA, (Stichting Academisch Rekencentrum Amsterdam), Academic Computing Services of Amsterdam recently announced that it has pur Read more…

Cray Delivers J916 Compact Supercomputer to Solvay Chemical

October 6, 1995

Eagan, Minn. -- Cray Research Inc. has delivered a Cray J916 low-cost compact supercomputer and Cray's UniChem client/server computational chemistry software Read more…

NEC Laboratory Reviews First Year of Cooperative Projects

October 6, 1995

Sankt Augustin, Germany -- NEC C&C (Computers and Communication) Research Laboratory at the GMD Technopark has wrapped up its first year of operation. Read more…

Sun and Sybase Say SQL Server 11 Benchmarks at 4544.60 tpmC

October 6, 1995

Mountain View, Calif. -- Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Sybase, Inc. recently announced the first benchmark results for SQL Server 11. The result represents a n Read more…

New Study Says Parallel Processing Market Will Reach $14B in 1999

October 6, 1995

Mountain View, Calif. -- A study by the Palo Alto Management Group (PAMG) indicates the market for parallel processing systems will increase at more than 4 Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire