Introduction to the First Annual HPC in the Cloud Editors’ Choice Awards

By Nicole Hemsoth

November 10, 2010

This week’s special blog section is reserved for details about our recent Editors’ Choice Awards, which were presented at the 7th annual Cloud Expo show in Santa Clara, California last week.

Following a rigorous selection process that involved a number of decision elements, including demonstrated commitment to cloud computing for high-performance and large-scale enterprise use, we were able to settle on a list of vendors that represent the ecosystem.

For a full description of the awards and a brief rundown of the winners, you can read here.

We have created detailed descriptions of the winners and the decision process for the main categories followed by a photo highlights page discussing the other awardees.

Cloud Innovation Leader: Platform Computing

Cloud Platform Innovators: Amazon Web Services

Cloud Outreach and Education Innovators: Microsoft

Cloud Security Innovators: Tie, IBM and Novell

* Special Post* More From the Winners Circle; Photo Highlights *

In order to more fully describe our process for choosing for our winners, this week we are featuring a more detailed breakdown of select categories and their associated top representatives. The Behind the Cloud blog section will, this week only, be dedicated to this purpose.

There are a few things that should be mentioned before we start; first of all, it’s nearly impossible to isolate one vendor in a list and aptly name them the “top dog” in a space that is changing on what seems like a daily basis. More specifically, there are a number of companies vying for the same customer base with slightly differentiated services, all of which are packaged and understood differently by different types of users.

Another issue that complicates choosing single winners is that as a publication, our focus is on both scientific and large-scale enterprise cloud computing. Anyone familiar with one or the other (or both simultaneously) knows that either of these arenas have their own very unique requirements and needs, thus when selecting winners we needed to make sure the companies we chose adequately straddled that double-line by catering to HPC and large enterprise customers.

On a final note, we didn’t just choose companies based on long-term commitment to the space. In fact, a couple of our picks were chosen simply because we see the vendor on the front end of something bigger we see taking shape over the next year. While we did select a few “obvious” choices (say, for instance, Amazon Web Services for its platform) some of our other choices have baffled a few in the industry.

Last week when the awards were presented I was confronted with a few questions to the effect of, “yes, but why didn’t we win that award when we offer the same service but with better x.” That “x” in the equation was often “support” but when we look at these vendors, functioning on something as nebulous as the concept of broad support without basis is difficult since we cannot feasibly try out every single vendor and put their proclaimed support to task.

Throughout the year we listen to the end users we meet. In fact, the renewed emphasis in this publication going forward is on case studies—on practical, functional examples of large-scale cloud deployments with emphasis on reality. On challenges. On balance.

So again, it’s no easy assignment to sit down with a mounting list of vendors, spend hours scanning through the backlog of announcements, whitepapers, notes from end users taken from conferences and phone discussions—and feel one hundred percent about the final decision. In a space like simple hardware, for example, it’s much simpler; who is the fastest, who is creating the most innovative architectures that work better than what’s come before. With cloud—like the whole topic of cloud itself—there is a great deal of subjectivity.

If there’s any take away from this year’s awards—the very first annual HPC in the Cloud awards, for that matter—it’s that we’re open to watching the ecosystem shift. We’re paying attention to what matters to HPC users in particular, and we’re definitely listening when they talk about their vendor experiences. The other issue is that we realize the space has yet to settle out; there has been no leavening agent to come in and temper the ever-increasing swell of new players, new concepts, new technologies, and new ways of repurposing old technology.

But there is definitely a pulse in the HPC cloud arena….and we’re checking it on a daily basis.

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!

IBM Begins Power9 Rollout with Backing from DOE, Google

December 6, 2017

After over a year of buildup, IBM is unveiling its first Power9 system based on the same architecture as the Department of Energy CORAL supercomputers, Summit and Sierra. The new AC922 server pairs two Power9 CPUs with f Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

PEZY President Arrested, Charged with Fraud

December 6, 2017

The head of Japanese supercomputing firm PEZY Computing was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of defrauding a government institution of 431 million yen (~$3.8 million). According to reports in the Japanese press, PEZY founde Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Azure Debuts AMD EPYC Instances for Storage Optimized Workloads

December 5, 2017

AMD’s return to the data center received a boost today when Microsoft Azure announced introduction of instances based on AMD’s EPYC microprocessors. The new instances – Lv2-Series of Virtual Machine – use the EPY Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Unleash the Next Generation of HPC with Memory-Driven Compute

Today’s enterprises are faced with an ever-growing volume of data that contains immense value and intelligence for those who can properly collect, process, and store it. Read more…

Bryant Departs Intel For Google Cloud

December 5, 2017

Google has upped its cloud game with its recruitment of Diane Bryant, the former Intel Corp.'s datacenter boss who becomes chief operating officer of Google Cloud. Bryant, an engineer who worked her way up through the Read more…

By George Leopold

IBM Begins Power9 Rollout with Backing from DOE, Google

December 6, 2017

After over a year of buildup, IBM is unveiling its first Power9 system based on the same architecture as the Department of Energy CORAL supercomputers, Summit a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Microsoft Spins Cycle Computing into Core Azure Product

December 5, 2017

Last August, cloud giant Microsoft acquired HPC cloud orchestration pioneer Cycle Computing. Since then the focus has been on integrating Cycle’s organization Read more…

By John Russell

GlobalFoundries, Ayar Labs Team Up to Commercialize Optical I/O

December 4, 2017

GlobalFoundries (GF) and Ayar Labs, a startup focused on using light, instead of electricity, to transfer data between chips, today announced they've entered in Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE In-Memory Platform Comes to COSMOS

November 30, 2017

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is on a mission to accelerate space research. In August, it sent the first commercial-off-the-shelf HPC system into space for testing Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SC17 Cluster Competition: Who Won and Why? Results Analyzed and Over-Analyzed

November 28, 2017

Everyone by now knows that Nanyang Technological University of Singapore (NTU) took home the highest LINPACK Award and the Overall Championship from the recently concluded SC17 Student Cluster Competition. We also already know how the teams did in the Highest LINPACK and Highest HPCG competitions, with Nanyang grabbing bragging rights for both benchmarks. Read more…

By Dan Olds

Perspective: What Really Happened at SC17?

November 22, 2017

SC is over. Now comes the myriad of follow-ups. Inboxes are filled with templated emails from vendors and other exhibitors hoping to win a place in the post-SC thinking of booth visitors. Attendees of tutorials, workshops and other technical sessions will be inundated with requests for feedback. Read more…

By Andrew Jones

SC Bids Farewell to Denver, Heads to Dallas for 30th Anniversary

November 17, 2017

After a jam-packed four-day expo and intensive six-day technical program, SC17 has wrapped up another successful event that brought together nearly 13,000 visit Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SC17 Keynote – HPC Powers SKA Efforts to Peer Deep into the Cosmos

November 17, 2017

This week’s SC17 keynote – Life, the Universe and Computing: The Story of the SKA Telescope – was a powerful pitch for the potential of Big Science projects that also showcased the foundational role of high performance computing in modern science. It was also visually stunning. Read more…

By John Russell

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

NERSC Scales Scientific Deep Learning to 15 Petaflops

August 28, 2017

A collaborative effort between Intel, NERSC and Stanford has delivered the first 15-petaflops deep learning software running on HPC platforms and is, according Read more…

By Rob Farber

Oracle Layoffs Reportedly Hit SPARC and Solaris Hard

September 7, 2017

Oracle’s latest layoffs have many wondering if this is the end of the line for the SPARC processor and Solaris OS development. As reported by multiple sources Read more…

By John Russell

AMD Showcases Growing Portfolio of EPYC and Radeon-based Systems at SC17

November 13, 2017

AMD’s charge back into HPC and the datacenter is on full display at SC17. Having launched the EPYC processor line in June along with its MI25 GPU the focus he Read more…

By John Russell

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

Japan Unveils Quantum Neural Network

November 22, 2017

The U.S. and China are leading the race toward productive quantum computing, but it's early enough that ultimate leadership is still something of an open questi Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

GlobalFoundries Puts Wind in AMD’s Sails with 12nm FinFET

September 24, 2017

From its annual tech conference last week (Sept. 20), where GlobalFoundries welcomed more than 600 semiconductor professionals (reaching the Santa Clara venue Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Releases Deeplearn.js to Further Democratize Machine Learning

August 17, 2017

Spreading the use of machine learning tools is one of the goals of Google’s PAIR (People + AI Research) initiative, which was introduced in early July. Last w Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Amazon Debuts New AMD-based GPU Instances for Graphics Acceleration

September 12, 2017

Last week Amazon Web Services (AWS) streaming service, AppStream 2.0, introduced a new GPU instance called Graphics Design intended to accelerate graphics. The Read more…

By John Russell

Perspective: What Really Happened at SC17?

November 22, 2017

SC is over. Now comes the myriad of follow-ups. Inboxes are filled with templated emails from vendors and other exhibitors hoping to win a place in the post-SC thinking of booth visitors. Attendees of tutorials, workshops and other technical sessions will be inundated with requests for feedback. Read more…

By Andrew Jones

EU Funds 20 Million Euro ARM+FPGA Exascale Project

September 7, 2017

At the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre on Wednesday (Sept. 6), 16 partners gathered to launch the EuroEXA project, which invests €20 million over three-and-a-half years into exascale-focused research and development. Led by the Horizon 2020 program, EuroEXA picks up the banner of a triad of partner projects — ExaNeSt, EcoScale and ExaNoDe — building on their work... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Tensors Come of Age: Why the AI Revolution Will Help HPC

November 13, 2017

Thirty years ago, parallel computing was coming of age. A bitter battle began between stalwart vector computing supporters and advocates of various approaches to parallel computing. IBM skeptic Alan Karp, reacting to announcements of nCUBE’s 1024-microprocessor system and Thinking Machines’ 65,536-element array, made a public $100 wager that no one could get a parallel speedup of over 200 on real HPC workloads. Read more…

By John Gustafson & Lenore Mullin

Flipping the Flops and Reading the Top500 Tea Leaves

November 13, 2017

The 50th edition of the Top500 list, the biannual publication of the world’s fastest supercomputers based on public Linpack benchmarking results, was released Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Launches Software Tools to Ease FPGA Programming

September 5, 2017

Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have a reputation for being difficult to program, requiring expertise in specialty languages, like Verilog or VHDL. Easin Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

Share This