Middleware Is Cool

By Tiffany Trader

April 16, 2013

There was a quote that made the rounds during Adaptive Computing’s annual user conference, MoabCon, last week in Park City, Utah. Upon his departure from Facebook last year, founder of the social media behemoth’s data analysis team, Jeff Hammerbacher, stated: “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads…[and] that sucks.”

During his keynote address, Adaptive Computing CEO Rob Clyde shared these words and then addressed the roomful of HPCers.

“Well, I can tell you that’s not what we do in this business,” he stated. “We are trying to cure cancer and perform rocket science, and do amazing things with predicting the weather, and ocean currents, and seismic research – some of the most relevant things that are happening in the world, and our industry is involved in that.”

Adaptive’s Cool Cred

Despite the long list of impressive accomplishments that middleware enables, it generally fails to elicit the same excitement as, say, brand-new leadership class hardware. But middleware is cool and you don’t have to take Adaptive’s word for it. This newfound status was issued by none other than technology analyst firm, Gartner, Inc., which included Adaptive in its “Cool Vendors in Cloud Management, 2013” report.

The report, which covers five vendors who are providing cloud management platform and/or cloud migration capabilities, is aimed at “CIOs, vice presidents (VPs) and directors of IT, as well as enterprise and infrastructure architects looking to deliver cloud-based, on-demand services that require infrastructure optimization (workload balancing).” Gartner notes that “service providers may also be interested in this solution, due to its ability to optimize the infrastructure, thus dropping service delivery costs.”

The Adaptive CEO was honored by the recognition. As he shared with HPCwire, the company’s cloud management product, Moab Cloud Suite, enables IT architects and the enterprises they work for to realize cloud’s promise of maximum return on investment through the optimization of resource utilization.

At its core, Adaptive’s cloud solution relies on the same Moab intelligence engine as the vendor’s HPC suite, which supports ground-breaking science and technology by delivering policy-based governance to the largest systems in the world, the ones engaged in hero problems, like curing deadly diseases and protecting our nuclear arsenal.

On the analyst’s website, Gartner Vice President Michele Cantara describes the qualities of a Cool Vendor. “A cool vendor is a smaller lesser-known vendor – someone who provides innovative technology or services,” she says. “And they’re lesser known because they’re less mature and they haven’t gotten attention from the media or Gartner.”

The Adaptive CEO agrees with the assessment, noting that Adaptive’s commitment to innovation is reflected in the company’s extensive patent portfolio, one of the largest related to private cloud computing. “We work hard to push the envelope of what is possible and have invented many of the core concepts behind HPC scheduling and private cloud optimization,” adds Marketing VP Chad Harrington.

Gartner observes that cool vendors are a good source of leading indicators about what’s to come. On that note, Clyde says that private cloud will continue to grow. He observes that many of the problems of private cloud have already been solved on the HPC side, for example scalability and efficient use of resources. The CEO referred to a recent survey on server utilization put out by the Uptime Institute that showed a global average efficiency rating of less than 10 percent. As energy continues to be a constraint on systems large and small, efficient system usage will become essential, and this is a major focus for the company.

Getting the Cool Vendor stamp of approval is also a good indicator of a recipient’s future success. The analyst has profiled more than 1,400 cool vendors since 2004, and 70 percent are still operating and in business, while 21 percent have been part of a merger or acquisition.

Next >> Adaptive @Scale

Adaptive @Scale

The past 12 months have been particularly fruitful for the company. The Oak Ridge Titan supercomputer, one of their customers, is the reigning TOP500 champ, and the University of Tennessee’s Beacon machine, another Moab system, is number one on the Green500 list.

“We love big, complex systems,” the CEO shared during his MoabCon keynote. “We certainly can handle others, but we want to make sure that we can run on the largest of the large. Our theory is if we can run on the largest systems, then we can run on everything else.”

He observes that Adaptive’s partners share a similar strategy: “Cut your teeth on the big complex tasks, and the rest falls into place.”

If a prospective customer asks, “How do we know your product will scale?” Adaptive can respond: “Well we already run on the largest systems in the world.”

For a small company of just over 100 employees, Adaptive has a big presence as the largest provider of HPC and private cloud workload management software. I ask Clyde how they do it, and he doesn’t miss a beat: “It’s our partners and customers,” he responds. Adaptive has strong ties to nearly all the major labs and solid relationships with HPC rock stars such as Cray, HP, IBM and Intel.

Inaugural Adaptie Awards

The conference also set the stage for the first annual Adaptie Awards, which recognize organizations and individuals that have pushed the envelope on technological progress. There were three awards in all.

Best Use of Moab in a Private Cloud was given to Bank of America. The financial institution was honored for using Adaptive Computing’s Moab Cloud Suite for its high density, service oriented virtualized compute platform. An early innovator in private cloud, the bank runs one of the most advanced, large scale privately managed IT setups of its kind.

Best Use of Moab in HPC went to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The federal agency was chosen for its pioneering use of Adaptive Computing’s Moab HPC Suite to develop better models for predicting climate variability and change.

The Lifetime Achievement award was presented to Don Maxwell, HPC systems team lead at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), home of the Titan supercomputer. Maxwell has made many significant contributions to the HPC industry. He was instrumental in providing both requirements and testing for the initial port of Moab to the Cray X-series platform. In 2008, he was awarded the distinguished ACM Gordon Bell Prize for helping the ORNL Jaguar supercomputer achieve 400+ teraflops sustained performance. Currently, Maxwell is helping Titan achieve its performance goals. Maxwell is held in high-esteem by his peers, which was clear from the audience’s reaction to his winning the award.

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!

AWS Embraces FPGAs, ‘Elastic’ GPUs

December 2, 2016

A new instance type rolled out this week by Amazon Web Services is based on customizable field programmable gate arrays that promise to strike a balance between performance and cost as emerging workloads create requirements often unmet by general-purpose processors. Read more…

By George Leopold

AWS Launches Massive 100 Petabyte ‘Sneakernet’

December 1, 2016

Amazon Web Services now offers a way to move data into its cloud by the truckload. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Weekly Twitter Roundup (Dec. 1, 2016)

December 1, 2016

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

HPC Career Notes (Dec. 2016)

December 1, 2016

In this monthly feature, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the latest career developments for individuals in the high performance computing community. Read more…

By Thomas Ayres

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

IBM and NSF Computing Pioneer Erich Bloch Dies at 91

November 30, 2016

Erich Bloch, a computational pioneer whose competitive zeal and commercial bent helped transform the National Science Foundation while he was its director, died last Friday at age 91. Bloch was a productive force to be reckoned. During his long stint at IBM prior to joining NSF Bloch spearheaded development of the “Stretch” supercomputer and IBM’s phenomenally successful System/360. Read more…

By John Russell

Pioneering Programmers Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

November 30, 2016

In an awards ceremony on November 22, President Barack Obama recognized 21 recipients with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Nation’s highest civilian honor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Seagate-led SAGE Project Delivers Update on Exascale Goals

November 29, 2016

Roughly a year and a half after its launch, the SAGE exascale storage project led by Seagate has delivered a substantive interim report – Data Storage for Extreme Scale. Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Launches Massive 100 Petabyte ‘Sneakernet’

December 1, 2016

Amazon Web Services now offers a way to move data into its cloud by the truckload. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

Seagate-led SAGE Project Delivers Update on Exascale Goals

November 29, 2016

Roughly a year and a half after its launch, the SAGE exascale storage project led by Seagate has delivered a substantive interim report – Data Storage for Extreme Scale. Read more…

By John Russell

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

HPE-SGI to Tackle Exascale and Enterprise Targets

November 22, 2016

At first blush, and maybe second blush too, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) purchase of SGI seems like an unambiguous win-win. SGI’s advanced shared memory technology, its popular UV product line (Hanna), deep vertical market expertise, and services-led go-to-market capability all give HPE a leg up in its drive to remake itself. Bear in mind HPE came into existence just a year ago with the split of Hewlett-Packard. The computer landscape, including HPC, is shifting with still unclear consequences. One wonders who’s next on the deal block following Dell’s recent merger with EMC. Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Details AI Hardware Strategy for Post-GPU Age

November 21, 2016

Last week at SC16, Intel revealed its product roadmap for embedding its processors with key capabilities and attributes needed to take artificial intelligence (AI) to the next level. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

SC Says Farewell to Salt Lake City, See You in Denver

November 18, 2016

After an intense four-day flurry of activity (and a cold snap that brought some actual snow flurries), the SC16 show floor closed yesterday (Thursday) and the always-extensive technical program wound down today. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

Why 2016 Is the Most Important Year in HPC in Over Two Decades

August 23, 2016

In 1994, two NASA employees connected 16 commodity workstations together using a standard Ethernet LAN and installed open-source message passing software that allowed their number-crunching scientific application to run on the whole “cluster” of machines as if it were a single entity. Read more…

By Vincent Natoli, Stone Ridge Technology

IBM Advances Against x86 with Power9

August 30, 2016

After offering OpenPower Summit attendees a limited preview in April, IBM is unveiling further details of its next-gen CPU, Power9, which the tech mainstay is counting on to regain market share ceded to rival Intel. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

Think Fast – Is Neuromorphic Computing Set to Leap Forward?

August 15, 2016

Steadily advancing neuromorphic computing technology has created high expectations for this fundamentally different approach to computing. 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

HPE Gobbles SGI for Larger Slice of $11B HPC Pie

August 11, 2016

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced today that it will acquire rival HPC server maker SGI for $7.75 per share, or about $275 million, inclusive of cash and debt. The deal ends the seven-year reprieve that kept the SGI banner flying after Rackable Systems purchased the bankrupt Silicon Graphics Inc. for $25 million in 2009 and assumed the SGI brand. Bringing SGI into its fold bolsters HPE's high-performance computing and data analytics capabilities and expands its position... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ARM Unveils Scalable Vector Extension for HPC at Hot Chips

August 22, 2016

ARM and Fujitsu today announced a scalable vector extension (SVE) to the ARMv8-A architecture intended to enhance ARM capabilities in HPC workloads. Fujitsu is the lead silicon partner in the effort (so far) and will use ARM with SVE technology in its post K computer, Japan’s next flagship supercomputer planned for the 2020 timeframe. This is an important incremental step for ARM, which seeks to push more aggressively into mainstream and HPC server markets. Read more…

By John Russell

IBM Debuts Power8 Chip with NVLink and Three New Systems

September 8, 2016

Not long after revealing more details about its next-gen Power9 chip due in 2017, IBM today rolled out three new Power8-based Linux servers and a new version of its Power8 chip featuring Nvidia’s NVLink interconnect. Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

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

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

Intel Launches Silicon Photonics Chip, Previews Next-Gen Phi for AI

August 18, 2016

At the Intel Developer Forum, held in San Francisco this week, Intel Senior Vice President and General Manager Diane Bryant announced the launch of Intel's Silicon Photonics product line and teased a brand-new Phi product, codenamed "Knights Mill," aimed at machine learning workloads. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

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

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

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

Micron, Intel Prepare to Launch 3D XPoint Memory

August 16, 2016

Micron Technology used last week’s Flash Memory Summit to roll out its new line of 3D XPoint memory technology jointly developed with Intel while demonstrating the technology in solid-state drives. Micron claimed its Quantx line delivers PCI Express (PCIe) SSD performance with read latencies at less than 10 microseconds and writes at less than 20 microseconds. Read more…

By George Leopold

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