What You Missed at Last Week’s Leverage Big Data Event

By Nicole Hemsoth

May 27, 2014

If there’s one term that finds its way into nearly every conversation we have with vendors and end users on both the research and commercial spheres, it is leverage. Although it’s general, it’s being applied to everything from data, systems, software and of course, talent.

Accordingly, our inaugural event, which was held at the Park Hyatt Aviara throughout last week revolved around this one word—and all that it implies. We purposefully chucked the standard fare of “what is big data” and further, “what does big data mean to HPC” to explore in detail just how emerging and existing technologies at the top tier of computing are offering leverage to researchers and enterprise end users.

It’s amazing what happens when one kicks off a conference with a general rule to “avoid the general”. As soon as the hand-picked group was on the same page that we wouldn’t bother with questions around definitions or delineations, the real work began. And what emerged, both organically and due to subtle direction, was the theme that the cross-industry challenges of ever more complex, harder to move and manage data offered far more in the way of a common platform for discussion than one might expect. We purposefully mixed our audience and speakers—from life sciences, manufacturing, research computing, financial services, government and beyond—to dig into how the challenges around leveraging data in new, creative, and more productive ways was a common goal, and how similar tools and approaches could be adopted across wider industry contexts than any of us might have originally thought.

Dr. Jack Collins at the opening keynote.
Dr. Jack Collins at the opening keynote.

We had a number of notable special guests, speakers, and panel participants that offered diverse perspectives to tie together the themes, which meant that in exploring the cross-industry hook that pulled everything together, new topics emerged. Dr. Jack Collins, Director of the Advanced Biomedical Computing Center at the National Cancer Institute, revealed how new sources of complex data are pushing his team closer to cures at his home institution, but creating new challenges along the way, particularly in terms of finding adequate talent.

While his group’s mission is sweeping—a definite set of grand science challenges—the primary barrier at the National Cancer Institute isn’t caused by compute, storage, or network challenges, it’s fed by a lack of critical thinkers, problem solvers, and those with a desire for the type of lifelong learning and passion for creative approaches to analysis. While Collins did touch on how some of the hardware and software challenges impact his team’s ability to forge ahead, the top problem is quite simply people.

IMG_4707Interestingly, this “people problem” inadvertently became the subject of the second half of a panel session which included Dr. Ari Berman of BioTeam; Merle Giles, who directs the Economic Impact and Private Sector Programs division at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications; Steve Yatko, former head of worldwide IT R&D at Credit Suisse and CEO of Oktay Technologies, Jack Levis, Senior Director of Process Management at UPS, and Chetan Gadgil, of GE’s Software and Analytics division. Each of the panelists shared how their progress towards data-driven goals was hindered by a lack of people with more than just pure coding skills. There appears to be a shortage of folks who have the skills and the mindset—a much more nebulous thing to define—to extract real meaning out of their data and hardware/software tools. The general consensus of the group, voiced best by Jack Levis of UPS, was that “big data” as a concept doesn’t matter. It’s all just data, the problem revolves around these side issues of getting the tooling and people in place.

IMG_4572Dr. Kirk Borne, Professor of Astrophysics and Computational Scientist at George Mason University “From Astrophysics to Airlines” had similar statements on the lack of talent all around, but the takeaway from his session, which had everyone’s full attention given the scope, was about possibility. Borne showed the direct scientific and commercial benefits of large-scale data analysis through telescope and astrophysics examples, before broadening out to share how these same approaches have direct translations into manufacturing, transportation and beyond.

IMG_4743On the tools front, Datanami editor Alex Woodie asked some tough questions of San Diego Supercomputer Center researchers, Dr. Glenn Lockwood and Predictive Analytics Center of Excellent head Dr. Natasha Balac. While the hype versus reality of Hadoop was at the heart of the panel (by the way, showing that Hadoop has a long way to go to live up to its promises in real-world large-scale settings), the duo set the groundwork for the commercial computing case studies and sessions that followed. In other words, the event steered clear of the “Hadoop will save the world” mentality that so often eclipses actual use cases—of which there are only a relative handful in large-scale full-bore production.

IMG_5021Presentations from others, including SAP’s Colin Dover hit on similar points, as did the number of case study presentations from SAP, Adaptive Computing, SGI, Bright Computing, IBM, Quanta, Penguin, and DDN offered great value for attendees, many of them end users in search of ways to meet the data deluge.

elegantTake a look at more photos from the event https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.592789734161420.1073741828.124760547631010&type=3&uploaded=353 — we’ll see you in September as we roll into the topic of Enterprise HPC. Very exciting…

Thanks again to our many sponsors and nGage events for making this such a success!

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!

What’s New in HPC Research: September (Part 1)

September 18, 2018

In this new bimonthly feature, HPCwire will highlight newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Check back every Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

House Passes $1.275B National Quantum Initiative

September 17, 2018

Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) intended to accelerate quantum computing research and development. Among other things it would establish a National Quantu Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Accelerates AI Inference in the Datacenter with T4 GPU

September 14, 2018

Nvidia is upping its game for AI inference in the datacenter with a new platform consisting of an inference accelerator chip--the new Turing-based Tesla T4 GPU--and a refresh of its inference server software packaged as Read more…

By George Leopold

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Introducing the First Integrated System Management Software for HPC Clusters from HPE

How do you manage your complex, growing cluster environments? Answer that big challenge with the new HPC cluster management solution: HPE Performance Cluster Manager. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

A Crystal Ball for HPC

People are notoriously bad at predicting the future.  This very much includes experts. In the Forbes article “Why Most Predictions Are So Bad” Philip Tetlock discusses the largest and best-known test of the accuracy of expert predictions which show that any experts would do better if they make random guesses. Read more…

NSF Highlights Expanded Efforts for Broadening Participation in Computing

September 13, 2018

Today, the Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) of the NSF released a letter highlighting the expansion of its broadening participation in computing efforts. The letter was penned by Jam Read more…

By Staff

House Passes $1.275B National Quantum Initiative

September 17, 2018

Last Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Quantum Initiative Act (NQIA) intended to accelerate quantum computing research and developm Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia Accelerates AI Inference in the Datacenter with T4 GPU

September 14, 2018

Nvidia is upping its game for AI inference in the datacenter with a new platform consisting of an inference accelerator chip--the new Turing-based Tesla T4 GPU- Read more…

By George Leopold

DeepSense Combines HPC and AI to Bolster Canada’s Ocean Economy

September 13, 2018

We often hear scientists say that we know less than 10 percent of the life of the oceans. This week, IBM and a group of Canadian industry and government partner Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Rigetti (and Others) Pursuit of Quantum Advantage

September 11, 2018

Remember ‘quantum supremacy’, the much-touted but little-loved idea that the age of quantum computing would be signaled when quantum computers could tackle Read more…

By John Russell

How FPGAs Accelerate Financial Services Workloads

September 11, 2018

While FSI companies are unlikely, for competitive reasons, to disclose their FPGA strategies, James Reinders offers insights into the case for FPGAs as accelerators for FSI by discussing performance, power, size, latency, jitter and inline processing. Read more…

By James Reinders

Update from Gregory Kurtzer on Singularity’s Push into FS and the Enterprise

September 11, 2018

Container technology is hardly new but it has undergone rapid evolution in the HPC space in recent years to accommodate traditional science workloads and HPC systems requirements. While Docker containers continue to dominate in the enterprise, other variants are becoming important and one alternative with distinctly HPC roots – Singularity – is making an enterprise push targeting advanced scale workload inclusive of HPC. Read more…

By John Russell

At HPC on Wall Street: AI-as-a-Service Accelerates AI Journeys

September 10, 2018

AIaaS – artificial intelligence-as-a-service – is the technology discipline that eases enterprise entry into the mysteries of the AI journey while lowering Read more…

By Doug Black

No Go for GloFo at 7nm; and the Fujitsu A64FX post-K CPU

September 5, 2018

It’s been a news worthy couple of weeks in the semiconductor and HPC industry. There were several HPC relevant disclosures at Hot Chips 2018 to whet appetites Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

TACC Wins Next NSF-funded Major Supercomputer

July 30, 2018

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has won the next NSF-funded big supercomputer beating out rivals including the National Center for Supercomputing Ap Read more…

By John Russell

IBM at Hot Chips: What’s Next for Power

August 23, 2018

With processor, memory and networking technologies all racing to fill in for an ailing Moore’s law, the era of the heterogeneous datacenter is well underway, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Requiem for a Phi: Knights Landing Discontinued

July 25, 2018

On Monday, Intel made public its end of life strategy for the Knights Landing "KNL" Phi product set. The announcement makes official what has already been wide Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CERN Project Sees Orders-of-Magnitude Speedup with AI Approach

August 14, 2018

An award-winning effort at CERN has demonstrated potential to significantly change how the physics based modeling and simulation communities view machine learni Read more…

By Rob Farber

ORNL Summit Supercomputer Is Officially Here

June 8, 2018

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) together with IBM and Nvidia celebrated the official unveiling of the Department of Energy (DOE) Summit supercomputer toda Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Deep Learning Algorithm Solves Rubik’s Cube

July 25, 2018

Solving (and attempting to solve) Rubik’s Cube has delighted millions of puzzle lovers since 1974 when the cube was invented by Hungarian sculptor and archite Read more…

By John Russell

AMD’s EPYC Road to Redemption in Six Slides

June 21, 2018

A year ago AMD returned to the server market with its EPYC processor line. The earth didn’t tremble but folks took notice. People remember the Opteron fondly Read more…

By John Russell

MLPerf – Will New Machine Learning Benchmark Help Propel AI Forward?

May 2, 2018

Let the AI benchmarking wars begin. Today, a diverse group from academia and industry – Google, Baidu, Intel, AMD, Harvard, and Stanford among them – releas Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17

Altair

AMD @ SC17

AMD

ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack

CEJN @ SC17

CEJN

DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17

Huawei

IBM @ SC17

IBM

IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17

Intel

Lenovo @ SC17

Lenovo

Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17

Microsoft

Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17

Supericro

Tyan @ SC17

Tyan

Univa @ SC17

Univa

Pattern Computer – Startup Claims Breakthrough in ‘Pattern Discovery’ Technology

May 23, 2018

If it weren’t for the heavy-hitter technology team behind start-up Pattern Computer, which emerged from stealth today in a live-streamed event from San Franci Read more…

By John Russell

Sandia to Take Delivery of World’s Largest Arm System

June 18, 2018

While the enterprise remains circumspect on prospects for Arm servers in the datacenter, the leadership HPC community is taking a bolder, brighter view of the x86 server CPU alternative. Amongst current and planned Arm HPC installations – i.e., the innovative Mont-Blanc project, led by Bull/Atos, the 'Isambard’ Cray XC50 going into the University of Bristol, and commitments from both Japan and France among others -- HPE is announcing that it will be supply the United States National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) with a 2.3 petaflops peak Arm-based system, named Astra. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

D-Wave Breaks New Ground in Quantum Simulation

July 16, 2018

Last Friday D-Wave scientists and colleagues published work in Science which they say represents the first fulfillment of Richard Feynman’s 1982 notion that Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Pledges First Commercial Nervana Product ‘Spring Crest’ in 2019

May 24, 2018

At its AI developer conference in San Francisco yesterday, Intel embraced a holistic approach to AI and showed off a broad AI portfolio that includes Xeon processors, Movidius technologies, FPGAs and Intel’s Nervana Neural Network Processors (NNPs), based on the technology it acquired in 2016. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Announces Cooper Lake, Advances AI Strategy

August 9, 2018

Intel's chief datacenter exec Navin Shenoy kicked off the company's Data-Centric Innovation Summit Wednesday, the day-long program devoted to Intel's datacenter Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

TACC’s ‘Frontera’ Supercomputer Expands Horizon for Extreme-Scale Science

August 29, 2018

The National Science Foundation and the Texas Advanced Computing Center announced today that a new system, called Frontera, will overtake Stampede 2 as the fast Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

GPUs Power Five of World’s Top Seven Supercomputers

June 25, 2018

The top 10 echelon of the newly minted Top500 list boasts three powerful new systems with one common engine: the Nvidia Volta V100 general-purpose graphics proc Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

The Machine Learning Hype Cycle and HPC

June 14, 2018

Like many other HPC professionals I’m following the hype cycle around machine learning/deep learning with interest. I subscribe to the view that we’re probably approaching the ‘peak of inflated expectation’ but not quite yet starting the descent into the ‘trough of disillusionment. This still raises the probability that... Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This