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!

African Supercomputing Center Inaugurates ‘Toubkal,’ Most Powerful Supercomputer on the Continent

February 25, 2021

Historically, Africa hasn’t exactly been synonymous with supercomputing. There are only a handful of supercomputers on the continent, with few ranking on the global stage. Now, the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (U Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer-Powered Machine Learning Supports Fusion Energy Reactor Design

February 25, 2021

Energy researchers have been reaching for the stars for decades in their attempt to artificially recreate a stable fusion energy reactor. If successful, such a reactor would revolutionize the world’s energy supply over Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Japan to Debut Integrated Fujitsu HPC/AI Supercomputer This Spring

February 25, 2021

The integrated Fujitsu HPC/AI Supercomputer, Wisteria, is coming to Japan this spring. The University of Tokyo is preparing to deploy a heterogeneous computing system, called "Wisteria/BDEC-01," that will tackle simulati Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

President Biden Signs Executive Order to Review Chip, Other Supply Chains

February 24, 2021

U.S. President Biden signed an executive order late today calling for a 100-day review of key supply chains including semiconductors, large capacity batteries, pharmaceuticals, and rare-earth elements. The scarcity of ch Read more…

By John Russell

Xilinx Launches Alveo SN1000 SmartNIC

February 24, 2021

FPGA vendor Xilinx has debuted its latest SmartNIC model, the Alveo SN1000, with integrated “composability” features that allow enterprise users to add their own custom networking functions to supplement its built-in networking. By providing deep flexibility... Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

AWS Solution Channel

Introducing AWS HPC Tech Shorts

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is excited to announce a new videos series focused on running HPC workloads on AWS. This new video series will cover HPC workloads from genomics, computational chemistry, to computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and more. Read more…

ASF Keynotes Showcase How HPC and Big Data Have Pervaded the Pandemic

February 24, 2021

Last Thursday, a range of experts joined the Advanced Scale Forum (ASF) in a rapid-fire roundtable to discuss how advanced technologies have transformed the way humanity responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in indelible ways. The roundtable, held near the one-year mark of the first... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Japan to Debut Integrated Fujitsu HPC/AI Supercomputer This Spring

February 25, 2021

The integrated Fujitsu HPC/AI Supercomputer, Wisteria, is coming to Japan this spring. The University of Tokyo is preparing to deploy a heterogeneous computing Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Xilinx Launches Alveo SN1000 SmartNIC

February 24, 2021

FPGA vendor Xilinx has debuted its latest SmartNIC model, the Alveo SN1000, with integrated “composability” features that allow enterprise users to add their own custom networking functions to supplement its built-in networking. By providing deep flexibility... Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

ASF Keynotes Showcase How HPC and Big Data Have Pervaded the Pandemic

February 24, 2021

Last Thursday, a range of experts joined the Advanced Scale Forum (ASF) in a rapid-fire roundtable to discuss how advanced technologies have transformed the way humanity responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in indelible ways. The roundtable, held near the one-year mark of the first... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

IBM’s Prototype Low-Power 7nm AI Chip Offers ‘Precision Scaling’

February 23, 2021

IBM has released details of a prototype AI chip geared toward low-precision training and inference across different AI model types while retaining model quality within AI applications. In a paper delivered during this year’s International Solid-State Circuits Virtual Conference, IBM... Read more…

By George Leopold

IBM Continues Mainstreaming Power Systems and Integrating Red Hat in Pivot to Cloud

February 23, 2021

As IBM continues its massive pivot to the cloud, its Power-microprocessor-based products are being mainstreamed and realigned with the corporate-wide strategy. Read more…

By John Russell

Livermore’s El Capitan Supercomputer to Debut HPE ‘Rabbit’ Near Node Local Storage

February 18, 2021

A near node local storage innovation called Rabbit factored heavily into Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s decision to select Cray’s proposal for its CORAL-2 machine, the lab’s first exascale-class supercomputer, El Capitan. Details of this new storage technology were revealed... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ENIAC at 75: Celebrating the World’s First Supercomputer

February 15, 2021

With little fanfare, today’s computer revolution was arguably born and announced through a small, innocuous, two-column story at the bottom of the front page of The New York Times on Feb. 15, 1946. In that story and others, the previously classified project, ENIAC... Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

Microsoft, HPE Bringing AI, Edge, Cloud to Earth Orbit in Preparation for Mars Missions

February 12, 2021

The International Space Station will soon get a delivery of powerful AI, edge and cloud computing tools from HPE and Microsoft Azure to expand technology experi Read more…

By Todd R. Weiss

Julia Update: Adoption Keeps Climbing; Is It a Python Challenger?

January 13, 2021

The rapid adoption of Julia, the open source, high level programing language with roots at MIT, shows no sign of slowing according to data from Julialang.org. I Read more…

By John Russell

Esperanto Unveils ML Chip with Nearly 1,100 RISC-V Cores

December 8, 2020

At the RISC-V Summit today, Art Swift, CEO of Esperanto Technologies, announced a new, RISC-V based chip aimed at machine learning and containing nearly 1,100 low-power cores based on the open-source RISC-V architecture. Esperanto Technologies, headquartered in... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Azure Scaled to Record 86,400 Cores for Molecular Dynamics

November 20, 2020

A new record for HPC scaling on the public cloud has been achieved on Microsoft Azure. Led by Dr. Jer-Ming Chia, the cloud provider partnered with the Beckman I Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

NICS Unleashes ‘Kraken’ Supercomputer

April 4, 2008

A Cray XT4 supercomputer, dubbed Kraken, is scheduled to come online in mid-summer at the National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS). The soon-to-be petascale system, and the resulting NICS organization, are the result of an NSF Track II award of $65 million to the University of Tennessee and its partners to provide next-generation supercomputing for the nation's science community. Read more…

Programming the Soon-to-Be World’s Fastest Supercomputer, Frontier

January 5, 2021

What’s it like designing an app for the world’s fastest supercomputer, set to come online in the United States in 2021? The University of Delaware’s Sunita Chandrasekaran is leading an elite international team in just that task. Chandrasekaran, assistant professor of computer and information sciences, recently was named... Read more…

By Tracey Bryant

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Top500: Fugaku Keeps Crown, Nvidia’s Selene Climbs to #5

November 16, 2020

With the publication of the 56th Top500 list today from SC20's virtual proceedings, Japan's Fugaku supercomputer – now fully deployed – notches another win, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Gordon Bell Special Prize Goes to Massive SARS-CoV-2 Simulations

November 19, 2020

2020 has proven a harrowing year – but it has produced remarkable heroes. To that end, this year, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) introduced the Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Texas A&M Announces Flagship ‘Grace’ Supercomputer

November 9, 2020

Texas A&M University has announced its next flagship system: Grace. The new supercomputer, named for legendary programming pioneer Grace Hopper, is replacing the Ada system (itself named for mathematician Ada Lovelace) as the primary workhorse for Texas A&M’s High Performance Research Computing (HPRC). Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Saudi Aramco Unveils Dammam 7, Its New Top Ten Supercomputer

January 21, 2021

By revenue, oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco is one of the largest companies in the world, and it has historically employed commensurate amounts of supercomputing Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Intel Xe-HP GPU Deployed for Aurora Exascale Development

November 17, 2020

At SC20, Intel announced that it is making its Xe-HP high performance discrete GPUs available to early access developers. Notably, the new chips have been deplo Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Teases Ice Lake-SP, Shows Competitive Benchmarking

November 17, 2020

At SC20 this week, Intel teased its forthcoming third-generation Xeon "Ice Lake-SP" server processor, claiming competitive benchmarking results against AMD's second-generation Epyc "Rome" processor. Ice Lake-SP, Intel's first server processor with 10nm technology... 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

At Oak Ridge, ‘End of Life’ Sometimes Isn’t

October 31, 2020

Sometimes, the old dog actually does go live on a farm. HPC systems are often cursed with short lifespans, as they are continually supplanted by the latest and Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

It’s Fugaku vs. COVID-19: How the World’s Top Supercomputer Is Shaping Our New Normal

November 9, 2020

Fugaku is currently the most powerful publicly ranked supercomputer in the world – but we weren’t supposed to have it yet. The supercomputer, situated at Japan’s Riken scientific research institute, was scheduled to come online in 2021. When the pandemic struck... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

MIT Makes a Big Breakthrough in Nonsilicon Transistors

December 10, 2020

What if Silicon Valley moved beyond silicon? In the 80’s, Seymour Cray was asking the same question, delivering at Supercomputing 1988 a talk titled “What’s All This About Gallium Arsenide?” The supercomputing legend intended to make gallium arsenide (GaA) the material of the future... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire