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!

NSF Extends Access to Its Leadership Systems Blue Waters & Frontera

December 14, 2018

The National Science Foundation is seeking supplemental requests for access on its leadership-class computers Blue Waters and Frontera to enable "fundamental science and engineering research that would otherwise not be p Read more…

By Staff

CFD on ORNL’s Titan Simulates Cleaner, Low-MPG ‘Opposed Piston’ Engine

December 13, 2018

Pinnacle Engines is out to substantially improve vehicle gasoline efficiency and cut greenhouse gas emissions with a new motor based on an “opposed piston” design that the company hopes will be widely adopted while t Read more…

By Doug Black

Contract Signed for New Finnish Supercomputer

December 13, 2018

After the official contract signing yesterday, configuration details were made public for the new BullSequana system that the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC) is procuring from Atos in two phases over the next year-an Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

AI Can Be Scary. But Choosing the Wrong Partners Can Be Mortifying!

As you continue to dive deeper into AI, you will discover it is more than just deep learning. AI is an extremely complex set of machine learning, deep learning, reinforcement, and analytics algorithms with varying compute, storage, memory, and communications needs. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

4 Ways AI Analytics Projects Fail — and How to Succeed

“How do I de-risk my AI-driven analytics projects?” This is a common question for organizations ready to modernize their analytics portfolio. Here are four ways AI analytics projects fail—and how you can ensure success. Read more…

Nvidia Leads Alpha MLPerf Benchmarking Round

December 12, 2018

Seven months after the launch of its AI benchmarking suite, the MLPerf consortium is releasing the first round of results based on submissions from Nvidia, Google and Intel. Of the seven benchmarks encompassed in version Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Contract Signed for New Finnish Supercomputer

December 13, 2018

After the official contract signing yesterday, configuration details were made public for the new BullSequana system that the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Leads Alpha MLPerf Benchmarking Round

December 12, 2018

Seven months after the launch of its AI benchmarking suite, the MLPerf consortium is releasing the first round of results based on submissions from Nvidia, Goog Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM, Nvidia in AI Data Pipeline, Processing, Storage Union

December 11, 2018

IBM and Nvidia today announced a new turnkey AI solution that combines IBM Spectrum Scale scale-out file storage with Nvidia’s GPU-based DGX-1 AI server to pr Read more…

By Doug Black

Mellanox Uses Univa to Extend Silicon Design HPC Operation to Azure

December 11, 2018

Call it a corollary to Murphy’s Law: When a system is most in demand, when end users are most dependent on the system performing as required, when it’s crunch time – that’s when the system is most likely to blow up. Or make you wait in line to use it. Read more…

By Doug Black

Topology Can Help Us Find Patterns in Weather

December 6, 2018

Topology--the study of shapes--seems to be all the rage. You could even say that data has shape, and shape matters. Shapes are comfortable and familiar concepts, so it is intriguing to see that many applications are being recast to use topology. For instance, looking for weather and climate patterns. Read more…

By James Reinders

Zettascale by 2035? China Thinks So

December 6, 2018

Exascale machines (of at least a 1 exaflops peak) are anticipated to arrive by around 2020, a few years behind original predictions; and given extreme-scale performance challenges are not getting any easier, it makes sense that researchers are already looking ahead to the next big 1,000x performance goal post: zettascale computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Robust Quantum Computers Still a Decade Away, Says Nat’l Academies Report

December 5, 2018

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine yesterday released a report – Quantum Computing: Progress and Prospects – whose optimism about Read more…

By John Russell

Revisiting the 2008 Exascale Computing Study at SC18

November 29, 2018

A report published a decade ago conveyed the results of a study aimed at determining if it were possible to achieve 1000X the computational power of the the Read more…

By Scott Gibson

Quantum Computing Will Never Work

November 27, 2018

Amid the gush of money and enthusiastic predictions being thrown at quantum computing comes a proposed cold shower in the form of an essay by physicist Mikhail Read more…

By John Russell

Cray Unveils Shasta, Lands NERSC-9 Contract

October 30, 2018

Cray revealed today the details of its next-gen supercomputing architecture, Shasta, selected to be the next flagship system at NERSC. We've known of the code-name "Shasta" since the Argonne slice of the CORAL project was announced in 2015 and although the details of that plan have changed considerably, Cray didn't slow down its timeline for Shasta. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

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

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

AMD Sets Up for Epyc Epoch

November 16, 2018

It’s been a good two weeks, AMD’s Gary Silcott and Andy Parma told me on the last day of SC18 in Dallas at the restaurant where we met to discuss their show news and recent successes. Heck, it’s been a good year. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

US Leads Supercomputing with #1, #2 Systems & Petascale Arm

November 12, 2018

The 31st Supercomputing Conference (SC) - commemorating 30 years since the first Supercomputing in 1988 - kicked off in Dallas yesterday, taking over the Kay Ba 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

Leading Solution Providers

SC 18 Virtual Booth Video Tour

Advania @ SC18 AMD @ SC18
ASRock Rack @ SC18
DDN Storage @ SC18
HPE @ SC18
IBM @ SC18
Lenovo @ SC18 Mellanox Technologies @ SC18
NVIDIA @ SC18
One Stop Systems @ SC18
Oracle @ SC18 Panasas @ SC18
Supermicro @ SC18 SUSE @ SC18 TYAN @ SC18
Verne Global @ SC18

HPE No. 1, IBM Surges, in ‘Bucking Bronco’ High Performance Server Market

September 27, 2018

Riding healthy U.S. and global economies, strong demand for AI-capable hardware and other tailwind trends, the high performance computing server market jumped 28 percent in the second quarter 2018 to $3.7 billion, up from $2.9 billion for the same period last year, according to industry analyst firm Hyperion Research. Read more…

By Doug Black

Contract Signed for New Finnish Supercomputer

December 13, 2018

After the official contract signing yesterday, configuration details were made public for the new BullSequana system that the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia’s Jensen Huang Delivers Vision for the New HPC

November 14, 2018

For nearly two hours on Monday at SC18, Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, presented his expansive view of the future of HPC (and computing in general) as only he can do. Animated. Backstopped by a stream of data charts, product photos, and even a beautiful image of supernovae... Read more…

By John Russell

Germany Celebrates Launch of Two Fastest Supercomputers

September 26, 2018

The new high-performance computer SuperMUC-NG at the Leibniz Supercomputing Center (LRZ) in Garching is the fastest computer in Germany and one of the fastest i Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Houston to Field Massive, ‘Geophysically Configured’ Cloud Supercomputer

October 11, 2018

Based on some news stories out today, one might get the impression that the next system to crack number one on the Top500 would be an industrial oil and gas mon Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Confirms 48-Core Cascade Lake-AP for 2019

November 4, 2018

As part of the run-up to SC18, taking place in Dallas next week (Nov. 11-16), Intel is doling out info on its next-gen Cascade Lake family of Xeon processors, specifically the “Advanced Processor” version (Cascade Lake-AP), architected for high-performance computing, artificial intelligence and infrastructure-as-a-service workloads. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Releases Machine Learning “What-If” Analysis Tool

September 12, 2018

Training machine learning models has long been time-consuming process. Yesterday, Google released a “What-If Tool” for probing how data point changes affect a model’s prediction. The new tool is being launched as a new feature of the open source TensorBoard web application... Read more…

By John Russell

The Convergence of Big Data and Extreme-Scale HPC

August 31, 2018

As we are heading towards extreme-scale HPC coupled with data intensive analytics like machine learning, the necessary integration of big data and HPC is a curr Read more…

By Rob Farber

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