This Week in HPC News

By Tiffany Trader

June 12, 2014

If middleware was the theme from last week, then this week is all about hardware, from networking/interconnects (Arista) to systems (HP) to storage (Panasas). Let’s look at little closer at this week’s top stories, starting with HP.

HP’s rebooting of the Apollo brand this week was well received. This new family of high performance computing systems aims to balance high density with energy efficiency, and raw performance. Called “HP Apollo” – although HP says there’s no connection to the workstation firm that it acquired back in 1989 – the line includes two new “Apollo” server systems: the air-cooled Apollo 6000, intended for dense, enterprise deployments, and the liquid-cooled Apollo 8000 for large-scale high-performance computing.

HP logo 2014After the Apollo launch, HP still had another announcement up its sleeve. At the Discover 2014 conference in Las Vegas, HP CEO Meg Whitman and Martin Fink, its CTO and the head of HP Labs, unveiled a massive new architecture project, referred to as the Machine.

“Why do we call it The Machine?,” queries Fink. “When we first started developing it, we wanted to be very careful not to call it a server, workstation, PC, device or phone, because it actually encompasses all of those things. So as we were waiting for Marketing to come up with a cool code name for the project, we started calling it The Machine—and the name stuck.”

So what is the Machine? In a nutshell, it’s a new computer architecture based on memristors and silicon photonics. In his feature coverage at Enterprise Tech, Timothy Prickett Morgan elaborates:

“With the Machine, HP is going to tightly couple custom-tuned processors with its memristor non-volatile memory, which has been in development for the past six years, to create a system that eliminates the nine to eleven stages of memory and storage hierarchy that are in a server these days.”

Fink said the concept can be summarized in six words: electrons compute, photons communicate, ions store.

The project has the attention of 75 percent of HP’s R&D division, HP Labs, and HP’s roadmap shows the Machine coming to market over the next two years.

Panasas logo 2014On Tuesday, Panasas, a vendor of scale-out NAS, announced enhancements to its ActiveStor 16 hybrid storage appliance and to its PanFS 6.0 parallel file system. The PanFS 6.0 file system now features RAID 6+ triple parity data protection, and the ActiveStor 16 array employs 6TB HGST UltraStar He6 helium-filled drives and a larger 240GB solid state disk.

“With big data workloads pulling high performance computing into the mainstream of the enterprise, customers’ expectations for reliability and availability have increased at a time when traditional data protection has reached its limits,” said Steve Conway, research vice president, IDC. “The developments in Panasas ActiveStor 16 and PanFS 6.0 show timely industry leadership in addressing this growing concern and tackling the challenges of reliability and availability at scale.”

ARISTA logo 2014Last Friday, Arista Networks, Inc. announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 5.2 million shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $43.00 per share. The company is valued at around $2.75 billion and the IPO generated about $226 million. Currently, the stock is trading at $66.

In covering the story, Editor Nicole Hemsoth writes “To be clear, other than having a heavier warchest to throw at new Ethernet efforts, Arista’s role in HPC will remain small, although for some workloads in oil and gas and financial services (especially where InfiniBand has been foregone in the past due to a lack of latency and bandwidth sensitivity) it will remain a top choice.”

Notable HPC use cases for Arista technology include BP’s 2.2 petaflop system and the San Diego Supercomputer Center’s 5.5 petabyte-capacity cloud storage system. Arista has a similar deployment at Los Alamos National Lab through a partnership with Panasas. “The real stories about Arista’s success in HPC datacenters, however,” writes Hemsoth, “is locked behind the guarded walls at high frequency trading shops, among others, where the network’s secret sauce is part of a much larger approach to ultra-fast computing that we’ll never hear about.”

intersect360logoA recent report from Intersect360 Research shows the worldwide HPC market expanding at a 4.6% compound annual growth rate over the next four years in spite of mixed signals from vendors and lethargic public sector spending. Intersect360 Research’s newly released Worldwide High Performance Computing 2013 Total Market Model and 2014–18 Forecast states: “despite weakness in the public sector caused by government austerity programs, commercial vertical markets were strong enough to drive 2013 HPC revenue to $30.5 billion worldwide, 2.5% growth over 2012.” With continued recovery putting wind in its sales, the HPC market should reach $38.1 billion by 2018, according to the research firm.

Other interesting data points from the study:

  • Cloud computing market is forecasted to grow 18.6 percent during the same time period (2014-2018)
  • For the first time, cloud comprises a full percentage point of the HPC market.

At the national research level, a working group of the National Institutes of Health is requesting funding for the US Brain Initiative, to the tune of $4.5 billion dollars. Champions of the program maintain that the amount is inline with other grand challenge programs. For example the Human Genome Project, the 10-year project that resulted in the first human genome being sequenced in 2003, had a price tag of $3 billion. The NIH is expected to award its first BRAIN grants this September. There will also be opportunities for US BRAIN project researchers to coordinate efforts with its European counterpart, the Human Brain Project, which has been awarded $1.3 billion over 10 years.

On the Road

International Supercomputing Community to Gather in Leipzig From June 22-26

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!

Japan Meteorological Agency Takes Delivery of Pair of Crays

May 21, 2018

Cray has supplied two identical Cray XC50 supercomputers to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) in northwestern Tokyo. Boasting more than 18 petaflops combined peak computing capacity, the new systems will extend the a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

ASC18: Tough Applications & Tough Luck

May 17, 2018

The applications at the ASC18 Student Cluster Competition were tough. Tougher than the $3.99 steak special at your local greasy spoon restaurant. The apps are so tough that even Chuck Norris backs away from them slowly. Read more…

By Dan Olds

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPC and AI Convergence is Accelerating New Levels of Intelligence

Data analytics is the most valuable tool in the digital marketplace – so much so that organizations are employing high performance computing (HPC) capabilities to rapidly collect, share, and analyze endless streams of data. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Mastering the Big Data Challenge in Cognitive Healthcare

Patrick Chain, genomics researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, posed a question in a recent blog: What if a nurse could swipe a patient’s saliva and run a quick genetic test to determine if the patient’s sore throat was caused by a cold virus or a bacterial infection? Read more…

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and the technology challenges ahead. These discussions happened in Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Japan Meteorological Agency Takes Delivery of Pair of Crays

May 21, 2018

Cray has supplied two identical Cray XC50 supercomputers to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) in northwestern Tokyo. Boasting more than 18 petaflops combine Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and th Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Quantum Network Hub Opens in Japan

May 17, 2018

Following on the launch of its Q Commercial quantum network last December with 12 industrial and academic partners, the official Japanese hub at Keio University is now open to facilitate the exploration of quantum applications important to science and business. The news comes a week after IBM announced that North Carolina State University was the first U.S. university to join its Q Network. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Democratizing HPC: OSC Releases Version 1.3 of OnDemand

May 16, 2018

Making HPC resources readily available and easier to use for scientists who may have less HPC expertise is an ongoing challenge. Open OnDemand is a project by t Read more…

By John Russell

PRACE 2017 Annual Report: Exascale Aspirations; Industry Collaboration; HPC Training

May 15, 2018

The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) today released its annual report showcasing 2017 activities and providing a glimpse into thinking about Read more…

By John Russell

US Forms AI Brain Trust

May 11, 2018

Amid calls for a U.S. strategy for promoting AI development, the Trump administration is forming a senior-level panel to help coordinate government and industry research efforts. The Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence was announced Thursday (May 10) during a White House summit organized by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Read more…

By George Leopold

Emerging Advanced Scale Tech Trends Focus of Annual Tabor Conference

May 9, 2018

At Tabor Communications' annual Advanced Scale Forum (ASF) held this week in Austin, the focus was on enterprise adoption of HPC-class technologies and high performance data analytics (HPDA). It’s a confab that brings together end users (CIOs, IT planners, department heads) and vendors and encourages... Read more…

By the Editorial Team

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

How the Cloud Is Falling Short for HPC

March 15, 2018

The last couple of years have seen cloud computing gradually build some legitimacy within the HPC world, but still the HPC industry lies far behind enterprise I Read more…

By Chris Downing

Russian Nuclear Engineers Caught Cryptomining on Lab Supercomputer

February 12, 2018

Nuclear scientists working at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) have been arrested for using lab supercomputing resources to mine crypto-currency, according to a report in Russia’s Interfax News Agency. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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

Deep Learning at 15 PFlops Enables Training for Extreme Weather Identification at Scale

March 19, 2018

Petaflop per second deep learning training performance on the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) Cori supercomputer has given climate Read more…

By Rob Farber

AI Cloud Competition Heats Up: Google’s TPUs, Amazon Building AI Chip

February 12, 2018

Competition in the white hot AI (and public cloud) market pits Google against Amazon this week, with Google offering AI hardware on its cloud platform intended Read more…

By Doug Black

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lenovo Unveils Warm Water Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 in Rampup to LRZ Install

February 22, 2018

This week Lenovo took the wraps off the ThinkSystem SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with par Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

HPC and AI – Two Communities Same Future

January 25, 2018

According to Al Gara (Intel Fellow, Data Center Group), high performance computing and artificial intelligence will increasingly intertwine as we transition to Read more…

By Rob Farber

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Google Chases Quantum Supremacy with 72-Qubit Processor

March 7, 2018

Google pulled ahead of the pack this week in the race toward "quantum supremacy," with the introduction of a new 72-qubit quantum processor called Bristlecone. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Wins $57 Million DoD Supercomputing Contract

February 20, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today revealed details of its massive $57 million HPC contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The deal calls for HP Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CFO Steps down in Executive Shuffle at Supermicro

January 31, 2018

Supermicro yesterday announced senior management shuffling including prominent departures, the completion of an audit linked to its delayed Nasdaq filings, and Read more…

By John Russell

Deep Learning Portends ‘Sea Change’ for Oil and Gas Sector

February 1, 2018

The billowing compute and data demands that spurred the oil and gas industry to be the largest commercial users of high-performance computing are now propelling Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Ups Hardware Game with 16-GPU DGX-2 Server and 18-Port NVSwitch

March 27, 2018

Nvidia unveiled a raft of new products from its annual technology conference in San Jose today, and despite not offering up a new chip architecture, there were still a few surprises in store for HPC hardware aficionados. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Hennessy & Patterson: A New Golden Age for Computer Architecture

April 17, 2018

On Monday June 4, 2018, 2017 A.M. Turing Award Winners John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson will deliver the Turing Lecture at the 45th International Sympo Read more…

By Staff

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