Cray CEO Highlights Enterprise HPC Growth

By Tom Tabor

August 21, 2014

In advance of his much anticipated keynote at the upcoming EnterpriseHPC event happening in Carlsbad, California from September 7-10, Cray CEO, Peter Ungaro spoke with HPCwire’s Tom Tabor. In addition to offering a look ahead at the company’s technology and business focus for the coming year, Ungaro shed some light on what attendees can expect when he takes the stage. 

Please put into context how commercial HPC has impacted Cray’s top line business. Where was it in the past and what is the foreseeable impact on revenue?

Commercial supercomputing is increasingly impacting our business. Several years ago, our company was doing almost no business in the commercial segments and many analysts we predicting that commercial needs for supercomputing were limited. The growth of big data and the expansion of the “internet of things” have brought about an increased need for supercomputing resources to analyze, more efficiently model, and interpret these growing datasets. Much of this growth has been in the commercial segments such as energy, manufacturing, life sciences and finance, just to name a few. Our growth in the commercial business over the past few years has seen more than 100+ percent annual growth and we expect that over time, we see it as increasing to be around a third of our overall business.

From a zero base point to nearly 30% of your overall business, that’s a big shift. Are their specific segments where you’re seeing greater acceptance and traction?

We are seeing traction in both traditional commercial R&D and in non-traditional Cray segments. We have has also seen commercial growth from all our product areas, including supercomputing, storage and analytics. The energy segment has been very strong, especially in selling supercomputing and storage for next generation oil and gas exploration. Some of the non-traditional segments include finance, telco and even professional sports for our analytics solutions.

You mention Big Data … is the Big Data boom playing a major role in this growth?

Absolutely. The growth in the amount and variety of data has directly impacted how commercial companies can effectively use that data to understand their products and customers and grow their businesses. The dramatic increase in the amount of sensors, customer and social data has led to an increasing need for more advanced simulation, improved machine learning, more accurate image processing and interpretation, and data discovery analytics. While many people just think about analytics when someone mentions the words “big data,” without a doubt commercial demand for supercomputing is directly linked to the big data boom. At Cray, we refer to this as data-intensive computing.

Can you give us some examples of the fastest commercial application you’re running? Or maybe better stated, give us examples of significant job efficiency improvements?

Applications performance is not just about speed, but also about size and accuracy. Commercial applications can require supercomputing-class scaling to achieve the performance demands of enterprise customers. A great example of this is the work we have done with NCSA and Ansys to improve the scaling of their Fluent computational fluid dynamics application to tens of thousands of cores, with a goal of decreasing simulation times from 25 days to 11 hours. In one simulation they achieved 80 percent efficiency of scaling to 20,000 cores on a Cray supercomputer. In the area of life sciences, a research team from the University of Chicago is using a Cray supercomputer to analyze 240 full genomes in just two days! In fact, one of the largest XC30 systems we have ever sold is at a Fortune 50 customer today – something I couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago.

With this move into the commercial sector, I’m sure you’re working on solutions for things you never thought Cray would be doing. What is the most unusual application area you’re serving?

I must say, that I am a huge sports fan. Even though my Canadian parents had me in hockey skates about 10 minutes after I could walk, baseball was my strongest sport. I am very excited that a Major League Baseball team is using a Cray system for deep analytics, basically a “Moneyball 2.0” type of application. Their application, combining the use of immense amounts of baseball statistical data to provide insights into optimal hitter/pitcher matchups, is an excellent example of how our data-intensive world is impacting our company in the area of analytics. Never in my lifetime did I think a professional sports team would have a Cray supercomputer! Of course, if I could get the Vancouver Canucks hockey team to successfully use one, I’d be a hero in my family!

Moneyball 2.0, that’s a great story. As it goes, the president of the Society of American Baseball Researchers will be speaking at the event.  Will you be discussing more of these topics during your keynote at Enterprise HPC ’14?

Yes, and I am looking forward to being a part of the conference and sharing our perspective on the convergence of supercomputing and big data in the enterprise space.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there as well … thanks for your time Pete.

 

There is still some limited space for attendance to the Enterprise HPC summit. If you’re an end user of commercial HPC or advanced technical computing, consider requesting an invite–qualified attendees will be shipped out to Carlsbad with 5-star hotel covered for the duration of the exclusive summit. http://www.enterprisehpc.com

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!

SC Bids Farewell to Denver, Heads to Dallas for 30th

November 17, 2017

After a jam-packed four-day expo and intensive six-day technical program, SC17 has wrapped up another successful event that brought together nearly 13,000 visitors to the Colorado Convention Center in Denver for the larg Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SC17 Keynote – HPC Powers SKA Efforts to Peer Deep into the Cosmos

November 17, 2017

This week’s SC17 keynote – Life, the Universe and Computing: The Story of the SKA Telescope – was a powerful pitch for the potential of Big Science projects that also showcased the foundational role of high performance computing in modern science. It was also visually stunning. Read more…

By John Russell

How Cities Use HPC at the Edge to Get Smarter

November 17, 2017

Cities are sensoring up, collecting vast troves of data that they’re running through predictive models and using the insights to solve problems that, in some cases, city managers didn’t even know existed. Speaking Read more…

By Doug Black

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Harness Scalable Petabyte Storage with HPE Apollo 4510 and HPE StoreEver

As a growing number of connected devices challenges IT departments to rapidly collect, manage, and store troves of data, organizations must adopt a new generation of IT to help them operate quickly and intelligently. Read more…

SC17 Student Cluster Competition Configurations: Fewer Nodes, Way More Accelerators

November 16, 2017

The final configurations for each of the SC17 “Donnybrook in Denver” Student Cluster Competition have been released. Fortunately, each team received their equipment shipments on time and undamaged, so the teams are r Read more…

By Dan Olds

SC Bids Farewell to Denver, Heads to Dallas for 30th

November 17, 2017

After a jam-packed four-day expo and intensive six-day technical program, SC17 has wrapped up another successful event that brought together nearly 13,000 visit Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

SC17 Keynote – HPC Powers SKA Efforts to Peer Deep into the Cosmos

November 17, 2017

This week’s SC17 keynote – Life, the Universe and Computing: The Story of the SKA Telescope – was a powerful pitch for the potential of Big Science projects that also showcased the foundational role of high performance computing in modern science. It was also visually stunning. Read more…

By John Russell

How Cities Use HPC at the Edge to Get Smarter

November 17, 2017

Cities are sensoring up, collecting vast troves of data that they’re running through predictive models and using the insights to solve problems that, in some Read more…

By Doug Black

Student Cluster LINPACK Record Shattered! More LINs Packed Than Ever before!

November 16, 2017

Nanyang Technological University, the pride of Singapore, utterly destroyed the Student Cluster Competition LINPACK record by posting a score of 51.77 TFlop/s a Read more…

By Dan Olds

Hyperion Market Update: ‘Decent’ Growth Led by HPE; AI Transparency a Risk Issue

November 15, 2017

The HPC market update from Hyperion Research (formerly IDC) at the annual SC conference is a business and social “must,” and this year’s presentation at S Read more…

By Doug Black

Nvidia Focuses Its Cloud Containers on HPC Applications

November 14, 2017

Having migrated its top-of-the-line datacenter GPU to the largest cloud vendors, Nvidia is touting its Volta architecture for a range of scientific computing ta Read more…

By George Leopold

HPE Launches ARM-based Apollo System for HPC, AI

November 14, 2017

HPE doubled down on its memory-driven computing vision while expanding its processor portfolio with the announcement yesterday of the company’s first ARM-base Read more…

By Doug Black

OpenACC Shines in Global Climate/Weather Codes

November 14, 2017

OpenACC, the directive-based parallel programming model used mostly for porting codes to GPUs for use on heterogeneous systems, came to SC17 touting impressive Read more…

By John Russell

US Coalesces Plans for First Exascale Supercomputer: Aurora in 2021

September 27, 2017

At the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee (ASCAC) meeting, in Arlington, Va., yesterday (Sept. 26), it was revealed that the "Aurora" supercompute Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

NERSC Scales Scientific Deep Learning to 15 Petaflops

August 28, 2017

A collaborative effort between Intel, NERSC and Stanford has delivered the first 15-petaflops deep learning software running on HPC platforms and is, according Read more…

By Rob Farber

Oracle Layoffs Reportedly Hit SPARC and Solaris Hard

September 7, 2017

Oracle’s latest layoffs have many wondering if this is the end of the line for the SPARC processor and Solaris OS development. As reported by multiple sources Read more…

By John Russell

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

Google Releases Deeplearn.js to Further Democratize Machine Learning

August 17, 2017

Spreading the use of machine learning tools is one of the goals of Google’s PAIR (People + AI Research) initiative, which was introduced in early July. Last w Read more…

By John Russell

GlobalFoundries Puts Wind in AMD’s Sails with 12nm FinFET

September 24, 2017

From its annual tech conference last week (Sept. 20), where GlobalFoundries welcomed more than 600 semiconductor professionals (reaching the Santa Clara venue Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Showcases Growing Portfolio of EPYC and Radeon-based Systems at SC17

November 13, 2017

AMD’s charge back into HPC and the datacenter is on full display at SC17. Having launched the EPYC processor line in June along with its MI25 GPU the focus he Read more…

By John Russell

Amazon Debuts New AMD-based GPU Instances for Graphics Acceleration

September 12, 2017

Last week Amazon Web Services (AWS) streaming service, AppStream 2.0, introduced a new GPU instance called Graphics Design intended to accelerate graphics. The Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

EU Funds 20 Million Euro ARM+FPGA Exascale Project

September 7, 2017

At the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre on Wednesday (Sept. 6), 16 partners gathered to launch the EuroEXA project, which invests €20 million over three-and-a-half years into exascale-focused research and development. Led by the Horizon 2020 program, EuroEXA picks up the banner of a triad of partner projects — ExaNeSt, EcoScale and ExaNoDe — building on their work... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Delays, Smoke, Records & Markets – A Candid Conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro

October 5, 2017

Earlier this month, Tom Tabor, publisher of HPCwire and I had a very personal conversation with Cray CEO Peter Ungaro. Cray has been on something of a Cinderell Read more…

By Tiffany Trader & Tom Tabor

Reinders: “AVX-512 May Be a Hidden Gem” in Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

June 29, 2017

Imagine if we could use vector processing on something other than just floating point problems.  Today, GPUs and CPUs work tirelessly to accelerate algorithms Read more…

By James Reinders

Cray Moves to Acquire the Seagate ClusterStor Line

July 28, 2017

This week Cray announced that it is picking up Seagate's ClusterStor HPC storage array business for an undisclosed sum. "In short we're effectively transitioning the bulk of the ClusterStor product line to Cray," said CEO Peter Ungaro. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel Launches Software Tools to Ease FPGA Programming

September 5, 2017

Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) have a reputation for being difficult to program, requiring expertise in specialty languages, like Verilog or VHDL. Easin Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Chips – A Veritable Smorgasbord?

October 10, 2017

For the first time since AMD's ill-fated launch of Bulldozer the answer to the question, 'Which CPU will be in my next HPC system?' doesn't have to be 'Whichever variety of Intel Xeon E5 they are selling when we procure'. Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

IBM Advances Web-based Quantum Programming

September 5, 2017

IBM Research is pairing its Jupyter-based Data Science Experience notebook environment with its cloud-based quantum computer, IBM Q, in hopes of encouraging a new class of entrepreneurial user to solve intractable problems that even exceed the capabilities of the best AI systems. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

How ‘Knights Mill’ Gets Its Deep Learning Flops

June 22, 2017

Intel, the subject of much speculation regarding the delayed, rewritten or potentially canceled “Aurora” contract (the Argonne Lab part of the CORAL “ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

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