DDN Discusses Enterprise HPC Momentum

By Laura Shepard

August 26, 2014

DataDirect Networks (DDN), the leader in large scale Big Data and Cloud storage, recently announced double digit, profitable growth for the first half of the year 2014, fueled by the adoption of its SFA and WOS technologies by increasing numbers of Strategic Enterprise HPC accounts.

In advance of his keynote at the upcoming EnterpriseHPC event happening in Carlsbad, California from September 7-10, Director of HPC Product Marketing for DDN, Laura Shepard sat down with DDN President Paul Bloch to get his take on DDN’s commercial HPC momentum, what’s driving the company’s business and technology focus, what he plans to share with attendees at EnterpriseHPC’14, and why working at DDN is more exhilarating than driving fast cars.

We’ve said that recent company momentum is being driven by rapid adoption of DDN technology among commercial HPC organizations. How has this changed who you’re talking to from a customer perspective?

Five years ago, most of DDN’s customer base was HPC/Academia, Federal and Media organizations. We have been able to transform the company and our product line to not only stay focused on our historical markets but also attract significant buy in from the Financial Services, Medical/Genomics, Manufacturing and Oil and Gas industries.

These new enterprise conversations center on accelerating core applications where existing Storage providers cannot get to the 10X in performance required to scale today. We provide Networking and Storage infrastructure that deliver real ROI and return dollars to the bottom line.

We are seeing a lot of momentum in our Enterprise sales with more than 100 percent year-on-year growth in commercial HPC. However, our customers really deserve the credit because they’ve figured out to do things smarter using DDN. They’re reducing genomics sample processing by 7X; they’re perfecting algorithms by running data 10X faster with DDN; they’re running more jobs in parallel to interpret real time sub surface geophysical structures and, they’re managing the entire product lifecycle on one single platform for massive TCO gain to bring the next hybrid vehicle to market. These companies know a good business tool when they see it, and we’re now seeing the market coming to us.

So, with the sheer scale of data today and these data-intensive customer requirements, how does this change how DDN thinks about designing and developing next-gen products and technologies?

There’s a data driven business revolution going on around the world – right now. It’s not big compute; it’s Big Data. The biggest challenge facing commercial HPC organizations is Big Data. Everyone’s talking about the tools – storage, networking and compute – but the key is getting massive value and insight out of the data to achieve competitive business differentiation. We’re focused on accelerating time to results so we add real value to our customers’ bottom lines.

When you look at high performance workflows in traditional and commercial HPC, the biggest pain point of data access and processing is dealing with mixed I/O, such as you’d see in an analytics workflow or any major HPC application. Most storage devices can’t handle mixed I/O without dropping a huge percentage of their overall performance. This is a requirement that we design for at every level of our architecture, whether it’s memory acceleration, high performance persistent storage, active archive or cloud storage.  We offer the flexibility for users to tune their systems for optimal price per performance and price per capacity to meet their individual environment needs today and in the future.  No other company can match the breadth and innovation of our portfolio of high performance, end-to-end, Big Data solutions for all types of data. Customers with data driven business initiatives count on DDN to accelerate their time to results.

Based on this product development, in the future do you see more of DDN’s business coming from commercial or traditional HPC?

We’re seeing increased adoption of DDN solutions in commercial HPC, but we’re also starting from a smaller base. The core of our business today comes from traditional HPC – that is academic research, government labs, government intelligence and related markets – and, these will always be critically important users to DDN. But, you can bet we are investing heavily to take maximum advantage of the commercial HPC trend that we believe will continue to be a major revenue and growth driver for DDN for years to come. For example, we’ve grown headcount by 20 percent since the beginning of the year, adding strength into our business across our pre-sales, support and engineering organizations; we’re expanding R&D around commercial HPC such as GPFS, SAP, SAS, KX, and ANSYS and many more. Finally, in addition to the development centers in the US, Eastern Europe and Japan, we recently opened a new European Advanced Technology Center outside of Paris that will be dedicated to big data lifecycle management and accelerating time to insight through analytics and application acceleration.

It sounds like it’s a great time to be at DDN. A guy like you has a lot of options, including car racing from what I hear! So what is it about DDN at this time that drew you back out of retirement?

Yes, it’s definitely a great time to be at DDN! While some major storage players are exiting this healthy and growing HPC storage market, we at DDN are doubling down. In the last few months we’ve expanded our management team with new team members including Molly Rector, our CMO and Bob Merkert who’s heading up our federal business. And, as I’ve already mentioned, there’s a significant opportunity in the commercial HPC market which presents additional upside for an innovative HPC company like DDN. DDN is fully dedicated to the HPC market – we are the HPC storage leader and now we’re staking our claim as the HPC commercial storage leader, too.

You’ll be keynoting at EnterpriseHPC’14. What kinds of topics will you be discussing?

Yes, I will be there and I’m looking forward to being a part of the conference. Specifically, I’ll be speaking to how enterprises are maximizing the value of HPC technology by making it their own, and how they’re applying HPC in new and different ways. And, I might even drop in a few racing references to the Grand Prix, too!

Thanks for sitting down with me, Paul. I look forward to hearing your presentation!

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!

ExxonMobil, NCSA, Cray Scale Reservoir Simulation to 700,000+ Processors

February 17, 2017

In a scaling breakthrough for oil and gas discovery, ExxonMobil geoscientists report they have harnessed the power of 717,000 processors – the equivalent of 22,000 32-processor computers – to run complex oil and gas reservoir simulation models. Read more…

By Doug Black

TSUBAME3.0 Points to Future HPE Pascal-NVLink-OPA Server

February 17, 2017

Since our initial coverage of the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer yesterday, more details have come to light on this innovative project. Of particular interest is a new board design for NVLink-equipped Pascal P100 GPUs that will create another entrant to the space currently occupied by Nvidia's DGX-1 system, IBM's "Minsky" platform and the Supermicro SuperServer (1028GQ-TXR). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tokyo Tech’s TSUBAME3.0 Will Be First HPE-SGI Super

February 16, 2017

In a press event Friday afternoon local time in Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) announced its plans for the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer, which will be Japan’s “fastest AI supercomputer,” Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Drug Developers Use Google Cloud HPC in the Fight Against ALS

February 16, 2017

Within the haystack of a lethal disease such as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis / Lou Gehrig’s Disease) there exists, somewhere, the needle that will pierce this therapy-resistant affliction. Read more…

By Doug Black

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Object Storage is the Ideal Storage Method for CME Companies

The communications, media, and entertainment (CME) sector is experiencing a massive paradigm shift driven by rising data volumes and the demand for high-performance data analytics. Read more…

Weekly Twitter Roundup (Feb. 16, 2017)

February 16, 2017

Here at HPCwire, we aim to keep the HPC community apprised of the most relevant and interesting news items that get tweeted throughout the week. Read more…

By Thomas Ayres

Alexander Named Dep. Dir. of Brookhaven Computational Initiative

February 15, 2017

Francis Alexander, a physicist with extensive management and leadership experience in computational science research, has been named Deputy Director of the Computational Science Initiative at the U.S. Read more…

Here’s What a Neural Net Looks Like On the Inside

February 15, 2017

Ever wonder what the inside of a machine learning model looks like? Today Graphcore released fascinating images that show how the computational graph concept maps to a new graph processor and graph programming framework it’s creating. Read more…

By Alex Woodie

Azure Edges AWS in Linpack Benchmark Study

February 15, 2017

The “when will clouds be ready for HPC” question has ebbed and flowed for years. Read more…

By John Russell

TSUBAME3.0 Points to Future HPE Pascal-NVLink-OPA Server

February 17, 2017

Since our initial coverage of the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer yesterday, more details have come to light on this innovative project. Of particular interest is a new board design for NVLink-equipped Pascal P100 GPUs that will create another entrant to the space currently occupied by Nvidia's DGX-1 system, IBM's "Minsky" platform and the Supermicro SuperServer (1028GQ-TXR). Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tokyo Tech’s TSUBAME3.0 Will Be First HPE-SGI Super

February 16, 2017

In a press event Friday afternoon local time in Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) announced its plans for the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer, which will be Japan’s “fastest AI supercomputer,” Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Drug Developers Use Google Cloud HPC in the Fight Against ALS

February 16, 2017

Within the haystack of a lethal disease such as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis / Lou Gehrig’s Disease) there exists, somewhere, the needle that will pierce this therapy-resistant affliction. Read more…

By Doug Black

Azure Edges AWS in Linpack Benchmark Study

February 15, 2017

The “when will clouds be ready for HPC” question has ebbed and flowed for years. Read more…

By John Russell

Is Liquid Cooling Ready to Go Mainstream?

February 13, 2017

Lost in the frenzy of SC16 was a substantial rise in the number of vendors showing server oriented liquid cooling technologies. Three decades ago liquid cooling was pretty much the exclusive realm of the Cray-2 and IBM mainframe class products. That’s changing. We are now seeing an emergence of x86 class server products with exotic plumbing technology ranging from Direct-to-Chip to servers and storage completely immersed in a dielectric fluid. Read more…

By Steve Campbell

Cray Posts Best-Ever Quarter, Visibility Still Limited

February 10, 2017

On its Wednesday earnings call, Cray announced the largest revenue quarter in the company’s history and the second-highest revenue year. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Cloud Startup Launches ‘App Store’ for HPC Workflows

February 9, 2017

“Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them,” Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel and Trump Announce $7B for Fab 42 Targeting 7nm

February 8, 2017

In what may be an attempt by President Trump to reset his turbulent relationship with the high tech industry, he and Intel CEO Brian Krzanich today announced plans to invest more than $7 billion to complete Fab 42. Read more…

By John Russell

For IBM/OpenPOWER: Success in 2017 = (Volume) Sales

January 11, 2017

To a large degree IBM and the OpenPOWER Foundation have done what they said they would – assembling a substantial and growing ecosystem and bringing Power-based products to market, all in about three years. Read more…

By John Russell

US, China Vie for Supercomputing Supremacy

November 14, 2016

The 48th edition of the TOP500 list is fresh off the presses and while there is no new number one system, as previously teased by China, there are a number of notable entrants from the US and around the world and significant trends to report on. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lighting up Aurora: Behind the Scenes at the Creation of the DOE’s Upcoming 200 Petaflops Supercomputer

December 1, 2016

In April 2015, U.S. Department of Energy Undersecretary Franklin Orr announced that Intel would be the prime contractor for Aurora: Read more…

By Jan Rowell

D-Wave SC16 Update: What’s Bo Ewald Saying These Days

November 18, 2016

Tucked in a back section of the SC16 exhibit hall, quantum computing pioneer D-Wave has been talking up its new 2000-qubit processor announced in September. Forget for a moment the criticism sometimes aimed at D-Wave. This small Canadian company has sold several machines including, for example, ones to Lockheed and NASA, and has worked with Google on mapping machine learning problems to quantum computing. In July Los Alamos National Laboratory took possession of a 1000-quibit D-Wave 2X system that LANL ordered a year ago around the time of SC15. Read more…

By John Russell

Enlisting Deep Learning in the War on Cancer

December 7, 2016

Sometime in Q2 2017 the first ‘results’ of the Joint Design of Advanced Computing Solutions for Cancer (JDACS4C) will become publicly available according to Rick Stevens. He leads one of three JDACS4C pilot projects pressing deep learning (DL) into service in the War on Cancer. Read more…

By John Russell

HPC Startup Advances Auto-Parallelization’s Promise

January 23, 2017

The shift from single core to multicore hardware has made finding parallelism in codes more important than ever, but that hasn’t made the task of parallel programming any easier. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Wants to be “Red Hat” of Deep Learning

January 26, 2017

IBM today announced the addition of TensorFlow and Chainer deep learning frameworks to its PowerAI suite of deep learning tools, which already includes popular offerings such as Caffe, Theano, and Torch. Read more…

By John Russell

CPU Benchmarking: Haswell Versus POWER8

June 2, 2015

With OpenPOWER activity ramping up and IBM’s prominent role in the upcoming DOE machines Summit and Sierra, it’s a good time to look at how the IBM POWER CPU stacks up against the x86 Xeon Haswell CPU from Intel. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Nvidia Sees Bright Future for AI Supercomputing

November 23, 2016

Graphics chipmaker Nvidia made a strong showing at SC16 in Salt Lake City last week. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

BioTeam’s Berman Charts 2017 HPC Trends in Life Sciences

January 4, 2017

Twenty years ago high performance computing was nearly absent from life sciences. Today it’s used throughout life sciences and biomedical research. Genomics and the data deluge from modern lab instruments are the main drivers, but so is the longer-term desire to perform predictive simulation in support of Precision Medicine (PM). There’s even a specialized life sciences supercomputer, ‘Anton’ from D.E. Shaw Research, and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is standing up its second Anton 2 and actively soliciting project proposals. There’s a lot going on. Read more…

By John Russell

Dell Knights Landing Machine Sets New STAC Records

November 2, 2016

The Securities Technology Analysis Center, commonly known as STAC, has released a new report characterizing the performance of the Knight Landing-based Dell PowerEdge C6320p server on the STAC-A2 benchmarking suite, widely used by the financial services industry to test and evaluate computing platforms. The Dell machine has set new records for both the baseline Greeks benchmark and the large Greeks benchmark. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IDG to Be Bought by Chinese Investors; IDC to Spin Out HPC Group

January 19, 2017

US-based publishing and investment firm International Data Group, Inc. (IDG) will be acquired by a pair of Chinese investors, China Oceanwide Holdings Group Co., Ltd. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tokyo Tech’s TSUBAME3.0 Will Be First HPE-SGI Super

February 16, 2017

In a press event Friday afternoon local time in Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) announced its plans for the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer, which will be Japan’s “fastest AI supercomputer,” Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Container App ‘Singularity’ Eases Scientific Computing

October 20, 2016

HPC container platform Singularity is just six months out from its 1.0 release but already is making inroads across the HPC research landscape. It's in use at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), where Singularity founder Gregory Kurtzer has worked in the High Performance Computing Services (HPCS) group for 16 years. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

What Knights Landing Is Not

June 18, 2016

As we get ready to launch the newest member of the Intel Xeon Phi family, code named Knights Landing, it is natural that there be some questions and potentially some confusion. Read more…

By James Reinders, Intel

KNUPATH Hermosa-based Commercial Boards Expected in Q1 2017

December 15, 2016

Last June tech start-up KnuEdge emerged from stealth mode to begin spreading the word about its new processor and fabric technology that’s been roughly a decade in the making. Read more…

By John Russell

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