Not surprisingly Tim Carroll is unambiguous about whether HPC is ready for the cloud. It absolutely is says Carroll. He is, after all, VP of Sales and Ecosystem for cloud computing specialist Cycle Computing. Forget the past, he argues. Not only has the enabling technology landscape changed and the problem set expanded (think big data), but so has the recognition by users in both traditional HPC and emerging enterprise HPC communities that cloud computing has an important, perhaps critical role to play.
HPCwire caught up with Carroll as he was preparing to head to SC15 and took the opportunity to record his optimistic take on HPC in the cloud in wide-ranging podcast. Clearly HPC in the cloud can’t do everything – nor should it – agrees Carroll, but it can do many things, and do them well, and often more cost effectively and more efficiently he contends. The link to the podcast is below.
Carroll is both champion and realist: “If you approach cloud like [some] people do and somehow think that cloud is going replace everything, then there are a bunch of technical barriers to having that happen and I’ll go ahead and say it will never happen. But if you look at cloud as a complement to other technologies, there are actually relatively few barriers we either aren’t overcoming currently or won’t in the next iteration of the technology,” said Carroll.
There does seem to be a rising chorus around HPC in the cloud. Speaking after a recent National Strategic Computing Initiative Workshop at the White House – an initiative which in no small measure is meant to drive the spread of HPC into wider communities – one workshop participant, Doug Burger of Microsoft said, “The scale and explosive growth rate of the cloud market was surprising to many of the attendees. The scale of the cloud market will enable investments in system design that are otherwise unaffordable.”
In the podcast, Carroll discusses the value of ‘spot instances’, evolution of the cloud provider landscape, HPC as a service, and other cloud topics including what’s new at Cycle.