Emerging Advanced Scale Tech Trends Focus of Annual Tabor Conference

By the Editorial Team

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 group discussion and debate to go along with presentations and panel discussions.

As it turned out, much conversation centered on the management and cultural challenges of introducing and melding advanced scale technologies with traditional IT, including the significant differences in outlook and objectives between the two groups. We’ll report more fully on this “functional dissonance” in the coming days because it’s a critical issue for enterprises outstripping traditional IT as they come under pressure to adopt machine learning, deep learning, larger and more complex simulations and HPDA while generating and accessing enormous stores of data.

At this year’s ASF, the five technology themes were: AI/ML/DL, blockchain, cloud and hybrid IT, IoT and edge to core analytics and high performance computing.

ASF, which began on Sunday, was kicked off by the managing editors of Tabor Communications three publications, Tiffany Trader of HPCwire, Alex Woodie of Datanami and Doug Black of EnterpriseTech presenting observations of the state of the advanced scale enterprise technology world.

In her opening remarks, Trader took up the growing role of public cloud computing platforms and hybrid IT for enterprises working to address modern scaling challenges of the big data era.

“Increasingly the market is shifting to multi-cloud deployments as enterprises seek to spread out workloads and avoid vendor lock in,” Trader said. “Cloud computing has risen on the advantage that you can try it out without an expensive up-front investment in infrastructure and talent. With cloud you have access to the most advanced hardware, the appearance of unlimited scale, and a growing menu of services.”

She quoted studies by Gartner Inc. showing strong growth in cloud adoption with a forecast to start leveling out from 2018 onwards, a stabilizing effect due to the maturity of public cloud services. After year-to-year growth of 18.4 percent from 2016 to 2017 and 17.5 percent jump from 2017 to 2018, the public cloud industry will grow 16.2 percent from 2018-2019 and then 15.6 percent from 2019 to 2020. Gartner also predicts that by 2020, 90 percent of organizations will adopt hybrid infrastructure management capabilities, combining off- and on-premises compute resources.

Trader also discussed the burgeoning phenomenon of AI and HPC in the  cloud as a potent combination, with cloud providers rapidly adopting advanced compute to meet growing AI market demand.

“In the past 12-18 months, we’ve seen the big cloud providers making major investments in HPC and AI,” she said. “We’ve seen the time to adoption for the latest accelerators go from about four years to four months, and we see that all the major cloud providers are offering Nvidia’s top datacenter GPUs now, and we also see hyperscalers working with FPGAs and adding them to their public clouds.”

The prevalence of hybrid IT also raises significant technology management issues, such as workload placement, application migration, data governance and compliance, data locality, and data movement, accompanied by complex calculation of ROI and TCO equations, Trader said.

ASF sponsors included several leading cloud services and server/infrastructure providers, including AWS, Microsoft, Penguin Computing, Nimbix, Accenture, HPE, & Dell, who discussed hybrid IT strategies in detail.

As for HPC, Trader noted that an increasing number of enterprise end-users have evolved their workloads into HPC-class performance, though they may not  “realize that, or call it that, or even care what it’s called,” – what Intel Corp. calls “implicit HPC.”

“But it is really the engine that makes all of this possible,” said Trader. “HPC is at the core of data intelligence for the business. The HPC analyst groups we interact with are all actively focused on the themes and technologies we’ve been discussing. You can think of this space as high productivity computing or high performance enterprise computing or advanced-scale computing, but all the other (technology) themes and technologies we’re talking about (at ASF) are not just using HPC-class technologies but innovating them – such as Google with TPU, its Tensor processing unit.”

In his remarks, Woodie stated that “We’re at a critical point in the evolution of technology. We’ve already entered a period of punctuated technological equilibrium that is driving disruption of business. But of course, one man’s business disruption is another woman’s business opportunity. The key is to find oneself on the right side of that equation.”

At the heart of this change is AI, which Woodie said “has gone from an obscure science fiction topic into the subject of mainstream conversations” within the past two years – the main reason for which has been technological improvement leading to improved ease of use for machine learning.

He said researchers at the University of Toronto kicked off the current deep learning craze in 2012 when their eight-layered, GPU-powered convolutional neural network, dubbed AlexNet, won the ImageNet competition by a large margin. AlexNet was trained on ImageNet, a database which then contained 1.2 million images across 1,000 categories (today it has 14 million images across 20,000 categories) – all carefully labeled by humans.

This has led to what Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang has termed a “Cambrian Explosion” of deep learning approaches, said Woodie. “In addition to convolutional neural networks, which excel at finding patterns in images, we have recurrent neural networks, which are better at spotting patterns in words. We have generative adversarial networks (GANs) and reinforcement learning, and thousands of other species that are have been created by technologists to solve all manners of predictive challenges.”

The deep learning explosion has kicked off a “gold rush” among IBM, Intel, Google, Facebook, and others to build faster and more specialized silicon to tackle even bigger and more complex neural network workloads in the future, he said, with the result that the business value of AI will reach over $3.9 trillion in 2022, according to Gartner, which declared that AI “promises to be the most disruptive class of technologies during the next 10 years” thanks to advances in computational power and the volume, velocity, and variety of data.

Black began his comments by observing that CIO and IT planners surely must be overwhelmed by explosion of new, advanced technologies that constantly come onto the market, which has resulted in a gap between technologies that are available and technologies that have been adopted in the enterprise.

“We see studies showing it’s still early days for the adoption of many of these technologies,” he said. “In AI, IoT, HPDA and blockchain, many organizations haven’t yet successfully completed a working implementation, others haven’t finished a proof of concept project, other companies haven’t begun their journeys at all.  Yet there’s tremendous competitive pressure to adopt new advanced scale technologies, CIOs everywhere know they must act, and we all know the advantages of being a first mover.”

It is these new technologies that will most quickly drive the continued upward trajectory of compute power.

“Moore’s Law for the X86 architecture is slowing down, but the notion of Moore’s Law as it applies to overall systems performance – boosted by GPUs, FPGAs, by the integration of CPUs and GPUs, by advanced fabrics and networks, by public cloud platforms – means that workload scale and throughput continue to advance rapidly,” Black said. “We’re seeing the emergence of a tripartite hybrid computing strategy – with compute resources at the edge, in the data center and on a public cloud platform – with sensors digitizing machines, processes and people, generating tremendous volumes of IoT data, which is analyzed at the edge, in the data center or in the cloud, in real time, in near time or in batch, as needed. “

A frequent topic at ASF was integrated edge-core-cloud schemas, which begin with IoT sensored items and devices, along with local compute, out at the edge.

“This is the culmination of long term developments in the technology industry,” said Black, “that by putting sensors on virtually anything, everything can be digitized and then analyzed. Combine that with machine learning and predictive analytics, and you’re able to monitor, track and analyze machinery, vehicles, aircraft, the movements of goods and people, some of it in real time.”

He cited Gartner’s famous prediction that more than 20 billion devices will be sensored and connected by 2020, up from 8.4 billion in 2017. The global IoT market is expected to grow to $450 billion by 2020, a CAGR of 29 percent.

Black discussed several impressive IoT implementations at scale, such as analytics being conducted on sensor data from 5 million smart electrical meters in the New York metropolitan area by the Con Edison utility.

Blockchain is another up and coming technology, “although one that’s not emerging as fast as IoT,” Black said, in part because it’s a newer technology.

“Best known as the bitcoin record-keeping system behind bitcoin,  blockchain ledgers digitize the pass offs between individuals and companies, recording transactions along the way,” he said. “It’s an immutable string of data points connected into time-stamped blocks that cannot be modified or manipulated by anyone outside of the chain.”

As of now, IDC estimates that corporate spending on blockchain software will reach $2.1 billion in 2018, up from $950 million last year. But Gartner also recently reported that industry uptake of blockchain has been slower than might be expected. Only 1 percent of companies surveyed said they had “any kind of blockchain adoption” in place, while only another 8 percent said they were conducting short-term testing of the technology.

On the other hand, Black said, interesting blockchain development efforts are underway. For example, last year IBM launched its Blockchain Platform and announced the adoption by major food companies of a global strategy aimed at early detection of contaminated food,  which kills 400,000 people around the world each year.

In the international travel industry, Accenture is working with the Canadian government and the World Economic Forum’s Security in Travel Project on a blockchain strategy to streamline security and passport checks for travelers at international borders, along with speeding up hotel and airline check-ins, by pre-loading, on a voluntary basis, travelers personal identification information.

“Despite Gartner’s somewhat sobering blockchain report, our sense is that once the success of blockchain projects becomes more widely known, adoption will pick up,” Black said.

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!

Russian and American Scientists Achieve 50% Increase in Data Transmission Speed

September 20, 2018

As high-performance computing becomes increasingly data-intensive and the demand for shorter turnaround times grows, data transfer speed becomes an ever more important bottleneck. Now, in an article published in IEEE Tra Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

IBM to Brand Rescale’s HPC-in-Cloud Platform

September 20, 2018

HPC (or big compute)-in-the-cloud platform provider Rescale has formalized the work it’s been doing in partnership with public cloud vendors by announcing its Powered by Rescale program – with IBM as its first named Read more…

By Doug Black

Democratization of HPC Part 1: Simulation Sheds Light on Building Dispute

September 20, 2018

This is the first of three articles demonstrating the growing acceptance of High Performance Computing especially in new user communities and application areas. Major reasons for this trend are the ongoing improvements i Read more…

By Wolfgang Gentzsch

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Introducing the First Integrated System Management Software for HPC Clusters from HPE

How do you manage your complex, growing cluster environments? Answer that big challenge with the new HPC cluster management solution: HPE Performance Cluster Manager. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Clouds Over the Ocean – a Healthcare Perspective

Advances in precision medicine, genomics, and imaging; the widespread adoption of electronic health records; and the proliferation of medical Internet of Things (IoT) and mobile devices are resulting in an explosion of structured and unstructured healthcare-related data. Read more…

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 Gordon Bell Prize used Summit in their work. That’s impres 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

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

Nvidia Accelerates AI Inference in the Datacenter with T4 GPU

September 14, 2018

Nvidia is upping its game for AI inference in the datacenter with a new platform consisting of an inference accelerator chip--the new Turing-based Tesla T4 GPU- Read more…

By George Leopold

DeepSense Combines HPC and AI to Bolster Canada’s Ocean Economy

September 13, 2018

We often hear scientists say that we know less than 10 percent of the life of the oceans. This week, IBM and a group of Canadian industry and government partner Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Rigetti (and Others) Pursuit of Quantum Advantage

September 11, 2018

Remember ‘quantum supremacy’, the much-touted but little-loved idea that the age of quantum computing would be signaled when quantum computers could tackle Read more…

By John Russell

How FPGAs Accelerate Financial Services Workloads

September 11, 2018

While FSI companies are unlikely, for competitive reasons, to disclose their FPGA strategies, James Reinders offers insights into the case for FPGAs as accelerators for FSI by discussing performance, power, size, latency, jitter and inline processing. Read more…

By James Reinders

Update from Gregory Kurtzer on Singularity’s Push into FS and the Enterprise

September 11, 2018

Container technology is hardly new but it has undergone rapid evolution in the HPC space in recent years to accommodate traditional science workloads and HPC systems requirements. While Docker containers continue to dominate in the enterprise, other variants are becoming important and one alternative with distinctly HPC roots – Singularity – is making an enterprise push targeting advanced scale workload inclusive of HPC. Read more…

By John Russell

At HPC on Wall Street: AI-as-a-Service Accelerates AI Journeys

September 10, 2018

AIaaS – artificial intelligence-as-a-service – is the technology discipline that eases enterprise entry into the mysteries of the AI journey while lowering Read more…

By Doug Black

TACC Wins Next NSF-funded Major Supercomputer

July 30, 2018

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has won the next NSF-funded big supercomputer beating out rivals including the National Center for Supercomputing Ap Read more…

By John Russell

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

Requiem for a Phi: Knights Landing Discontinued

July 25, 2018

On Monday, Intel made public its end of life strategy for the Knights Landing "KNL" Phi product set. The announcement makes official what has already been wide Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CERN Project Sees Orders-of-Magnitude Speedup with AI Approach

August 14, 2018

An award-winning effort at CERN has demonstrated potential to significantly change how the physics based modeling and simulation communities view machine learni Read more…

By Rob Farber

ORNL Summit Supercomputer Is Officially Here

June 8, 2018

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) together with IBM and Nvidia celebrated the official unveiling of the Department of Energy (DOE) Summit supercomputer toda Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

New Deep Learning Algorithm Solves Rubik’s Cube

July 25, 2018

Solving (and attempting to solve) Rubik’s Cube has delighted millions of puzzle lovers since 1974 when the cube was invented by Hungarian sculptor and archite Read more…

By John Russell

AMD’s EPYC Road to Redemption in Six Slides

June 21, 2018

A year ago AMD returned to the server market with its EPYC processor line. The earth didn’t tremble but folks took notice. People remember the Opteron fondly Read more…

By John Russell

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

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17

Altair

AMD @ SC17

AMD

ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack

CEJN @ SC17

CEJN

DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17

Huawei

IBM @ SC17

IBM

IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17

Intel

Lenovo @ SC17

Lenovo

Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17

Microsoft

Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17

Supericro

Tyan @ SC17

Tyan

Univa @ SC17

Univa

Sandia to Take Delivery of World’s Largest Arm System

June 18, 2018

While the enterprise remains circumspect on prospects for Arm servers in the datacenter, the leadership HPC community is taking a bolder, brighter view of the x86 server CPU alternative. Amongst current and planned Arm HPC installations – i.e., the innovative Mont-Blanc project, led by Bull/Atos, the 'Isambard’ Cray XC50 going into the University of Bristol, and commitments from both Japan and France among others -- HPE is announcing that it will be supply the United States National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) with a 2.3 petaflops peak Arm-based system, named Astra. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

D-Wave Breaks New Ground in Quantum Simulation

July 16, 2018

Last Friday D-Wave scientists and colleagues published work in Science which they say represents the first fulfillment of Richard Feynman’s 1982 notion that Read more…

By John Russell

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

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

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

Intel Announces Cooper Lake, Advances AI Strategy

August 9, 2018

Intel's chief datacenter exec Navin Shenoy kicked off the company's Data-Centric Innovation Summit Wednesday, the day-long program devoted to Intel's datacenter Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

GPUs Power Five of World’s Top Seven Supercomputers

June 25, 2018

The top 10 echelon of the newly minted Top500 list boasts three powerful new systems with one common engine: the Nvidia Volta V100 general-purpose graphics proc Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

The Machine Learning Hype Cycle and HPC

June 14, 2018

Like many other HPC professionals I’m following the hype cycle around machine learning/deep learning with interest. I subscribe to the view that we’re probably approaching the ‘peak of inflated expectation’ but not quite yet starting the descent into the ‘trough of disillusionment. This still raises the probability that... Read more…

By Dairsie Latimer

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