Can hardware acceleration save Wall Street? Well, not as quickly as a multibillion-dollar bailout might, but there was plenty of discussion at this week’s HPC on Wall Street conference about the advantages specialized hardware can bring to market analysts and traders. Sellers of these products were all over the place, their booths were busy, and several sessions on the subject were standing-room only.
A common critique of external cloud computing services is that big-time IT users, like major corporations and financial institutions, are nowhere near getting on board. That might be true for the new breed of “cloud” services, but for the financial services sector, at least, outsourcing is far from a dirty word.
While hardware accelerators continue to show impressive performance results for supercomputing workloads, Intel is sticking to its CPU guns to deliver HPC to the broader market.
When profits drop, businesses look to boost productivity and performance — and nowhere is that demand more urgent right now than on Wall Street. Yesterday, about 60 blocks north of the scene of the recent financial meltdown, Microsoft announced it has released its latest product to provide that boost: Windows HPC Server 2008.
The confluence of the U.S. financial meltdown and this week’s High Performance on Wall Street conference in New York might be one of those coincidences that’s trying to tell us something.
Multicore processors promise improved computational efficiency, but achieving high efficiency execution on these processors is non-trivial. Moreover, in the financial industry, time is literally money, so high-productivity software development is just as important as efficient execution.
Despite the carnage from this year’s financial crisis, the arms race in algorithmic trading is likely to continue. Behind that competition are a variety of high performance computing technologies, such as commodity clusters, FPGA accelerators and Blue Gene supercomputers. One of the new kids on Wall Street is GPU computing, a technology that is making inroads across nearly every type of HPC application.
On the eve of the annual High Performance on Wall Street conference, it’s ironic that the words “high performance” and “Wall Street” can be perceived as an oxymoron this week. Is it possible, though, that the very financial crisis we’re in may bode well for increased investment in HPC?
Considering the ongoing crisis in the financial markets, you might expect the mood at a gathering of people who make their living in the financial services industry to be kind of glum. Or at least very, very anxious.