Guest post by: Addison Snell, Intersect360 Research
By now it’s well-established that we have entered a new era for high performance computing. The industry is in a state of flux, evolving around new markets, new users, new applications, and new technologies. As these new demands affect product directions and the real-life problems they aim to address, there is an increasing need to compare outlooks and evaluations, with an eye to the future of hyperscale and HPC.
The HPC Advisory Council has taken the lead in bringing together gatherings across the international HPC community, and Intersect360 Research has partnered with the organization to link our ongoing research to this burgeoning conference series. At the next HPCAC workshop, taking place at Stanford University, February 24-25, 2016, I will present an overview of some of our newest research on the trends and dynamics changing our industry.
Of particular importance is the evolution of the hyperscale market, and its influence on HPC. Intersect360 Research has tracked “ultrascale internet” as an HPC segment since 2007, looking at the consumption of scalable technologies by companies like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. Today many other companies are involved, including Chinese giants like Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and Qihoo, but beyond that, hundreds of other companies are part of this growing market. Going forward, we are tracking hyperscale as the deployment of web-scale application infrastructures that are independent from normal enterprise operations, with examples in social media, retail, telecom, transaction processing, and more.
There is still significant influence between HPC and hyperscale, in both directions, most notably in the areas of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence, where research at some of the top hyperscale companies leads the field. Standards like Open Compute Project, OpenStack, and Beiji/Scorpio also can drive acquisition decisions at traditional HPC-using organizations. Big data and analytics also transcend both HPC and hyperscale, driving I/O scalability in both markets. These trends are all included in the new hyperscale advisory service from Intersect360 Research.
Of course, there are also significant changes transpiring in HPC aside from hyperscale. Most notably, users are evaluating a wide range of processing technologies, including Xeon, Xeon Phi, GPU, POWER, FPGAs, ARM, and more. We have conducted a new study that dives deep into the usage and evaluation of these myriad options, along with related interconnect technologies like CAPI, NVlink, InfiniBand, and OmniPath. We’re also continuing to track changes in budget allocations, the growth of commercial uses of HPC, and the evolution of cloud computing in HPC.
All of these topics will be explored at the Stanford Conference, not only in my presentation but across the arc of the two-day event. View the agenda and register for the conference: http://www.hpcadvisorycouncil.com/events/2016/stanford-workshop. I hope to see you there and at other HPCAC events in the near future!