High-performance computing has filled a need for rapid data processing and calculations at scale, opening up the enterprise user base to innovate at breakneck speeds.
But as cutting-edge tech, such as the cloud, work to undercut supercomputing, especially in cost, what response does the HPC industry have to make a case for its sustained relevance? The question is if hardware is as invaluable as it’s made out to be.
“The field is rebooting itself in real time, pun intended,” said theCUBE industry analyst John Furrier during a pre-event analysis interview. “More compute makes things go faster, especially with more data, so high-performance encapsulates all the engineering behind it.”
From Nov. 15-17, theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, will be live at The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis event, also known as SC22. TheCUBE analysts will interview experts from leading computing companies about the confluence of supercomputing and cloud computing. (* Disclosure below.)
The OG supercomputing companies aren’t sitting on their hands!
The world’s first true supercomputer is generally thought to be the CDC 6600, a behemoth that churned out 3 million instructions per second in 1964 and was built by the eponymous Control Data Corp. The company is mostly in the history books now, but it laid the foundations for Dell Technologies Inc.’s and Hewlett Packard Enterprises Co.’s supercomputing rivalry from the 1980s to date. Competition in the space has brought forth innovations such as exascale computing, adding new use cases to the HPC spectrum through artificial intelligence.
“The power of these systems is increasing dramatically, both in terms of processor performance and energy consumption, said Dave Vellante, industry analyst at theCUBE. “The x86 today dominates process processor shipments. It’s gonna probably continue to do so. Power has some presence, but ARM is growing very rapidly with GPUs becoming a major player and with AI coming in.”
HPC is now offered by the major hyperscalers as a service and is predicted to crack new dimensions in computing by this decade’s end, Vellante added. In essence, there’s a real possibility that HPC has the key to taking enterprise data solutions up a generational notch.
“When we think about the conversations we’re going to have and the coverage we’re going to do of the SC22 event, a lot of it’s going to be looking under the covers and seeing what kind of architectural things contribute to these capabilities moving forward and asking a whole bunch of questions,” said David Nicholson, industry analyst for theCUBE, during a pre-event analysis interview.
Extracting signals from HPC’s top minds
Supercomputing evolved from big, simple boxes stationed as mainframes to grid computing and clusters. It’s exponentially more nuanced now, and picking the minds of industry experts on these exciting nuances will be a consistent theme of theCUBE’s coverage during SC22.
“It’s lots of big funding and big companies are behind it … Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell Computing, startups; and hardware matters more than ever,” Furrier stated. “You look at the cloud, Amazon and the cloud hyperscalers, they’re building the fastest chips down at the root level. Hardware is back, and I think this show is going to show a lot of that.”
It’s important to note that HPC is not as monolithic as it was earlier, having expanded to include multiple disciplines, Furrier added.
“Now you’ve got clusters and grids that are distributed. You’ve got a backbone; it’s well-architected and there’s a lot involved,” he said. “There’s network and security. There’s system software. So, now it’s multiple disciplines in high-performance computing, and you can do a lot more.”
Edge is shaping up to be another big use case for HPC’s future. This trend will be driven by the distributed nature of hybrid and multicloud.
“I think there’s an inflection point, because if you look at cybersecurity and physical devices, they all kind of play in this world where they need compute at the edge,” Furrier explained. “Edge is going to be a big use case. You see Dell Technologies there, and I think they have a really big opportunity to sell more hardware.”
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Stay tuned for a complete list of expert guests to appear on theCUBE during our coverage of SC22.
(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the SC22 event. Neither Dell Technologies Inc. and Broadcom Inc., the primary sponsors of theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)
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