Ten years ago, there was widespread fear that data center power usage was out of control. Then, a couple of years back, fresh figures showed it was not as bad as had been feared. Big outfits like Apple, Facebook and Equinix all promised to use renewable power sources. Problem solved? Unfortunately not quite...
Recent visits to Europe have been significantly influenced by the FIFA World Cup football (‘soccer’ to my American friends) in Russia. Every bar and restaurant has had additional large screen TVs showing the games and important meetings were carefully scheduled around the tournament schedule. Against this backdrop you would expect Europe’s largest HPC conference and trade show - International Supercomputing Conference 2018 “ISC18” - to struggle for attention. However, nothing could be further from the truth.
As I take a short break from the exhibition floor here at another excellent ISC18 in sunny Frankfurt, I’m delighted to announce SATAVIA as the latest customer to join our bare metal high performance computing (HPC) platform – hpcDIRECT.
Yesterday was a good day to be in Frankfurt. All of the majors in the supercomputing universe descended upon the Messe Frankfurt to begin ISC18 with a series of training seminars. For my morning session, I chose Getting Started with Containers on HPC through Singularity put on by the team at Sylabs, Inc. I have been tracking the progress on Singularity in the HPC community since before Sylabs was founded by CEO Greg Kurtzer in an effort to bring the technology of root secure containers into the realm of enterprise supported software. I was excited to hear about the progress that Sylabs has made and to see where the future of containers lies for the broader HPC community. If I was forced to sum the tutorial into a single portmanteau, it would be DevOps. After this session, it is clear to me that the world of DevOps that has been created in the cloud native universe is on a collision course with HPC. And the future of science says that it can’t happen soon enough.
As we prepare to descend upon Frankfurt this week for ISC18, science will take its appropriate place at center stage. Throughout the week, the gathering will hear how through science we are challenging the world’s toughest problems, dissecting those problems down to their foundations and then building them back up by methodically moving every minute detail that has been learned into the powerful realm of the supercomputer. Science shows us that the best innovations are created by literally starting from scratch and building from there.
Readers of a certain age will remember buying much-loved albums on multiple formats. Perhaps first you had the vinyl version, then maybe a cassette for playing in the car and later a CD for added digital clarity. How about the DNA version? Earlier this year, Massive Attack, the British band, encoded their 1998 album Mezzanine into DNA to celebrate its 20th birthday.
An ‘oil gusher’, or a 'blowout', is the name for that phenomenon that you’ve seen in photos and film clips, when a drill strikes oil and it sprays out of the top of the well. It was common in the early 20th Century but is now quite rare, thanks to pressure control equipment. However in today’s oil and gas industry, data is the modern gusher – it sprays out in an uncontrolled fashion, signifying that something good is going on but it remains hard to get under control.
The team at Verne Global and I are really looking forward to ISC18 – the European high performance computing (HPC) conference in Frankfurt, where our industry meets. It’s an interesting and engaging show that annually highlights the tremendous developments taking place across many sectors and only made possible by greater adoption of HPC. We’re especially looking forward to publicly introducing hpcDIRECT - our superb bare metal HPC platform - to the international HPC community.
As the data economy grows, green leases are a welcome solution for energy intensive data centers. However, those owning - or colocating within data centers might want to think creatively, go a step further, and consider moving their data requirements to power grids that are both cheaper and cleaner
After of a couple of weeks sunning and sailplane racing in Florida it was straight back into the saddle for a London-based Quarterly Business Review and the excellent “Rise of AI” event in Berlin. Following a year of attending various international AI events I’m starting to develop a feel for their differing textures and here is my current evaluation.
The conversation about blockchain is presently dominated by cryptocurrencies, with a certain amount of attention spilling into Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). There is no shortage of scepticism about the technology in these circumstances; cryptocurrencies look more like investment opportunities – and very risky ones at that – than actual currencies, and it’s no exaggeration to say that the majority of ICOs are scams. A recent study found that almost 80 percent are scams and just eight percent reach the trading stage.
When the cloud emerged as a concept, it referred to computer services delivered remotely. Bandwidth was cheap, and it made sense to outsource and centralise computing. Physical location, and the physical network, seemed to have become irrelevant. This has turned out not to be true...