IBM, NVDIA, Oak Ridge Labs and the Summit of Supercomputing

Supercomputers and other top-end high performance computing (HPC) installations have long defined and delivered the bleeding edge of compute performance. However, the underlying systems in those projects often reflect and portend broader changes in the commercial IT marketplace. That was certainly the case during the steady move away from the proprietary technologies and highly customized systems that once ruled supercomputing toward servers leveraging Intel and AMD x86 CPUs and other Industry Standard components. As a result of those changes, supercomputing and HPC have become increasingly affordable and available for mainstream use cases. A similar fundamental shift is relevant to the new Summit installation revealed this week by the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) Oak Ridge Laboratory and IBM which now qualifies as the world’s leading supercomputer. Let’s take a closer look at that announcement. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Lenovo‘s Cool Fix for HPC Energy Consumption

High performance computing (HPC) and supercomputing haven’t always been closely associated with energy efficiency. In fact, for the first four decades (beginning in the early 1960s) of commercial supercomputing, owners were far more concerned with systems’ computational capabilities than the electrical energy they consumed. That was mainly because of the unique value of custom-built systems like the Cray CDC 6600 (delivered in 1964) which performed highly complex calculations faster than most people could imagine. In addition, the heady price tags of supercomputers limited interest in the systems to any but the deepest-pocketed large enterprises and government labs—organizations that cared more about results than virtually any cost. External events began to change that dynamic beginning in the early 2000s. Those points resonate in Lenovo’s new ThinkSystem SD650, a high-density commercial solution designed to maximize compute performance for HPC workloads and applications while minimizing energy consumption. Let’s take a look at how power issues are impacting HPC and supercomputing, what Lenovo has achieved and how its new ThinkSystem SD650 addresses customers’ energy constraints and concerns. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Intel and the Era of HPC Everywhere

Anyone who follows the supercomputing/high performance computing (HPC) space knows that for all of their jaw-dropping capabilities these systems follow the same populist path familiar to every other technology. That is, thanks to ongoing technological innovation everything that was once exceptional and usually unaffordable becomes commonplace and available to increasing numbers of users and organizations. But a big question to consider is how long this process usually takes and, even larger, whether anything can be done to effectively speed the process. Those points are of particular interest to Intel and a central goal in the company’s Scalable System Framework (SSF) effort, including the announcements the company made at Supercomputing 2015 (SC15) this week. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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NVIDIA GTC 2015: Why GPUs Matter to Business

As noted in last week’s Pund-IT Review, I attended NVIDIA’s recent GPU Technology Conference (GTC) 2015 in San Jose mainly for the OpenPOWER Foundation sessions. But a visit to the conference’s exhibit hall and discussions with other attendees got me thinking about just how far graphics processing technologies have progressed over the past decade. In fact, the news out of GTC 2015 suggests that businesses that ignore developments in this space do so at their peril. Why so? Because NVIDIA and its partners, including those in OpenPOWER, along with competitors across the greater IT industry are migrating innovations once relegated to graphics professionals and gaming enthusiasts into increasingly common business processes and IT products. In other words, if sophisticated, graphics-rich solutions aren’t already in your and your competitors’ offices and shops, they likely will be soon. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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