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Archives for July 2011

Video: Data Flow at Netflix – Live from OSCON Data

Our Video Sunday feature continues with presentation from OSCON Data 2011 in which Adrian Cockcroft discusses “Data Flow at Netflix.” The company uses open source software on the Amazon AWS cloud to stream millions of movies per day.

Exascale Report Relays Flap from Intel's ISC Press Conference

  The latest issue of The Exascale Report is out with interesting grumblings from the community about Intel’s recent announcement of exascale leadership. Personally, I came away from the press event (watch insideHPC’s exclusive video here) with a much stronger sense of clarity as to where the company wants to go by 2018, but others […]

Isilon's iSCSI Here to Stay, Insiders Insist…Quietly

By Chris Mellor • Get more from this author Rumours of EMC Isilon abandoning iSCSI support in its scale-out filers have been denied by an EMC source Isilon’s OneFS operating system for its clustered, scale-out filers, had iSCSI block access added in August 2010, before EMC bought the company. The EMC Isilon website has iSCSI […]

ParaSail Language to Ease Multicore Programming

Multicore is everywhere from mobile devices to the datacenter. Enter ParaSail, a new programming language designed by SofCheck CTO Tucker Taft. ParaSail uses a number of other tricks, some that draw on languages developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s for supercomputers—machines running many individual computer chips networked together. “The design of the language […]

Feature Audio Interview: IBM’S Don Grice

Back in November, IBM talked about a breakthrough in allowing chips to communicate at faster speeds using pulses of light – and it was said that this photonics technology could boost processing capabilities to a million trillion calculations per second, an exaflop. Has there been any substantial progress in this area – and do you still think this could be a key factor in exascale
development?

Welcome to the post-ISC’11 issue of The Exascale Report

In the weeks leading up to ISC, old colleagues reestablish communications, vendors reach out to partners and prospects to arrange meetings, and reporters and publishers scurry to line up their interviews and briefings. And there is one thing in common with most of this activity: the preferred place for all of these ISC attendees to meet on the first evening. The ‘watering hole’ as it is affectionately called, is the bar at the Radisson Blu hotel next to the convention center in Hamburg.

As I was sitting at the watering hole on the opening evening of the conference, an image came to mind. The hundreds of folks gathering at this one spot, with looks of excitement and relief at having made the journey, draws a strong comparison to another annual event – the great migration of the Serengeti.

The Serengeti migration is an annual occurrence in which more than two million wildebeest migrate clockwise around the Serengeti in search of better grazing and calving conditions. So, we use the analogy loosely, of course, and it breaks down if you get too literal, but you have to admit – there is a wonderful sense of parallelism in the two migration stories.

An interview with Intel’s Dr. Wilfred Pinfold

Dr. Wilfred (Wilf) Pinfold has been active in the HPC community for many
years. Going back to the days of Meiko Scientific, the British
supercomputer company, and Intel’s supercomputer systems division in
the mid-90s, Pinfold’s visibility skyrocketed in 2009 when he served
as the General Chair for the SC09 conference.

Intel Equipped To Lead Industry To Era Of Exascale Computing

The Exascale Report spoke with more than two dozen ISC attendees following an Intel briefing and their declaration of intended exascale leadership that took place on June 20th. The reactions to Intel’s statements were mixed, as expected, however, the majority opinion expresses concern over the lack of substance and credibility of connecting the MIC architecture and Knights Ferry to exascale – when so much is still to be proven with this technology path. There is an old saying about “any publicity is good publicity” – but I think right now Intel would argue with that.

E7 Issues Exacale RFI

Argonne has issued a Request for Information (RFI) – [No. 1-KD73-I-31583-00] – as a first step in better understanding exascale hardware possibilities for the U.S. Department of Energy. The RFI is a process that allows funding agencies to open up informal discussions – to learn more about vendor direction – and what vendors / manufacturers might be able to do. An RFI ‘could’ lead to R&D contracts or development of prototypes.

You can find the Request for Information at the Federal Business
Opportunities website, Download The Exascale RFI

Co-Design – The Promise and the Misconception

The concept of co-design is based on the belief that the quality of design will improve if all the stakeholders’ interests are taken into consideration as part of the design process.

Industry thought leaders have been saying for several years now that “co-design” is a key enabler – a critical component that will drive our ability to actually build a useable exascale system.

But the very topic of co-design naturally takes us down the path of different opinions and perspectives as groups with different interests start to collaborate.