SC13 beat out all of the other hardware events I attended during the year. All. Of. Them. Hands-down. Why? Supercomputers have been working with scale for a while, but with clusters designed to address specific classes of problems. Supercomputer customers are now asking vendors for orchestration flexibility and the rest of the fundamental features they get from their cloud infrastructure – low cost, low power consumption, increasing compute density, and standard software infrastructure and development tool chains. Plus there is a twist: current supercomputer architectures do not look like they can stretch to exascale while meeting customers’ power consumption and compute density constraints. The next few years will present a unique opportunity for the supercomputer vendors and developers to adopt new cloud tech and for the cloud-based Big Data analytics vendors and developers to adopt high performance computing (HPC) techniques. Both sets of folks understand that this is a really big deal. The dialog was amazing. SC13 got over 10,000 attendees [SC08 had 11,000 attendees just as the recession hit, nice to see it regaining momentum], there were >350 exhibitors, and close to 60 countries were represented. I will absolutely attend next year, I wouldn’t miss it!