Is HPC on the Verge of a Cloud Paradigm Shift?

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Shaloo Shalini writes that HPC may be on the verge of a paradigm shift towards cloud computing:

The erstwhile islands of large-scale supercomputing facilities may soon become outdated thanks to inroads made by cloud computing into HPC territory in addressing the issues of scale, access, and affordability. But let’s be realistic: This is not completely true for the top-notch supercomputing centers or the high-end tier of HPC setups dealing with specialized research for government, defense, and other performance-sensitive workloads. However, some of the academic research, pure sciences, weather modeling, automobile design simulations, aerospace, energylife sciences, and the newer class of business intelligence and analytics applications may see the maximum benefit from this merger of HPC and cloud paradigm.”

Shalani goes on to cite initiatives across the globe that are blurring the boundaries between traditional HPC and Cloud computing including work at CERN, Wolfram, SARA, SGI, Harvard Medical School, Penguin, and Eli Lilly. Perhaps the future is already here, as William Gibson said. It’s just unevenly distributed.