Co-founder and co-editor Nicole Hemsoth brings insight from the world of high performance computing hardware and software as well as data-intensive systems and frameworks. Hemsoth is former Editor in Chief of long-standing supercomputing magazine, HPCwire. She was founding editor and conceptual creator of the data-intensive computing magazine Datanami, as well as the conceptual creator and founding Senior Editor for the large-scale infrastructure focused EnterpriseTech.
January 22, 2017 Nicole Hemsoth
At the end of 2016, Amazon Web Services announced it would be making high-end Xilinx FPGAs available via a cloud delivery model, beginning first in a developer preview mode before branching with higher-level tools to help potential new users onboard and experiment with FPGA acceleration as the year rolls on.
As Deepak Singh, General Manager for the Container and HPC division within AWS tells The Next Platform, the application areas where the most growth is expected for cloud-based FPGAs are many of the same we detailed in our recent book, FPGA Frontiers: New Applications in Reconfigurable Computing. These …Read more
January 17, 2017 Ben Cotton
When it comes to low-latency interconnects for high performance computing, InfiniBand immediately springs to mind. On the most recent Top 500 list, over 37% of systems used some form of InfiniBand – the highest representation of any interconnect family. Since 2009, InfiniBand has occupied between 30 and 51 percent of every Top 500 list.
But when you look to the clouds, InfiniBand is hard to find. Of the three major public cloud offerings (Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure), only Azure currently has an InfiniBand offering. Some smaller players do as well (Profit Bricks, for example), but it’s …Read more
January 16, 2017 Nicole Hemsoth, Timothy Prickett Morgan
There is little doubt that this is a new era for FPGAs.
While it is not news that FPGAs have been deployed in many different environments, particularly on the storage and networking side, there are fresh use cases emerging in part due to much larger datacenter trends. Energy efficiency, scalability, and the ability to handle vast volumes of streaming data are more important now than ever before. At a time when traditional CPUs are facing a future where Moore’s Law is less certain and other accelerators and custom ASICs are potential solutions with their own sets of expenses and hurdles, …Read more
January 15, 2017 Nicole Hemsoth, Timothy Prickett Morgan
The old Chinese saying, “May you live in interesting times,” is supposed to be a curse, uttered perhaps with a wry smile and a glint in the eye. But it is also, we think, a blessing, particularly in an IT sector that could use some constructive change.
Considering how much change the tech market, and therefore the companies, governments, and educational institutions of the world, have had to endure in the past three decades – and the accelerating pace of change over that period – you might be thinking it would be good to take a breather, to coast for …Read more
January 11, 2017 Ken Strandberg
The Zettabyte File System (ZFS), as a back-end file system to Lustre, has had support in Lustre for a long time. But in the last few years it has gained greater importance, likely due to Lustre’s push into enterprise and the increasing demands by both enterprise and non-enterprise IT to add more reliability and flexibility features to Lustre. So, ZFS has had significant traction in recent Lustre deployments.
However, over the last 18 months, a few challenges have been the focus of several open source projects in the Lustre developer community to improve performance, align the enterprise-grade features in ZFS …Read more
January 10, 2017 Nicole Hemsoth
Molecular dynamics codes have a wide range of uses across scientific research and represent a target base for a variety of accelerators and approaches, from GPUs to custom ASICs. The iterative nature of these codes on a CPU alone can require massive amounts of compute time for relatively simple simulations, thus the push is strong to find ways to bolster performance.
It is not practical for all users to make use of a custom ASIC (as exists on domain specific machines like those from D.E. Shaw, for instance). Accordingly, this community has looked to a mid-way step between general …Read more
January 9, 2017 Nicole Hemsoth
While there are some sectors of the tech-driven economy that thrive on rapid adoption on new innovations, other areas become rooted in traditional approaches due to regulatory and other constraints. Despite great advances toward precision medicine goals, the healthcare industry, like other important segments of the economy, is tied by several specific bounds that make it slower to adapt to potentially higher performing tools and techniques.
Although deep learning is nothing new, its application set is expanding. There is promise for the more mature variants of traditional deep learning (convolutional and recurrent neural networks are the prime example) to morph …Read more
January 3, 2017 Ben Cotton
Microservices are big in the tech world these days. The evolutionary heir to service-oriented architecture, microservice-based design is the ultimate manifestation of everything you learned about good application design.
Loosely coupled with high cohesion, microservices are the application embodiment of DevOps principles. So why isn’t everything a microservice now? At the LISA Conference, Anders Wallgren and Avantika Mathur from Electric Cloud gave some insight with their talk “The Hard Truths about Microservices and Software Delivery”.
Perhaps the biggest impediment to the adoption of microservices-based application architecture is an organizational culture that is not supportive. Microservices proponents recommend a team …Read more
December 14, 2016 Ben Cotton
Computing historians may look back on 2016 as the Year of Silicon Photonics. Not because the technology has become ubiquitous – that may yet be years away – but because the long-awaited silicon photonics offerings are now commercially available in networking hardware. While the advancements in networking provided by silicon photonics are indisputable, the real game changer is in the CPU.
For over half a century, Moore’s Law has been the name of the game. The transistor density on chips has been remarkably cooperative in doubling on schedule since Gordon Moore first made his observation in 1965. But Moore’s Law …Read more
December 8, 2016 Nicole Hemsoth
It has just been announced that there has been a shift in thinking among the exascale computing leads in the U.S. government underway—one that offers the potential of the United States installing an exascale capable machine in 2021, but of even more interest, a system based on a novel architecture.
As Paul Messina, Argonne National Lab Distinguished Fellow and head of the Exascale Computing Project (ECP) tells The Next Platform, the roadmap to an exascale capable machine (meaning one capable of 50X the current 20 petaflop capability machines on the Top 500 supercomputer list now) is on a seven-year, …Read more
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