Timothy Prickett Morgan
Co-founder and co-editor Timothy Prickett Morgan brings 25 years of experience as a publisher, IT industry analyst, editor, and journalist for some of the world's most widely-read high-tech and business publications including The Register, BusinessWeek, Midrange Computing, IT Jungle, Unigram, The Four Hundred, ComputerWire, Computer Business Review, Computer System News and IBM Systems User. Most recently, he was the Editor in Chief of EnterpriseTech.
April 20, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It is hard to make a profit selling hardware to supercomputing centers, hyperscalers, and cloud builders, all of whom demand the highest performance at the lowest prices. But in the first quarter of this year, network chip, adapter, switch, and cable supplier Mellanox Technologies – which has products aimed at all three of these segments – managed to do it.
And with activist investor, Starboard Value, pressing Mellanox to make the kinds of profits that other networking companies command, the swing to a very decent net income could not have come at a better time. Starboard has been on the …Read more
April 20, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The thing about platforms that have a wide adoption and deep history is that they tend to persist. They have such economic inertia that, so long as they can keep morphing and grafting on new technologies, that they persist long after alternatives have emerged and dominated data processing. Every company ultimately wants to build a platform for this reason, and has since the dawn of commercial computing, for precisely this reason, for this inertia – it takes too much effort to change or replace it – is what generates the profits.
It is with this in mind that we contemplate …Read more
April 19, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
With choice comes complexity, and the Cambrian explosion in compute options is only going to make this harder even if it is a much more satisfying intellectual and financial challenge. This added complexity is worth it because companies will be able to more closely align the hardware to the applications. This is why search engine giant Google has been driving compute diversity and why supercomputer maker Cray has been looking forward to it as well.
This expanding of the compute ecosystem is also necessary because big jumps in raw compute performance for general purpose processors are possible as they were …Read more
April 18, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
When a company has 500,000 enterprise customers that are paying for perpetual licenses and support on systems software – this is an absolutely enormous base by corporate standards, and a retro licensing model straight from the 1980s and 1990s – what does it do for an encore?
That’s a very good question, and for now the answer for VMware seems to be to sell virtual storage and virtual networking networking to that vast base of virtual compute customers, and take wheelbarrows full of money to the bank on behalf of parent Dell Technologies. Virtualization took root during the Great Recession …Read more
April 17, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Sometimes you can beat them, and sometimes you can join them. If you are Docker, the commercial entity behind the Docker container runtime and a stack of enterprise-class software that wraps around it, and you are facing the rising popularity of the Kubernetes container orchestrator open sourced by Google, you can do both. And so, even though it has its own Swarm orchestration layer, Docker is embracing Kubernetes as a peer to Swarm in its own stack.
This is not an either/or proposition, and in fact, the way that the company has integrated Kubernetes inside of Docker Enterprise Edition, the …Read more
April 16, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Many of us are impatient for Arm processors to take off in the datacenter in general and in HPC in particular. And ever so slowly, it looks like it is starting to happen.
Every system buyer wants choice because choice increases competition, which lowers cost and mitigates against risk. But no organization, no matter how large, can afford to build its own software ecosystem. Even the hyperscalers like Google and Facebook, whole literally make money on the apps running on their vast infrastructure, rely heavily on the open source community, taking as much as they give back. So it is …Read more
April 13, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
For decades, the IT market has been obsessed with the competition between suppliers of processors, but there are rivalries between the makers of networking chips and the full-blown switches that are based on them that are just as intense. Such a rivalry exists between the InfiniBand chips from Mellanox Technologies and the Omni-Path chips from Intel, which are based on technologies Intel got six years ago when it acquired the InfiniBand business from QLogic for $125 million.Read more
April 12, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Supercomputers keep getting faster, but they are keep getting more expensive. This is a problem, and it is one that is going to eventually affect every kind of computer until we get a new technology that is not based on CMOS chips.
The general budget and some of the feeds and speeds are out thanks to the requests for proposal for the “Frontier” and “El Capitan” supercomputers that will eventually be built for Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. So now is a good time to take a look at not just the historical performance of capability …Read more
April 10, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
There is a direct correlation between the length of time that Nvidia co-founder and chief executive officer Jensen Huang speaks during the opening keynote of each GPU Technology Conference and the total addressable market of accelerated computing based on GPUs.
This stands to reason since the market for GPU compute is expanding. We won’t discuss which is the cause and which is the effect. Or maybe we will.
It all started with offloading the parallel chunks of HPC applications from CPUs to GPUs in the early 2000s in academia, which were then first used in production HPC centers a decade …Read more