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.
February 21, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The best way to make a wave is to make a big splash, which is something that Andy Bechtolsheim, perhaps the most famous serial entrepreneur in IT infrastructure, is very good at doing. As one of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems and a slew of networking and system startups as well as the first investor in Google, he doesn’t just see waves, but generates them and then surfs on them, creating companies and markets as he goes along.
Bechtolsheim was a PhD student at Stanford University, working on a project that aimed to integrate networking interfaces with processors when he …Read more
February 19, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Computing, which always includes storage and networking, evolves. Just like everything else on Earth. Anything with a benefit in efficiency will always find its niche, and it will change to plug into new niches as they arise and make use of ever-cheaper technologies as they advance from the edges.
It is with this in mind that we ponder the datacenter. As in the center of data, which has been expanding and thinning for a very long time now, and which is pushing itself – and us – to the edge. What, we wonder, is a datacenter that doesn’t have …Read more
February 16, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The supercomputing business, the upper stratosphere of the much broader high performance computing segment of the IT industry, is without question one of the most exciting areas in data processing and visualization.
It is also one of the most frustrating sectors in which to try to make a profitable living. The customers are the most demanding, the applications are the most complex, the budget pressures are intense, the technical challenges are daunting, the governments behind major efforts can be capricious, and the competition is fierce.
This is the world where Cray, which literally invented the supercomputing field, and its competitors …Read more
February 15, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
It has taken nearly four years for the low end, workhorse machines in IBM’s Power Systems line to be updated, and the long awaited Power9 processors and the shiny new “ZZ” systems have been unveiled. We have learned quite a bit about these machines, many of which are not really intended for the kinds of IT organizations that The Next Platform is focused on. But several of the machines are aimed at large enterprises, service providers, and even cloud builders who want something with a little more oomph on a lot of fronts than an X86 server can deliver in …Read more
February 14, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
When it comes to machine learning training, people tend to focus on the compute. We always want to know if the training is being done on specialized parallel X86 devices, like Intel’s Xeon Phi, or on massively parallel GPU devices, like Nvidia’s “Pascal” and “Volta” accelerators, or even on custom devices from the likes of Nervana Systems (now part of Intel), Wave Systems, Graphcore, Google, or Fujitsu.
But as is the case with other kinds of high performance computing, the network matters when it comes to machine learning, and it can be the differentiating …Read more
February 13, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The HPC crowd got a little taste of the IBM’s “Nimbus” Power9 processors for scale out systems, juiced by Nvidia “Volta” Tesla GPU accelerators, last December with the Power AC922 system that is the basis of the “Summit” and “Sierra” pre-exascale supercomputers being built by Big Blue for the US Department of Energy.
Now, IBM’s enterprise customers that use more standard iron in their clusters, and who predominantly have CPU-only setups rather than adding in GPUs or FPGAs and who need a lot more local storage, are getting more of a Power9 meal with the launch of six new machines …Read more
February 9, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
The combination of the excitement for new video games, the machine learning software revolution, the buildout of very large supercomputers based on hybrid CPU-GPU architectures, and the mining of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have combined into a quadruple whammy that is driving Nvidia to new heights for revenues, profits, and market capitalization. And thus it is no surprise Nvidia is one of the few companies that is bucking the trend in a very tough couple of weeks on Wall Street.
But having demand spiking for both its current “Volta” GPUs, which are currently aimed at HPC and AI compute, …Read more
February 8, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Co-design is all the rage these days in systems design, where the hardware and software components of a system – whether it is aimed at compute, storage, or networking – are designed in tandem, not one after the other, and immediately affect how each aspect of a system are ultimate crafted. It is a smart idea that wrings the maximum amount of performance out of a system for very precise workloads.
The era of general purpose computing, which is on the wane, brought an ever-increasing amount of capacity to bear in the datacenter at an ever -lower cost, enabling an …Read more
February 7, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
Compute is being embedded in everything, and there is another wave of distributed computing pushing out from the datacenter into all kinds of network, storage, and other kinds of devices that collect and process data in their own right as well as passing it back up to the glass house for final processing and permanent storage.
The computing requirements at the edge are different from the core compute in the datacenter, and it is very convenient indeed that they align nicely with some of the more modest processing needs of network devices, storage clusters, and more modest jobs in the …Read more
February 6, 2018 Timothy Prickett Morgan
In a way, the processor market started moving in slow motion through 2017 as server makers and their customers were awaiting a veritable cornucopia of processor options, something the industry has not seen in many a year. We have been predicting that there would be a Cambrian Explosion of compute, first in 2017, but it has taken a bit longer for many of these processors to come to market and it looks like 2018 might be the year.
This might be, in fact, the year when IBM’s Power RISC processors see a long-awaited resurgence, and frankly, if it doesn’t happen …Read more