The Business Of HPC Is Evolving


With most of the year finished and a new one coming up fast, and a slew of new compute and networking technologies ramping for the past year and more on the horizon for a very exciting 2017, now is the natural time to take stock of what has happened in the HPC business and what is expected to happen in the coming years. The theme of the SC16 supercomputing conference this year is that HPC matters, and of course, we have all known this since the first such machines were distinct from enterprise-class electronic computers back in the 1960s. HPC not only matters, but the growing consensus at the conference is that HPC will possibly be returning to its roots as a sector for innovation and specialization to solve very specific and computational intensive and complex problems. We could be seeing the waning of the Era of General Purpose HPC even as the simulation, modeling, analytics, and machine learning workloads that comprise modern HPC continue to evolve at a rapid pace. It takes money to make HPC happen, and HPC also makes money happen, and it is supposed to be a virtuous cycle where more innovation in HPC systems drives more innovation in product design and various kinds of simulation such as weather forecasting or particle physics or cosmology, just to name a few.