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Summit Discusses Why HPC Is Becoming More Important For Commercial Use

Apr. 6, 2016 ⋅ Categories: Design & Engineering, HPC, Life Sciences

For the past few years the enterprise sector has been a huge area of growth for high-performance computing. According to International Data Corporation’s presentation at Supercomputing 2015, an annual international conference, the HPC server market grew 12 percent by the end of 2015, in large part due to rapid adoption by financial services.

This growth was even recognized by President Obama when he enacted an executive order creating a National Strategic Computing Initiative in July 2015. The order detailed the ways that the government can facilitate the research, development and deployment of HPC.

At the recent EnterpriseHPC 2016 Summit, a joint effort by publications EnterpriseTech and HPCwire, major thought leaders in the industry came together to discuss the burgeoning relationship between HPC and the enterprise sector.

HPCwire and EnterpriseTech’s coverage of the event broke it down by each individual speaker, starting with Molly Rector, the chief marketing officer and executive vice president of product management at DDN Storage. Rector began the summit by discussing the impressive evolution of HPC, from a specialized technology that could only be used by computer experts and scientists to something that ingrained in everyday operations, particularly in the commercial sector.

Enterprise HPC Testimonies At The Summit
The summit then turned to executives whose companies have had to adopt HPC solutions. One was Kolster, the senior database analyst at PayPal, who detailed how the online payment service company uses HPC to detect fraud. To do so, according to Kolster, the company’s system has to process 3 million events per second and look for any anomalies in real time – a workload that could only be handled by HPC.

Speakers also touched on HPC’s impact on the life sciences industry. Ari Berman, the vice president and general manager of BioTeam, a technology consulting company, said that the technology has brought important advancements to pharmaceuticals in particular, in what HPCWire called a “paradigm change.”

“The key to successful HPC adoption comes through knowledge.”

John Deere represented HPC in mechanics. The talk by Mohamad El-Zein, the company’s manager of advanced materials and mechanics, instead focused on the challenges of HPC adoption in the commercial sector. He said companies tend to add compute power without any real use for it, which ends up adding more cost. Unless the added cores are suited to the right applications, the practice is counterproductive.

These ideas were echoed by Fred Streitz, the director of HPC Innovation Center at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who said that the key to successful HPC adoption comes through knowledge of the job, of workload requirements and of users’ intentions and goals.

Why They Say HPC Is More Necessary Than Ever
Perhaps one of the most important points of the summit, though, could be summarized by Didier, the head of computational fluid dynamics at the Sahara Force India Formula One Team. For his organization, like many others, HPC is more than an option, it’s a “must have.” According to Didier, HPC is so widely used in Formula One that limitations have had to be placed on compute power to maintain fairness in competition.

Leveraging the power of big data with HPC has created impressive ROI for many enterprises, according to IDC, which estimated that $514.7 is returned for every dollar invested, EnterpriseTech reported. With these numbers and testimonies, it’s no wonder that HPC is more necessary in the commercial sector than ever.

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