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November 19, 2003

Cool Supercomputing

Sometimes you forget how big certain issues are outside of the research arena. Supercomputing for example is always seen as something of a nice area. But walk around here at the Phoenix Convention Center which completely filled with exhibits from vendors, research centers, productions center, application development, etc. and you'll get a sense how massive this market is. There is for tens of millions of dollars in equipment on the exhibition floor.

Although not everybody is doing HPC in its attic, we are all using products that have gone through extensive experimentation on supercomputing or you use services (e.g. financial or weather predictions) that are HPC backed. The technical program (where I present in) dwarfs in comparison with the activities in the exhibition area. The BOFs are geared towards practitioners; for example I am writing this from the 'The Trouble with Cluster Management' BOF.

Linux is dominantly present here, the Cornell TC group is also here and is one of the few groups running HPC on Windows. I did get an interesting demo for the multi-process launch and debugging facilities for Visual Studio, to be beta released early next year.

It is very interesting to see many of the applications such as the tornado tracking or the airplane noise reduction experiments. Lots of impressive visualizations on very big LCD and plasma screen. Fun!

Posted by Werner Vogels at November 19, 2003 02:39 PM