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High Performance on Wall St September 20, 2006

Posted by newyorkscot in HPC.
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I attended the 2006 High Performance on Wall Street event yesterday and went to a bunch of the sessions. This event was considerably smaller and more focused than most events, and most of the usual vendors were exhibiting, including a lot of hardware vendors. Some of the major comments from various sessions are below.

General Panel Comments  – on a couple of the sessions, each panelist got to pitch their product or success story and give some insights. One key message that was reiterated several times was the need for better benchmarking and standards around grid. Some other specific comments included:

  • Lehman’s Thanos Mitsolides claimed the toughest issues are around initialization and stateless execution. The problems not just about performance, but scalability, security, load balancing, etc are very important.
  • BankOf America’s Andy Doddington – Being at the “top of the stack” there are needling issues at all layers in the stack. In the final session he re-iterated Thanos’ comments about HPC not just being about performance: management, visibility, ease of deployment and simplicity are very important too and stressed that vendors need to keep all of this in mind in their products. He was also complementary about Javaspaces as an easy way to manage data.
  • Wombat said that there are lots of vendors coming up with what is essentially the same solutions. There needs to be standard measurements of products, as well as a better understanding as to where certain products apply to certain problem domains.
  • Reuters’ issues are around the transformation of data and fan-out. They would like to see standard APIs from people like Intel, etc to support local transformation because they dont want to be hardware-dependent.

Visions for Future – in the opening session, some of the panelists were asked about what they see for the future:

  • Lehman was concerned about the growth of clusters and what that will do to the scalability of the file system and backend cache infrsatructures.
  • Gemstone said that they look forward to there being more stateful applications across more functions.
  • Technology Business Development Corp said they want to see more benchmarks.
  • Wombat  thinks that the issues going forward is not the technology itself but rather in technology management, so as volumes grow systems have to work with the datacenters/grids in place and so software efficiency will become more important.
  • Platform thinks that the Quality Of Service and performance (fault tolerance, resiliency, measurement) are important especially as grid grow to 20,000 nodes in size. They also believe service-orientated infrastructures will be very important.
  • Reuters expressed their needs for standards and benchmarking as well as monitoring of real-time latency. They also think that people need to focus on better infrastructure and how it is structured in the network.

More specific posts to follow.

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