“The times they are a changin’”. Back in 1964 when Bob Dylan first sang these words, we might not have imagined a world in which information is created, shared and utilized in a matter of seconds.
It is equally hard to imagine that digital data or IT infrastructure would become a company’s most valuable asset.
But what a brave new world it has become.
The High Performance Computing (HPC) or Supercomputing landscape is changing rapidly and companies need more advanced security and IT infrastructure than ever.
The good news is that as the needs of consumers change with time, so does HPC.
Growing Over Time
High performance computing has proliferated to the point where it even hosts an annual international conference. Starting in 1989, 29 years ago, the SC conference series, (sponsored by ACM SIGHPC and IEEE Computer Society) has met every year to discuss the ever-changing landscape that makes up the HPC industry. From computer hardware design & operations to the best mission-critical facility environments, including water cooling and other ways to manage the high-density power & compute requirements the conference supports the ever-growing march of technology.
This year, SC16 is being held in Salt Lake City, Utah. The dates of the conference are November 13 – 18, 2016. Scientists, computer engineers, mission-critical facility operators, communication specialists and a myriad of other high -tech professionals will gather at the conference to discuss new and emerging opportunities and technologies in the HPC industry. Together, they will brainstorm on problem solving and collaborate on interesting and innovative ways to utilize the tremendous capabilities of Supercomputing technologies!
HPC and Innovation
Before HPC gained full-scale popularity, it was used by geologists, meteorologists and medical researchers to create complex algorithms to solve scientific problems.
Now, HPC is being embraced by small businesses, entrepreneurs and inventors. It has been called by some “the key to future innovation.”
Car manufacturers, for example, use High Performance Computing to perform virtual crash tests on their vehicles. A safety test that cost Ford Motor Company $60,000 just 20 years ago, costs around $10 today.
This is all thanks to HPC.
Similarly, Dumont’s Pioneer Hi-Bred has turned to HPC to help farmers increase their biofuels production. Through a series of simulations, researchers are working to create a hybrid seed that can withstand floods, disease, insects and drought.
Instead of spending years analyzing massive amounts of data, they use HPC to obtain answers in a matter of weeks, days or even hours.
Thanks to HPC, Pioneer Hi-Bred has created a research program that is up to 50 times bigger than what they could have achieved without the new computing technologies available today.
Corporations are turning to HPC to solve their business and infrastructural challenges.
For example, PING, a golf club manufacturer, is using HPC to test their new prototype ideas. If a prototype performs poorly in a simulation, they can save $20,000 to $30,000 by eliminating the need to send a potentially flawed product to production. Goodyear is following the same pattern by using HPC to test new tire designs.
Of course, medical researchers and providers will continue to use HPC to determine if an idea is even worth moving to the testing phase.
As HPC starts to gain a foot hold in mainstream commerce we are starting to see the signs of rapid adoption and the proliferation of supercomputing. At DataSite, for example, all of our data center facilities throughout the United States (Atlanta, Georgia; Boise, Idaho and Orlando, Florida) are designed to deliver the massive amounts of power to these super computers. All the data center areas are supplied with chilled water taps to help cool the intense heat of the supercomputing processor chips. HPC users leverage the DataSite colocation facilities for Department of Defense style physical security to protect these multi-million dollar machines as well as huge amounts of clean & uninterrupted power required to operate this IT infrastructure.
Whether a client requires a one-rack solution or a full-scale customized data center environment, DataSite is positioned to support the intense high-power density data center space required to day and wall into the future.
Over time, high performance computing has proven to be key to economic development around the world. It has been proven that Countries which invest in HPC gain a clear advantage over countries that do not.
According to a report from market consultancy company Intersect 360, the U.S. must embrace HPC in order to maintain a competitive edge in the global market place.
“High performance computing is inextricably linked to innovation, fueling breakthroughs in science, engineering and business,” as stated in Intersect’s report.
In other words, obtaining and developing HPC systems should be at or near the top of every developed country’s priority list. It could also be what sets a nation apart from its economic competitors across the globe.