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HP Labs at Discover Las Vegas – Kimberly Keeton on software innovation for The Machine


Contributed by Simon Firth, freelance technology journalist




Kim.jpgThe Machine is being developed by HP Labs to transform the way we collect, process, store, and analyze data, notes HP Labs principal researcher Kimberly Keeton.


“The Machine will offer us access to persistently stored data at unprecedented speed,” she explains. “But we won’t reap the full benefits of that innovation if we don’t change how software works, as well.”


In a presentation titled “Reimagining systems and application software for The Machine: a sneak peek from HP Labs” at HP Discover 2015 in Las Vegas on June 4th, Keeton will present how HP Labs researchers charged with developing systems and application software for The Machine are rethinking some of our most fundamental assumptions about how software and hardware interact.


“Traditionally,” she points out, “we’ve stored data in disks that are read by moving mechanical heads back and forth. Because that movement takes time, we’ve always accessed data in large chunks and kept as much data as possible in temporary caches. Now, with the persistent, non-volatile memory that we’re developing, you don’t have to worry about these mechanical parts anymore and you can quickly and randomly access things – and that frees us to look at accessing data in an entirely new way.”


Keeton plans to share some of the research she and her colleagues have been conducting into such alternatives. For example, Linux For The Machine (L4TM) retains the APIs that Linux currently provides to applications, while removing software layers that are no longer needed, thus allowing operations to run at a higher speed than is currently possible. The Atlas  programming model bypasses conventional file systems and databases entirely, to directly manage the persistence of program data structures.


In her presentation, Keeton will explore how these and other methodologies can be game changers for the coming era of truly massive data flows.


“We’ll be also running demos of many of these technologies in the Discover Zone,” she adds. “Our work isn’t done yet, but I hope we’ll be able to convey the progress that we’re making towards enabling a truly persistent data world.”


Keeton’s presentation – DT 1330 “Reimagining systems and applications software for The Machine: a sneak peek from HP Labs” -- is on Thursday, June 4th, between 11:30 AM to 12:00 PM in Discover Theater 2. Demonstrations of Atlas, Linux for the Machine, and a number of other software innovations for the era of persistent computing will be viewable throughout Discover in the HP Labs pavilion in the Discover Zone.





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