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HPE’s bold new voice in high-performance computing


When you think high-performance computing (HPC), does big data come to mind? There are some good reasons why it should.

While HPE’s launch of a new global business unit combining HPC and Big Data may have raised some eyebrows in the industry back in March, the move made perfect sense. As VP & GM Bill Mannel explained to HPCwire’s John Russell, “It’s not by mistake or coincidence we put HPC and Big Data together. We believe storing Big Data is one thing, and we have technologies to do that. Getting productive use out of [the data] is another thing, and many customers are using similar types of technologies to get value out of their Big Data.”

Bill Mannel 2_Jan 2016.JPG

And those technologies are on the rise. Take the category that IDC is calling high performance data analysis (HPDA), for example. HPCwire cites an IDC forecast that the market for HPDA servers and storage will hit $1.2B and $800M respectively this year, growing faster than most segments.

Of course, while the HPC and Big Data organization may be relatively new, HPE is a longtime leader in the HPC segment, indeed a dominant one; more than one-third of the high-performance computing (HPC) market leverages HPE platforms. Recent wins that Bill Mannel can point to include: 

  • The deployment at the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory of a warm-water,
          liquid-cooled supercomputer (the Lab uses the warm water to heat the building after cooling the computer!)

  • Last spring’s installation at AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow of the HPE-built
         Prometheus supercomputer, the most powerful supercomputer in the history of Poland, and the world’s largest
         iinstallation of HPE Apollo 8000 servers.

  • A 16,000-core system based on the HPE Apollo 6000 to support life sciences research at the Technical University
         of Denmark. 
    You can watch a video featuring Bill and Peter Longreen, the university’s COO, talking about this
         big data project here.

Good news for the enterprise market
One thing that Bill’s passionate about is helping businesses of all sizes capitalize on high-performance computing and big data technologies. Many commercial enterprises want to be able to use traditionally HPC-dependent tools, including modeling and simulation, just like governments, academia, and research organizations do.

At the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt in July, HPE announced an alliance with Intel to help enterprises move to high performance computing Bill commented: “As data explodes in volume, velocity and variety, and the processing requirements to address business challenges become more sophisticated, the line between traditional and high-performance computing is blurring. With this alliance, we are giving customers access to the technologies and solutions as well as the intellectual property, portfolio services and engineering support needed to evolve their compute infrastructure to capitalize on a data-driven environment.”

The alliance will enable HPE to offer solutions that dramatically simplify the deployment of HPC for customers in industries such as oil and gas, life sciences and financial services. 

But wait, there’s more … 

These are exciting times in the HPC and big data sectors, and the best is still to come.In a recent interview with EnterpriseTech, Bill cites the importance of cross-pollination between HPC and traditional IT in propelling virtualized environments for HPC. As costs drop, virtualization increasingly becomes a possibility as applied to HPC. Another exciting development on the horizon: Architectures on the HPC side are likely to increasingly resemble in-memory architectures, closing the gap between memory and the processor. 

And let’s not forget the opportunities around enterprise storage. In another breakthrough partnership, HPE and Scality have joined forces to accelerate the adoption of software-defined object and file storage to help enterprises and service providers tackle the challenges of data storage at massive scale. Watch Bill and Scality’s Erwan Menard discuss how introducing object storage beyond the service provider market and into enterprises makes the best use of big data, especially in the case of archival data and performance-driven services such as video streaming. 

Definitely a space, and an industry leader, to keep an eye on. You can follow Bill on Twitter: @Bill_Mannel

Learn more about HPE high-performance computing here.





Rosemarie "Rosie" Chiovari
HPE Enterprise Security Solutions Rule
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About the Author


Many years in the computing world (I remember punch cards)

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