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ISC19: Alces’ Top 3 Insights

We’re back from Frankfurt to highlight the best of what we saw from show floor to workshops.

We’re finally back from ISC and have spent our return week sorting through the many conversations with customers and attendees which outlined their hopes, fears, and expectations with the future of HPC. From this we thought to compile for you our top three things we learned this time in around in Frankfurt. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

  1. Everyone’s talking cloud.

Our research into cloud HPC adoption is showing that from small projects to complete system back-ups, people are taking on cloud as a part of their HPC solution. No longer quickly dismissed, cloud is being pulled forward to tackle solution expansion, new tech, and could be on the verge of a tipping point (read the Hyperion report for more). What did we see? A lot of active engagement in seeking out practical guides and tools to help develop a balance of cloud within a solution. We’ve summed it up pretty well with our poster and we even launched our open source project geared specifically to be platform agnostic.

2. Big systems are in… and co-design for cutting edge is a big request.

Our time in the Personalised Medicine BoF raised some excellent comments surrounding why we need Exascale but we also had some great discussion around co-design, where application developers work closely with hardware and cloud to hit both research and commercial aims. Excellent conversation took place around how the push for bigger system (more often than not) pulls along applications favouring the processing power. But is there a way to turn this drag into a balance? The comments made within the computational biomedicine community at this event and the exploration of the relationship of application to machine will only intensify as these solutions become reality. (It will also likely be a massive topic at the CompBioMed Conference this September.)

3. Diversity is in in HPC.

We were pleased to support our mentor on her first poster presentation as well as volunteer our social media skills to the WHPC Twitter feed this ISC’19. Our time spent with up-and-coming women in HPC, in networking, and at the WHPC 10th Annual Workshop was — as always — eye opening. We are also happy to report that the crowds for this group are getting more diverse by the day! We’re continuing our work on diversity and inclusion through to their next big workshop at SC’19 in November. Submissions are now open for those interested in speaking and attending.

As always we had a great time attending ISC and are looking forward to our summer events, including our first time speaking at the UK RSE Conference, and of course our exhibitor debut at SC’19!

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