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International Supercomputing Conference ’11

It’s the final day of the ISC ’11 conference here in Hamburg, Germany with just a few more events to go — a keynote talk on memory technologies and an analyst event, both of which promise to be interesting.

My trip got off to a rough start when my flight from Boston on Friday was cancelled and then rescheduled for Sunday, which meant I would not be able to deliver my talk at the HPC Advisory Council Workshop and would miss the first day of ISC ’11. More on the Workshop in a subsequent post.

ISC ’11 has been a good event with some interesting technical talks and ample opportunity to talk with other vendors and partners. And, as is usual with these events, it was an opportunity to learn who is working where, especially as Oracle continues to shed most if not all of its HPC expertise. I learned, for example, that I now have many good contacts at nVidia. And that I know a pile of people at Xyratex.

I gave a talk on the converging concerns of Cloud, HPC, and Enterprise in a session at which Dan Reed, long-time HPC person and now VP of Extreme Computing at Microsoft, also spoke. As two HPC people who are now looking at HPC from the perspective of the broader Enterprise market, it was affirming to hear Dan’s talk, which touched on many of the same themes I addressed in my own presentation.

I also took part in the first ISC Think Tank event, hosted by HPCwire. This series is intended to “establish a meeting of the minds between the thought leaders across HPC in discussions revolving around controversial and provocative topics that are impacting the HPC community today”. The topic for this first series was “HPC and the Cloud”. Three panel sessions were taped: vendors, users, and analysts. I sat on the vendor panel along with Dan Reed (Microsoft) and Christian Tanasescu (SGI). When the videos are posted, I’ll put a link of this blog.