Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Sunday, May 26, 2024

Snell: The ‘Wild West’ of HPC Disaggregation 

We caught up with Addison Snell, CEO of HPC industry watcher Intersect360, at SC16 last month, and Snell had his expected, extensive list of insights into trends driving advanced-scale technology in both the commercial and research sectors.

Possibly the most significant trend is what Snell calls “technology disaggregation,” the proliferation of alternative processing architectures along with an array of new storage, fabric and communications technologies. Taken together, these technologies have created a “Wild West” environment and, compared with the relatively straightforward times of the past, “the worst of all worlds,” Snell said, for application programmers and systems administrators.

Snell also shared his views on the democratization of HPC along with some of the more notable m&a activity in the industry of late. He noted that he is impressed with Microsoft Azure, putting it in “the most improved” category over the past year, jumpstarted by its adoption of Linux and by populating instances with GPUs for AI and machine learning.

Finally, Snell offered up his views on HPC winners and losers in the approaching administration of President Trump, as well as his thoughts on the U.S. drive to exascale.