By Frank D Greco, Director of Technology, KAAZING Corporation
High Performance Computing
Historically the term "High Performance Computing", or more simply "HPC," conjured up thoughts of monstrously-sized supercomputers, hundreds or thousands of machines collaborating over an extremely fast and esoteric low-latency network, complex parallel processing systems and obscure programming languages. Typically these tools were only seen in exclusive capital markets conferences, molecular research labs, government cryptographic analyses and other very exotic use cases. The ex-orbitant costs of running such systems were typically affordable only by the financially elite or heavily grant-endowed.
“We are in a new era in IT with an exciting generation of powerful high-performance tools that are now de rigueur”
But over the past few years HPC has undergone a dramatic evolution. Driven by accessibility to off-premises cloud computing resources, agile infrastructures, dramatic decreases in hardware prices, and innovative improvements in software development and scalable systems architecture thanks to inventive technology vendors such as Google, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and others, HPC is now easily available to all enterprises. Hundreds of machines, petabytes of storage, high-speed networking, global messaging and adaptive user interfaces can now be instantiated literally within minutes. These tools are no longer the sole province of large investment banks, algorithmically centric hedge funds or climate modeling researchers.
Need For Agility
This evolutionary phase in modern high-performance hardware and software coincides with another trend: the growing user demand for more apps and services. Users are now accustomed to the instant gratification of mobile apps. They are now challenging IT departments to provide similar functionality and ease-of-use for enterprise applications and most importantly, at on-demand timescales.
As we know all too well, this new business environment is complex, extremely dynamic, hugely event-driven, and constantly challenging our strategies and deliverables. This unpredictable environment requires rapid adapting to change and rapid reaction to business events. It requires agility. Successful business agility now clearly becomes a critical differentiator.
These parallel trends are massively changing how IT organizations design, develop, deploy and manage systems.
Beyond The Firewall
Given these trends, it is clearly important to understand and evaluate our stable of high-performance tools to gauge their value and impact to improve business agility.