Instead of HPC getting easier (as we dreamed of many years ago), we are now confronted with increasing complexity and a new trend…
… emerging almost every year, such as multicore and manycore, scaling up and out, big data, digital manufacturing and the missing middle, green computing, and HPC in the Cloud. For many, especially the end-user, this is a very painful and growing mixture of technical, mental, and even political challenges which no-one is able to handle individually anymore.
HPC is getting crowded
If HPC is moving towards into the cloud there is – at least to me – the question what data is to be calculated there and how to transmit this data into the cloud ?
Is it generated by web accesses on a lot of clients each connected with the cloud data base, or is it locally within the cloud on the HPC system(s) generated, or transferred over local internet connection into the cloud ?
]IMHO, it’s a problem of the right wrapping of really complex technologies. iPod’s story as an example might be annoying, but, well, Apple won because they gave minimal required functionality to their customers, and took away any need to think about formats, codecs, bitrates, tags and that stuff. Since HPC is getting easier, it becomes more and more important to simplify an access to HPC applications (not to clusters or HPC infrastructure or even to set of nodes) for typical everyday users of such apps – engineers, researchers, to anybody else who doesn’t have even imagination about administrative aspects behind HPC applications.
The pendulum swings both ways. In technology that typically includes cycles of new hardware and software, the later always trying to address the failings of the former.
HPC will never get easier in one sense: as the computers become more powerful, the definition of a difficult problem will include previously-considered-impossible problems
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