As some of you know, I’ve recently joined Bright Computing.
Last week, I attended Bio-IT World 2013 in Boston. Bright had an excellent show – lots of great conversations, and even an award!
During numerous conversations, the notion of extending on-site IT infrastructure into the cloud was raised. Bright has an excellent solution for this.
What also emerged during the conversations were two uses for this extension of local IT resources via the cloud. I thought this was worth capturing and sharing. You can read about the use cases I identified over “On the Bright side …“
Over on LinkedIn, there’s an interesting discussion taking place in the “High Performance & Super Computing” group on the recently announced acquisition of Markham-based Platform Computing by IBM. My comment (below) was stimulated by concerns regarding the implications of this acquisition for IBM’s traditional competitors (i.e., other system vendors such as Cray, Dell, HP, etc.):
It could be argued:
“IBM groks vendor-neutral software and services (e.g., IBM Global Services), and therefore coopetition.”
At face value then, it’ll be business-as-usual for IBM-acquired Platform – and therefore its pre-acquisition partners and customers.
While business-as-usual plausibly applies to porting Platform products to offerings from IBM’s traditional competitors, I believe the sensitivity to the new business relationship (Platform as an IBM business unit) escalates rapidly for any solution that has value in HPC.
To deliver a value-rich solution in the HPC context, Platform has to work (extremely) closely with the ‘system vendor’. In many cases, this closeness requires that Intellectual Property (IP) of a technical and/or business nature be communicated – often well before solutions are introduced to the marketplace and made available for purchase. Thus Platform’s new status as an IBM entity, has the potential to seriously complicate matters regarding risk, trust, etc., relating to the exchange of IP.
Although it’s been stated elsewhere that IBM will allow Platform measures of post-acquisition independence, I doubt that this’ll provide sufficient comfort for matters relating to IP. While NDAs specific to the new (and independent) Platform business unit within IBM may offer some measure of additional comfort, I believe that technically oriented approaches offer the greatest promise for mitigating concerns relating to risk, trust, etc., in the exchange of IP.
In principle, one possibility is the adoption of open standards by all stakeholders. Such standards hold the promise of allowing for the integration between products via documented interfaces and protocols, while allowing (proprietary) implementation specifics to remain opaque. Although this may sound appealing, the availability of such standards remains elusive – despite various, well-intended efforts (by HPC, Grid, Cloud, etc., communities).
While Platform’s traditional competitors predictably and understandably gorge themselves sharing FUD, it obviously behooves both Platform and IBM to expend some effort allaying the concerns of their customers and partner ecosystem.
I’d be interested to hear of others’ suggestions as to how this new business relationship might allow for sustained innovation in the HPC context from IBM-acquired Platform.
Disclaimer: Although I do not have a vested financial interest in this acquisition, I did work for Platform from 1998-2005.
To reiterate here then:
How can this new business relationship allow for sustained, partner-friendly innovation in the HPC context from IBM-acquired Platform?
Please feel free to share your thoughts on this via comments to this post.
About 1:35 into
Jeff Han impressively demonstrates a lava-lamp application on a multi-touch user interface.
Having spent considerable time in the past pondering the fluid dynamics (e.g., convection) of the Earth’s atmosphere and deep interior (i.e., mantle and core), Han’s demonstration immediately triggered a scientific use case: Is it possible to computationally steer scientific simulations via multi-touch user interfaces?
A quick search via Google returns almost 20,000 hits … In other words, I’m likely not the first to make this connection 😦
In my copious spare time, I plan to investigate further …
Also of note is how this connection was made: A friend sent me a link to an article on Apple’s anticipated tablet product. Since so much of the anticipation of the Apple offering relates to the user interface, it’s not surprising that reference was made to Jeff Han’s TED talk (the video above). Cool.
If you have any thoughts to share on multi-touch computational steering, please feel free to chime in.
One more thought … I would imagine that the gaming industry would be quite interested in such a capability – if it isn’t already!
I learned yesterday that the manuscript I submitted to HPCS 2008 was not accepted 😦
It may take my co-authors and I some time before this manuscript is revised and re-submitted.
This anticipated re-submission latency, along with the fact that we believe the content needs to be shared in a timely fashion, provides the motivation for sharing the manuscript online.
To whet your appetite, the abstract is as follows:
Evolving a Semantic Framework into a Network-Enabled Semantic Platform
A data-oriented semantic framework has been developed previously for a project involving a network of globally distributed scientiﬁc instruments. Through the use of this framework, the semantic expressivity and richness of the project’s ASCII data is systematically enhanced as it is successively represented in XML (eXtensible Markup Language), RDF (Resource Description Formal) and ﬁnally as an informal ontology in OWL (Web Ontology Language). In addition to this representational transformation, there is a corresponding transformation from data into information into knowledge. Because this framework is broadly applicable to ASCII and binary data of any origin, it is appropriate to develop a network-enabled semantic platform that identiﬁes the enabling semantic components and interfaces that already exist, as well as the key gaps that need to be addressed to completely implement the platform. After brieﬂy reviewing the semantic framework, a J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) based implementation for a network-enabled semantic platform is provided. And although the platform is in principle usable, ongoing adoption suggests that strategies aimed at processing XML via parallel I/O techniques are likely an increasingly pressing requirement.
Over the past few months, a topic I’ve become quite interested in is parsing XML. And more specifically, parsing XML in parallel.
Although I won’t take this opportunity to expound in any detail on what I’ve been up to, I did want to state that this topic is receiving interest from significant industry players. For example, here are two data points:
Parsing of XML documents has been recognized as a performance bottleneck when processing XML. One cost-effective way to improve parsing performance is to use parallel algorithms and leverage the use of multi-core processors. Parallel parsing for XML Document Object Model (DOM) has been proposed, but the existing schemes do not scale up well with the number of processors. Further, there is little discussion of parallel parsing methods for other parsing models. The question is: how can we improve parallel parsing for DOM and other XML parsing models, when multi-core processors are available?
Intel Corp. released a new software product suite that is designed to enhance the performance of XML in service-oriented architecture (SOA) environments, or other environments where XML handling needs optimization. Intel XML Software Suite 1.0, which was announced earlier this month, provides libraries to help accelerate XSLT, XPath, XML schemas and XML parsing. XML performance was found to be twice that of open source solutions when Intel tested its product …
As someone with a vested interest in XML, I regard data points such as these as very positive overall.