For the 34th year running, ISC19 has been Europe’s largest HPC forum, with 3500 researchers, 160 exhibitors and 1 TBT Marketing tech pro – I was lucky enough to attend this year’s event! ISC19 is the most exciting EMEA event of the year for HPC professionals, sponsored by some of the biggest names in the sector, Intel, HPE, Huawei, Atos, AWS, Dell, Lenovo, IBM and many more. Here are some of my highlights from the event this year.
It’s not new news to anyone but hyperscalers are making their presence felt, slowly but surely. With AWS practically building an enterprise sized data centre every day, they are currently the largest systems business in the world, turning over $30 billion and climbing. However, there are some competitors hot on their heels, Microsoft Azure are coming up quickly behind them and Google Cloud, Oracle and IBM all have sizable cloud businesses as well. This isn’t to say that the on-premise HPC is losing its place, it will still be relevant in a lot of situations but over time, people are moving more towards hybrid HPC and full cloud HPC. All three are valid solutions but we’re definitely seeing an increase in the latter two. TBT really know what we’re talking about when it comes to marketing HPC, having worked with some of the top names on HPC campaigns, as well as our recent project with Verne Global, redesigning their website and ongoing marketing support.
As markets develop, there is always consolidation amongst the participants. A couple of proof points that the HPC market is developing were covered at ISC19; the mergers of HPE & Cray, and NVIDIA and Mellanox. This is a big opportunity for HPE to move up in the world of HPC and grow their market share, it’s still seeking regulatory approval, but it could be an exciting move for HPE. NVIDIA has acquired Mellanox and it now gives them control of over 250 of the world’s TOP500 supercomputers. They’re also seeking regulatory approval but this is an exciting collaboration that could see this vendor catching up with the larger ones.
There’s also increasing interest in partnerships with AMD, where their EPYC architecture is well suited to HPC solutions. The highly anticipated upcoming launch of their next generation ‘Rome’ product will surely see them feature even more in the future.
Another thing noteable this year was talk of ‘containers’ in cloud environments. Whilst container technologies like Docker and Kubernetes for orchestration are widely used in more traditional IT environments, up until now they have not been common in HPC. This is changing and certain containers like Singularity are particularly suited to HPC. Uber Cloud, featured on the Intel booth and partner with HPE, are a platform to run all simulations on powerful cloud infrastructure, unleashing the possibilities for revolutionary new products and the full power of analysis software. This is not on-prem but more in the hybrid cloud area and is a clear sign that containers are becoming more utilised in HPC.
Over the course of the week, I was excited to get the opportunity to meet up with some of TBT’s key stakeholders and some potential new exciting collaborators. I met with 14 different clients and prospects, ranging from Fortune 100 players to smaller ones as well as traditional on-prem providers, those dealing with hybrid cloud and also hyperscalers. Lots of exciting things in the pipeline for some of our key stakeholders and others in the market. We would love to connect with more HPC businesses and support them in promoting their products.
ISC19 is still one of the most exciting HPC events of the year and I’m so glad I was able to attend. The landscape of HPC will change considerably over the coming years, large hyperscalers coming to the forefront and containerisation taking its place. There will definitely be opportunities for smaller stakeholders to make their mark still, but they might need a little help and support in their marketing efforts.