Readers of Datanami and EnterpriseTech will recall that Leverage Big Data and Enterprise HPC used to be separate events focused on their respective audiences. This year Tabor Communications decided to merge them, reflecting the movement of big data and HPC toward convergence.
That doesn’t mean they’re taking the same route. We see the big data camp favoring the discovery of correlations hidden in data using machine learning algorithms, while HPC traditionally uses highly detailed modeling and simulation to achieve its goals. But increasingly, both camps are aiming to use emerging techniques and technologies, such as deep learning on GPUs, to inform decision-making, often on live data with low latencies driven by real-time requirements.
This convergence is what attracted HPC directors, data scientists, enterprise architects, CTOs and other technology decision-makers to the Jacksonville, Florida area last week. Tabor Communications nGage Events, and the Ponte Vedra Resort played host to delegates from companies like Credit Suisse, Ford Motor Company, Gulfstream Aerospace, Erickson, Cummins, Samsung, and UnitedHealth Group.
Drinking Deep Learning Kool-Aid
There was about a 50-50 split between the big data and traditional supercomputing camps at LBD+EHPC 2017, but nearly everybody sees the disciplines coming together in light of evolving technology and changing business requirements. One of the true believers of big data-HPC convergence is Jay Boisseau of Dell EMC.
“I’m an HPC person who’s fascinated by the possibilities of augmenting intelligence with deep learning techniques,” Boisseau said during his keynote last week. “I’ve drunk the ‘deep learning Kool-Aid.'” (See HPCWire Managing Editor Tiffany Trader’s story, “Data-Hungry Algorithms and the Thirst for AI,” for more on Boisseau’s talk.)