Monday, May 7, 2012

Petabyte the Hand that Feeds

Several interesting quotes can be found in Kevin Davies' "Dagdigian's Trends in IT Highlight Bio-IT World Expo" at, as he describes Chris Dagdigian's review of the Bio-IT World Expo:
"Petabyte-capable storage is trivial to acquire in 2012".
"The [science] is changing faster than we can refresh datacenters and research IT infrastructure." 
Dagdigian was excited about new NGS compression techniques, such as CRAM. "We need order-of-magnitude changes in compression,” he said. “Be glad you are not Broad/Sanger/BGI/NCBI." 
" offerings from vendors such as DDN, Panasas, Isilon and BlueArc all run Unix on standard architectures." 
"I would not deploy a private cloud solution … that does not have Amazon API compatibility." 
Dagdigian said he was bullish about the Siri voice control ... [h]e predicted growing popularity for ... pNFS as well as smart storage systems from Drobo and DataDirect.  

The local private Pittsburgh HPC company I follow in the news (as I know the CTO, Garth Gibson) is Panasas.  While terabyte-scaling-to-petabyte storage has long been the domain of supercomputing initiatives, businesses and governments globally are quickly snapping up storage systems to support research across many disciplines: biosciences, energy, finance, manufacturing, etc. While "apps" currently control home lighting systems,  drone aircraft and smartphone-based gaming, why not data-gathering tools such as space-based telescopes, deepsea submersibles, etc?  Computing giants EMC, IBM, Hitachi, HP, and Dell all have their HPC components (and both Isilon and BlueArc are now divisions of two of these), but for start-up potential, watch the bleeding edge of this industry and see what shakes out - despite the 100 million smartphones/tablets out there, HPC is the stealth user of both SSD and platter technology.

(note, the title is just silly - couldn't pass up the potential for punning... ;-)

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