I’m back from SC’17, and to complete annual tradition, some thoughts:
- Chinese manufacturing is winning the day: The Nov’17 Top500 shows three of the top 5 and roughly 60% of the total compute power on the list are Chinese machines. Especially domestic-design Chinese machines (The ShenWei SW26010 in #1 are pretty thin on public details, but smell a lot like a better implementation of the Cell idea). Last time this kind of trend started (in Japan) the US spent a boatload of money on development, but I don’t think there is the political will for that sort of thing right now.
- Linux all the things: 100% Of the Top500 are now running some sort of Linux. Linux is a nice thing, but the mono-culture is sort of alarming.
- Singularity: Greg has a long history of solving real problems in the ecosystem (Warewulf, CentOS, etc.) in very pragmatic, very open ways. About 18mo ago he posed about a prototype container scheme suitable for HPC apps he’d been playing with. It’s now everywhere and running on everything because it solves compatibility problems, portability problems, reproducibility problems, archiving problems, workflow problems, verifiability problems, administration problems, and, unlike most containerization schemes, isn’t made of inefficient ill-conceived web-hipster bullshit. They’ve formed a little company to support it, which was second only to Nvidia in terms of brand presence. It has moved considerably up my list of things I need to learn.
- Fidget Spinners: So many fidget spinners on the show floor. With LEDs. And branded metal bits. Chinese mass production has also overtaken the swag in the industry.
Also, a pile of pictures from the show floor.