Tuesday 12 November 2019

hpcnotes at SC19

I will be in Denver next week for SC19.

As usual, NAG will have a booth (#932) in the exhibition. The booth will have information and handouts on our HPC consulting services (I believe the marketing strapline is "The leading independent and international center-of-excellence in the business and technical aspects of HPC"). The NAG staff on the booth will be happy to discuss our consulting work or software tools.

However, I expect to spend no more than a few minutes near the NAG booth during the whole week. So, where can you find me and what will I be doing?

Each year I have to balance four personalities at SC:

  • Consultant. Meeting with existing and prospective customers to understand how our rare consulting capabilities in HPC (and cloud) can help customers' HPC deliver the best impact at the best cost.
  • Pseudo-customer. Whilst NAG doesn't buy supercomputers for ourselves, our consulting team advises numerous customers around the world with planning for investments, technology evaluations, helping with procurement, etc. Due to confidentiality, our role is often never made public, but we have been involved in over 40 HPC planning/procurement projects, with a cumulative procurement budget probably well over $1bn. Thus, like any of the other major HPC buyers, we spend the week of SC doing the rounds of the private NDA briefings in the hotels surrounding the convention center and in other meetings with vendors to understand their roadmaps, plans, risks, hopes, etc.
  • Educator. Helping to share our experience and lessons, and grow the next generation of practitioners in HPC. For example, our tutorials on the business aspects of HPC (TCO, value metrics, procurement, strategic considerations, etc) have been a strongly attended feature of the official SC program for several years now.  (https://www.hpcnotes.com/2019/11/sc19-tutorials.html
  • Community member. A huge part of the SC conference (or any HPC conference) is meeting people - from old friends to new contacts - on the show floor, in the corridors, or at the many networking receptions.

I’m looking forward to an intense and valuable week in Denver. If you see me around SC (or on the journey there), please feel free to say hello, trade gossip (I won’t break confidences though), share travel stories, or ask for opinions on any aspect of HPC.

Hope you have a productive SC19!

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