Were you to have been asked that question some years ago, the answer most likely would have bee “I’m not sure”....
HPE RUG events worldwide, 2018
When it comes to users’ events, arguably the biggest RUG event of the year came at this time of year when HPE hosted its big-tent showcase marketing event, HPE Discover 2018, in Las Vegas. Right from the time he stepped on stage to kick off the keynote session HPE CEO, Antonio Neri, brought a more subdued personal touch to the afternoon’s program when he introduced his family to the audience. The symbolism escaped few attendees – Neri was only the fifth “insider” to rise to the role of CEO having spent decades inside firstly HP and then HPE. A return to the HP of old? Well, not quite, as so much has happened at HPE that it’s hard to make comparisons and yet, with Neri on stage, there was a renewed sense of purpose for HPE being demonstrated with each new slide and video projected on the big screens behind Neri. As for that purpose it was clearly one of execution and delivering – the vision and strategy are well understood by most HPE customers so now it was time to execute.
Perhaps the biggest news coming from that keynote was just how much work has been done with The Machine. Very much given a subdued position over the last couple of years, it was given the spotlight this year and for good reason, some of the key items underpinning The Machine project were beginning to surface in products you could buy today and indeed, there were testimonials from users like Travelport and Ford that drove home the value proposition of The Machine as these users had deployed Superdome Flex where the memory-driven computing model was seeing the light of day for the very first time.
More importantly perhaps was how Neri positioned the work being done with The Machine as it is now a cooperative effort involving not just HPE Labs but those working with applications that could benefit from Memory-Driven Computing. For the NonStop community, it may come as a surprise, but the team of applications folks working with HPE Labs all work for our very own Randy Meyer. As the “owner” of Superdome Flex, Randy is actively promoting this system and its memory-centric compute architecture to those businesses needing to access huge amounts of data, in real time. This is a system designed for massive scale-up requirements and already, there are numerous businesses capitalizing on this breakthrough design for computers needing to cope with 21stcentury demands on data.
One of the more interesting displays in the exhibition hall was the Memory-Driven Computing Innovation Wall that walked attendees through the progress being made in bringing The Machine to life. Superdome Flex is but the first example and is important for a couple of reasons. The memory is at the center of its design with processors plugged into the memory – there is no longer any need to shuffle data in and out of storage hierarchies. It’s all there! All the time! “As of right now, the superdome flex NUMAlink fabric (a system interconnect developed by SGI for use in its distributed shared memory ccNUMAcomputer systems)is carried over industry standard cables, similar to those used for Peripheral Component Interconnect Express(PCIe),” said HPE Fellow, VP and HPE Labs Chief Architect, Kirk Bresniker.
“Today it’s still electrons in Superdome Flex, but the team is actively working with the Labs photonics teams to see when a switchover to photonics would make sense. Besides the decrease in latency, increase in bandwidth, immunity from RFI, and energy reduction that photonics offers, it also has interesting physical advantages when assembling very large systems.” And in the HPE Labs pavilion, attendees could see a mock-up that replaced the cables with the vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser(VCSEL) based photonics that were used in the HPE Labs Memory Fabric Testbed Machine prototype.
Now, no questions about it; this is all really cool technology and while it is working its way into Superdome Flex, in time, it will become the single model for all systems. There are no plans for NonStop to run on Superdome Flex as it is optimized for large data set processing where scale-up is the need, if the current thought about eventually offering a NonStop system as part of Synergy then yes, expect to see Synergy chassis to be populated with future “The Machine” like elements.
If HPE Discover stole the spotlight as far as events are concerned, there was no taking away from the other regional events in particular, N2TUG in Dallas and Latin American LATUG in Chile. For N2TUG the theme was “Protecting the Blockchain” where we heard from HPE, R3 and OmniPayments. As for the Latin America, yet again, the theme was blockchain along with security. “My first Latin American Tandem user group event was a success. It was great being able to spend time with clients and users of various countries.” Yash Kapadia, CEO of OmniPayments, remarked. LATUG was sponsored by Gravic, Idelji, comforte, XYPRO, HPE and OmniPayments and already according to LATUG President, OmniPayments’ VP Jessica Nieves, “Next year’s event is already in the early stages of planning.”
As impressive as HPE Discover proved to be and its many HPE related pavilions hard to ignore – this year in Las Vegas there were less cars on the stands than last year in Madrid, a situation that hopefully will be rectified next year – the RUGs are the true heartbeat of the NonStop community and to see the numbers climbing (with new venues launching), it’s a very good sign for the NonStop community. If as yet you haven’t made it to a RUG, there are still a number of events being planned so take a look at the list below and set aside time to attend. You will never be disappointed as there’s always something new happening with NonStop!
- NonStop Partner Technical Symposium – July 9 (Palo Alto, CA)
- OzTUG – August 21 (Sydney, Australia) and August 22 (Melbourne, Australia)
- VNUG Conference – September 11-12 (Stockholm, Sweden)
- ATUG – September 19 (Atlanta, GA)
- CTUG – September 26-27 (Toronto, Canada)
- MATUG – September 28 (Baltimore, MD)
- NonStop TBC – November 11-14 (Burlingame, CA)