Bull wants to be European HPC leader with acquisition

Paris-based infrastructure provider Bull continues its push into the high performance computing arena with the acquisition of science+computing AG,a move that the company’s chairman and CEO Didier Lamouche said is themost important investment it has made since entering the HPC space.


Bull’sgoal of emerging the leader in the European HPC space, with the help ofthe German company, illustrates how businesses in the commercial spaceare increasingly taking note of HPC technology and its myriadapplications.


HPCwas best known to be deployed in academic and research circles wherelong-term projects required massive compute power to process reams ofdata. But while HPC is observed to be more frequently used outside ofacademia, there are changes even within the commercial space in how thetechnology is used and by whom.


HPCis no longer the sole domain of the IT department, rather it’s becomingpossible for the everyday end user with limited IT skills to interactmore directly with the technology once viewed as a scientist’s tool.


Case in point, last month Microsoft released its Windows HPC Server 2008,among which the functionality included the ability for individualnon-IT groups to run and manage computations on their own cluster at anassigned workstation in the confines of their department. And, whilethe goal is to alleviate weight on IT departments by reducing thebottleneck of requests that occur at particular points in the businesscycle, the non-IT users also benefit by being granted the capability tojust sit in a regular-looking workstation in the comfort of their owndepartment and run computation models at will.


BringingHPC down to the common enterprise user is made possible by managementconsoles that offer a user friendly interface between finance staff,for instance, and the technology. But it’s not just the availability ofinterfaces that’s helping, it’s also the fact that the consoleessentially ‘manages’ HPC and renders the technology in bite-sizedpieces digestible by the user. 

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