I gave a talk recently at the HPC Advisory Council Workshop at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC ’12) in Hamburg. The main purpose of the presentation, which was titled Ultra-low Latency in the Cloud: How low can we go?, was to share our InfiniBand performance results with the HPC community to begin to address the question of whether cloud computing can be useful for more demanding types of applications than the throughput-oriented technical workloads that are known to run well in a virtualized cloud environment. (The short answer is we believe it can.)
Before I presented our performance results, I spent the first part of the talk explaining what I see as an important convergence between HPC and Enterprise IT requirements, a convergence that can be very beneficial to both constituencies if we pay appropriate attention to the trends. The convergence offers the HPC community a way back into the mainstream of IT where vendor investments, which are generally proportional to market opportunity, are being applied to address an increasing number of problems of concern to HPC users and administrators.