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IDG: Cloud Supercomputing (part 3): Factors in development?

In this four-part series we consult a panel of 12 experts to determine the role of cloud supercomputing now and in the future. Part three looks at the factors that are likely to impact development.

“The main factor will be access to resources matched to the needs of the problem.  There are things that can be done on a leading “TOP500” machine such as the existing “Titan” machine or the upcoming “Summit” machine scheduled for 2017, that is expected to be five times faster or more than Titan. Some problems just cannot be addressed on lesser resources in a meaningful way or within a meaningful timeframe.  There is no reason why cloud-based access cannot be used for ‘supercomputing resources’ of this level of capability, and it is already being done today. It is more a question of who has access to what, where, and how.”

“Among those factors obstructing the rise of cloud supercomputing, perhaps most important are cost and capacity. To move supercomputer computations to the cloud would currently be too labour intensive and expensive.

Similarly maximum surge capacity is too small to make a meaningful difference at the moment.
It is sometimes said that these challenges can be overcome within the next five years through the development of technology which automatically packages computations for the cloud, but it remains to be seen whether this kind of automation is really possible.”

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