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We just returned from R Systems HPC360, a conference on high performance computing down in Champaign, Illinois which brought together leading industry professionals, academics, scientists, and enthusiasts.

The conference was titled HPC360 “Innovation through Modeling and Simulation”. The event took place at the i Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign, hosted by R Systems and sponsored by a number of companies including Dell, AMD, Intel, and yours truly, ICC!

Most of the conference’s formal agenda consisted of speakers and keynote presentations. There was some opportunity for vendors to showcase their products, and ICC took down two different products with us: our MicroCloud and Modular Server.

This is R Systems’ third year holding the conference, and it is good to see a growing interest in HPC from a variety of people. The focus of the conference was on new innovations in the field and how they can help not only scientific and academic pursuits, but also commercial business.

Intel and AMD gave an overview of their recently released and upcoming products, hinting at the future direction of their rivalry. But, undoubtedly, the highlight was the many “smaller-scale” speakers that presented in shorter segments. It was a truly diverse group of people from different organizations that touched on a wide range of important topics. Intel’s Sharan Kalwani discussed the deployment of modeling and simulation at scale for the “Missing Middle,” and throughout the conference in side conversations and breakout sessions he emphasized the importance of looking at HPC as a human enterprise, focusing on human rather than technological capital.

Other speakers included Barb Hutchings from Ansys, Arden Anderson from Mercury Marine, Prashanth Shankara from CD-adapco, Matt Godo from Intelligent Light, and several others representing commercial and research organizations. The two keynote presentations were excellent. The first was given by Dell’s Executive Director of Global Sales, Egan Christensen, who held a great talk surveying the landscape of cloud computing, how it has changed over the last decade, and its impact on businesses (Dell, for example, migrated its databases to SalesForce.)

The second presentation, which was quite remarkable in its scope, was on the trends of HPC moving into the future, given by Addison Snell from Intersect360 Research. Everyone was very impressed by the information and delivery that Addison provided. It was the perfect wrap up to the conference, and it generated some fantastic discussion topics about what we should be expecting and preparing for in the coming years.

Stay tuned for a more in-depth look at the HPC market dynamics and growth from 2011, covering the trends that will shape the industry in 2012 and beyond.

You can check out photos on our Facebook page (be sure to like us!).