HPC Friday

While I spend most of my time talking to customers building HPC systems using today’s mainstream hardware and software technology like x86 servers with GPUs, high speed infiniband or 10G interconnects, and high speed storage, one of the perks of my job is getting to talk to the occasional startup. Its important to me to keep up with developments that might impact the HPC space in anywhere from a few months to a few years or more. So here is a smattering of startups or new products I’ve run across lately.

Badaboomit wins the cool name award. A media converter that uses GPUs, be it the Nvidia GPU in your laptop or a rack full of ProLiant SL390s G7’s with 160 GPUs (yes, HP does have one of the densest GPU solutions on the market), Badaboomit formats media files for a variety of devices such as the iPad or Sony PSP, reportedly 18 times faster than using a traditional CPU. Badaboomit is developed by Elemental Technologies, founded in 2006 and based in Portland Oregon.

Shifting to a different technology area, I caught up with the co-founders of memsql via a video skype session. Working for a 300,000 person company who’s products are used by many startups, I like keeping up with the startup culture as well as what they are working on. Since memsql is still in stealth mode, I can’t say anything about their product. But the startup mentality is definitely there. Co-founders came from big name (really big name) companies, supported by a technology incubator, super smart both from a technology perspective and business perspective, and of course prefer video skype vs traditional phone for the better voice quality.

Many of the largest social media companies use HP products. We’ve all heard a lot in the last week about Facebook’s Open Compute initiative, but one of the most interesting and detailed reports of Facebook’s new data center based on the Open Compute technologies came from the blog of Amazon’s James Hamilton (no relation). Of course, everyone is looking for the next Facebook, and there are 100’s of aspiring social media companies out there. One that caught my attention (no, not as a user) is LikeALittle. Aimed squarely at college students, running on the cloud, and at least by some well placed reports seeing explosive growth.

It is great to see the startup world alive and well, in fact thriving, again.


About Marc Hamilton

Marc Hamilton – Vice President, Solutions Architecture and Engineering, NVIDIA. At NVIDIA, the Visual Computing Company, Marc leads the worldwide Solutions Architecture and Engineering team, responsible for working with NVIDIA’s customers and partners to deliver the world’s best end to end solutions for professional visualization and design, high performance computing, and big data analytics. Prior to NVIDIA, Marc worked in the Hyperscale Business Unit within HP’s Enterprise Group where he led the HPC team for the Americas region. Marc spent 16 years at Sun Microsystems in HPC and other sales and marketing executive management roles. Marc also worked at TRW developing HPC applications for the US aerospace and defense industry. He has published a number of technical articles and is the author of the book, “Software Development, Building Reliable Systems”. Marc holds a BS degree in Math and Computer Science from UCLA, an MS degree in Electrical Engineering from USC, and is a graduate of the UCLA Executive Management program.
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