#SC18: Trends from the Show Floor

Supercomputing 2018 Spectra Booth

Last week, Spectra Logic exhibited at one of its largest industry trade shows of the year: Supercomputing 2018. Also referred to as SC18, Supercomputing is an international event dedicated to showcasing work in high performance computing (HPC), networking, storage and analysis. The show was held at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, and was attended by HPC professionals from around the globe. This year’s conference also celebrated 30 years of the SC Conference Series and included anniversary exhibits that provided attendees with an opportunity to review and celebrate the collective accomplishments in HPC.

The week was memorable for Spectra for a number of reasons. On Tuesday, Spectra hosted a Technology Advisory Panel, where users in data-intensive fields and large tape environments discussed technology advancements. Wednesday was an eventful day, with Spectra CTO Matt Starr participating in a Birds of a Feather session on exascale archiving challenges and opportunities. Panelists discussed long-term data archiving and engaged with audience questions.  That same evening, Spectra customers participated in a networking happy hour co-hosted by Spectra Logic, StrongBox Data and HPE.

Spectra executives meet customers and partners in the booth

Between a purposefully crafted schedule of events and great conversations with customer and partners on the show floor, Spectra team members observed several trends and HPC industry developments. Here are a few of the hot topics that stood out:

  • Metadata: Best practices and industry standards on how to deal with metadata were hot topics for end users at the conference.
  • Adoption of Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Machine Learning: Artificial intelligence, virtual reality and machine learning were all trends on the exhibition floor.
    • These new technologies are simplifying infrastructure management, allowing data scientists to focus their attention on their work.
    •  Purdue University’s booth featured the Envision Center’s HTC VIVE virtual reality headset, and conference attendees got to try a virtual reality drug discovery game and a Martian habitat simulation developed in collaboration with Purdue faculty and students.
  • Storage at Top of Mind: The sheer volume of research and data generated by the end users in attendance means storage technology was the subject of much discussion and discovery.
    • We overheard lots of buzz around Spectra’s announcement of IBM’s TS1160 tape technology, as tape is very much a staple in the long-term storage strategies of HPC organizations.
    • Spectra’s announcement of the single largest data storage machine in the world reinforced its position among the HPC community as setting the standards for best practices in the industry to store and protect data.

SC18 was a great success for Spectra Logic all around! We had many customers, partners, and press/analysts visit our booth, meet with our executives, and express interest in our solutions. We are excited to see what trends develop in HPC in 2019, and look forward to next year’s show!

Share your experiences from #SC18 with us on Twitter @spectralogic.

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