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Empowering Research—and the Next Big Thing—with High-Performance Computing

- August 15, 2017 - 2 Comments

It’s hard to imagine where we’d be as a civilization without the dreamers and doers who aren’t afraid to ask “Why?” or “How?” Just the discoveries and advances in science and medicine and technology in my lifetime are mind boggling: ice on Mars and new planets outside our solar system, developments in genome sequencing and stem cell therapy, and personal computing and cell phone technology—even Cisco’s launch of a new era of networking with The Network. Intuitive.

As someone who frequently wonders, “Why didn’t I think of that?” I’m amazed by the capacity and creativity of those who come up with these big ideas. What quality makes a person decide that something might be true and then leads them to persevere until they prove themselves right—or wrong? And then, what makes them try again?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I’m grateful that there are those who are so willing to question and try. They’re the reason that we’ll someday have a cure for cancer or people on Mars—or maybe even houses that clean themselves.

What can be done to help make new discoveries possible? One thing is to equip researchers with superior compute and storage resources, which enable them to calculate, manipulate, evaluate, and then store the mountains of data that they gather on the way to any major discovery. High-performance computing (HPC) solutions from Cisco provide researchers—including at the world’s top research universities—with the capacity and capability to answer critical research challenges. Check out this webinar for a great introduction to HPC.

HPC solutions from Cisco are primarily Ethernet based (though Infiniband is also supported), which means the technology is easy to understand and use and can interoperate seamlessly with the other Ethernet-based systems typically found in a research environment. Importantly—especially in the case of cost-conscious colleges and universities—the use of Ethernet also means that as HPC solutions are replaced in the research environment, they can easily be repurposed for use in other places on campus. In addition, Cisco HPC solutions are scalable and can adapt as workloads evolve with support for everything from small message, such as MPI, to jumbo frames for storage reads and writes.

Finally, HPC solutions from Cisco are part of the company’s Connected Research offering, which combines the comprehensive security needed to protect intellectual property with the technology required to foster innovation and collaboration, with research colleagues in the next office or around the globe.

One adopter of high-performance computing solutions from Cisco, Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has used high-performance computing for more than a decade, and today, university researchers, faculty members, and students are working toward new breakthroughs in physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, and economics. In physics for example, researchers are studying energy amplification and identifying new ways to store hydrogen, which might ultimately help cars use fuel cells; while in economics, researchers are using analytics to understand market trends using real-world data from program partners.

And I’m looking forward to the reveal of the next Big Thing.

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2 Comments

  1. Very good article on the next Big Thing.

    Always been an interesting research field.

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