Is This The Dawn of Desktop HPC?


What is Desktop HPC?

Among other things I saw at a conference in the big data space was this interesting idea and it should have been obvious I shouldn't have lost sight of it because it's a pendulum swing because we've been on this thing about moving all our data processing to the cloud now for over a decade. And some people are just getting to the point where they can say throw away my data center: I've got a virtual desktop, I've got thin user client and everything is up in the cloud. Can I bring HPC to my desktop?

The Stackable Supercomputing Cluster

And then I turn around and I walk up to this booth and it's Ricker Lymon Robotic and they make this little hive cell kind of product was kind of cool because it's a stackable desktop unit with high density ARM core chips in them, flash memory and a little battery backup and so on. But what you're really building on your desktop is your own supercomputing cluster. I mean this thing 25 watts a unit. So you know you're going to see we are talking a swing back perhaps to saying: hey at the edge there's now going to be a significant amount of data, data storage and data processing power...which could be your desktop. The edge could be your watch...the edge could be your self driving car.

So instead of like saying everything's going to the cloud, we're going to be talking a lot more about Edge Processing of which, "desktop HPC" is a byproduct of edge processing. We don't really need to go to an Amazon and check out a big EMR cluster for a year to do something when I can plop 6-8 units on my desktop and get the same processing power for a cheaper price and it's mine. It's right there and I can touch it.

The Desktop Datacenter

If I look at what's in a tablet these days and took the screen off the tablet and stacked 20 tablets up on the corner of my desk and had them clustered together there's a lot of really cool processing you could do with that: machine learning, virtualization hosting, bitcoin mining.