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Bill St. Arnaud is a R&E Network and Green IT consultant who works with clients on a variety of subjects such as the next generation research and education and Internet networks. He also works with clients to develop practical solutions to reduce GHG emissions such as free broadband and dynamiccharging of eVehicles (See . View my complete profile

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Smartphones and HPC-Clouds: The Emerging eScience Mobile Trend

[This is another critical reason why R&E networks need to start to provide national wireless 5G networks.
The future of eScience and eInfrastructure is going to be increasingly dominated by these types of applications. As in the early days of eScience high end applications were crippled if they depended on the commercial networks. Similarly future eScience mobile applications will be crippled if we are entirely dependent on existing 3G/4G networks who are already suffering serious data overload. Integrating campus WiFi and WhiteFi with a R&E network operating as Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) with its own IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber Identity) using Eduroam and/or Shibboleth would be a way for R&E networks help advance this exciting area of eScience and also transform the wireless industry. Excerpts from article HPC in the Cloud. For more information see – BSA]

Smartphones and Supercomputers: The Emerging Mobile Trend
Valery Herrington
Integrated smart phone technology is merging with cloud computing, supercomputing and mobile applications to provide one of the richest layers of technology widely adapted by the consumer market.
Growing sophistication of mobile applications and the hardware they run on via a variety of devices, from handhelds to tablets, means that more possibilities will exist to access high-performance resources. A number of enterprises have already seen the possibilities of storing data on the cloud, which can then be accessed securely in the field or on the go.
Soon all types of supercomputers will be linked to smartphone counterparts for similar capabilities. For example, “Researchers at MIT have created an experimental system for smart phones that allows engineers to leverage the power of super computers for instant computation and analysis. Creators of design and engineering software, Autodesk, for instance, have announced that some of their most widely-used applications, including AutoCAD, can be delivered via mobile devices. This means that designers and engineers can now update rendering projects via the cloud on a smartphone or tablet.

As supercomputing continues to advance, so will the need for new mobile applications that allow researchers to access and view supercomputing results and data from a smartphone. Once on the smartphone, researchers can “calculate on the go” to determine critical information for use in a host of other research and business scenarios.
This kind of powerful hand-held mobile computing will enable more users to realize the benefits of next generation supercomputing. Others have also noted that it is clear that companies like IBM continue to aggressively pursue development of efficient and optimized super computers that will be available to support more data processing with a smaller, more efficient footprint. This will in turn provide increased data throughput for integration with smart phones.
Eventually, government agencies will adopt integrated smartphone technology. They will use new mobile features delivered through integration with supercomputers to share information with the public “on the go”. For example, weather simulations will be run on supercomputers with the ability to send data directly to smartphone devices to share critical information about changing weather patterns. The smartphones will also have the ability to calculate, analyze and chart the results in a meaningful way so all types of users can evaluate and use the data.
Once the data is used on the hand-held, updated information can be formulated and transmitted back to the supercomputer. This will aid in the timely processing of new weather models and simulations that will help us better understand drastic changes in weather and climate.
The next step in this direction will be to continue to improve the smart phone technology. Companies like Nvida are working on new approaches to increased smart phone technology. For example, smartphone graphics and computing capabilities will be more closely aligned with the demands of users integrating with super computers. These devices will be updated to include new memory, computing and storage capacity to handle the feeds from next generation super computers. This will support the increasing demand for business, scientific, educational and government demand for smart phone integration with super computers.
Cloud computing has opened doors to accessing high-end resources that many organizations were once barred from due to cost. With the convergence of mobile applications that provide interfaces to sophisticated resources, we are on the verge of yet another shift in high-performance computing in the next few years.
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