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Issue 139 December 2014/January 2015 CONTENTS Laboratory Informatics Informatics bites back

Rebecca Pool talks to key players in the food and drinks industry to discover the growing importance of informatics

Collaboration and competition Richard Holland explains why competitors should consider working together more

High-Performance Computing SC14: driving towards Exascale

Tom Wilkie discovers why the technologies underpinning technical HPC are changing in response to market forces

Looking to the cloud

Robert Roe reports from the Machine Evaluation Workshop on the latest trends affecting the world of high-performance computing

The missing middle

David Hudak makes the case that more effort needs to be made to encourage smaller industrial companies to take advantage of HPC

HPC investment on the increase

Robert Roe monitors the growing expenditure on high-performance computing Applications

Withstanding Arctic blasts

Robert Roe explores how simulation can protect structures located in extreme environments

Computers improving the outlook for weather experts Tom Wilkie reports on Austrian soſtware that is transforming the world of forecasting

Resources Events Diary

Suppliers' directory Inside view

Julien Fielden says ‘adapt, disrupt and be nimble’ will be the watchwords for high-performance computing over the next 12 months


Production editor Tim Gillett Specialist reporters Robert Roe, William Payne, Sophia Ktori, Gloria Metrick, Wolfgang Gentzsch Circulation/readership enquiries Pete Vine

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A sunny future beckons

Here in the northern hemisphere, the hours of daylight are short and the weather in the grip of winter. Te economic climate too is dark and cold – falling oil prices have not yet worked their magic to boost growth in economies still damaged by the financial crisis. But within scientific computing, there are

reasons to be cheerful. In high-performance computing, the pathway to the sunlit uplands of Exascale is now clearer and the cloud is something to be welcomed, in computing terms at least. Te atmosphere at the recent SC14 supercomputing conference in New Orleans was bright, thanks in no small measure to the US Government’s announcement of funding for next-generation machines at Lawrence Livermore and at Oak Ridge National Laboratories. But perhaps the most interesting aspects of the announcement were the implications for areas of computing outside of HPC – indeed, outside of scientific computing altogether, as the members of the winning consortium set their eyes on the commercial and enterprise markets, as described on page 12. Meanwhile, the UK’s own Machine

Evaluation Workshop (MEW), albeit held on a smaller scale than SC14, had some very interesting pointers about the convergence of cloud and high-performance computing. Drawing on the insights offered by the intimacy of MEW’s format, Robert Roe offers an analysis on page 18. Te role of the cloud in informatics, in relation to food safety, is also touched upon by Rebecca Pool in her article on page 4. Falling prices put pressure on the oil and

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gas companies to do more for less. While computing has always been indispensable in providing an understanding both of exploration and of reservoir simulation, Robert Roe explores another application on page 22 – the use of computing to ensure that the oil industry’s structures in harsh environments will withstand everything that the weather can throw at them.

Tom Wilkie Editor-in-chief

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Cover: GoInformatics

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