Powers Unfiltered

An entrepreneur’s journey into grid computing and partnering with Microsoft, by John Powers

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Digipede at SIA — Big show, big partners, big news

June 23rd, 2006 · 2 Comments

Digipede’s trip to the Securities Industry Association (SIA) Technology Management Conference went better than planned. With a presence in four locations (the Digipede booth, Microsoft booth, HP booth, and the Microsoft / HP “break room”), we were rocking pretty hard for three days straight.

If you have not been to this event, it is unlike any other trade show I’ve ever attended. Located entirely within the New York Hilton at 1335 Avenue of the Americas (between 53rd and 54th Streets), there are 7000+ attendees, and apparently an equal number of booths. There are booths in the ballrooms, booths in the exhibit halls, booths in the hallways, booths in the pretty much every location but the restrooms (and they crowd right up against those, too). In the exhibit halls, the feel is pretty much “big trade show;” in the hallways, the feel is more “Middle-eastern street market,” or, during peak hours, “mosh pit.”

Many of the major vendors have realized that the “mosh pit” environment is not optimal for a meaningful exchange of information, and have reserved meeting rooms on a separate floor of the hotel for more in-depth demonstrations and discussions. Microsoft and HP used such a room to good effect, with demonstrations of the Digipede Network running on top of the new Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 and HP Proliant hardware. Those demos generated lots of attention, such as Darrell Taft’s excellent eWeek article yesterday.

In addition to running demonstrations featuring the Digipede Network, Microsoft also lured visitors to their demo room with free copies of Samir Jayaswal and Yogesh Shetty’s excellent book, Practical .NET for Financial Markets. Yogesh, who was on hand to sign the book and discuss any .NET issue under the sun, is a great resource. I’ve plugged this book before, but if you’re in finance, or a .NET developer in any other field, let me repeat — check it out!

Other grid vendors seemed to have active presence here as well. In addition to the usual suspects like Platform Computing and DataSynapse, GigaSpaces looked like they had some interesting offerings, as did Scientific Computing Associates. I didn’t have time to check out some others, but there were also hardware vendors, integrators, and consultants all talking about grid projects. I’m told that there was a conference session in which somebody high up at Merrill Lynch identified grid computing as the Number One IT priority. That may be an exaggeration, but it’s clearly an indication of increased emphasis.

The message from this show, loud and clear, was that the securities industry’s appetite for grid computing is increasing, that the number of applications for which grid is applicable is increasing steadily, and that Microsoft is making good headway in this market. It’s going to be an exciting summer.

Tags: Compute Cluster Server · Events · Grid applications · Partnering with Microsoft

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Powers Unfiltered » Blog Archive » Work it, or it’s not worth it // Jun 24, 2006 at 5:27 am

    […] Here are a few more observations based in part on Digipede’s experience at the Securities Industry Association (SIA) Technology Management Conference in New York this week. I posted about this earlier today; this post is less fact, more perspective. For a small company like Digipede, a trade show can be a frightening investment. Travel is expensive, and disruptive – taking three or four people away from other activities for three or four days can throw off schedules for weeks. Booth space is pricey, the booth itself is pricey to buy or rent, shipping the booth and any other equipment and collateral is a pain, and renting a big monitor and power and internet connectivity and chairs and tables and trash cans and whatnot is vastly more expensive than it ought to be.  (OK, we’re not crazy — we used other vendors’ trash cans.) And for what? What will we demonstrate? Will anyone care? Who will attend? Will there by any potential customers, or just “vendors talking to vendors?” Will the press be there? If so, will they notice us? Is it really worth it? […]

  • 2 Cameron Purdy // Aug 31, 2006 at 2:11 am

    I wasn’t at the show, but I heard (from our staff) that it was pretty good. I am curious if you got a chance to drop by the Tangosol booth. If you are doing large-scale compute grid work (e.g. with a DataSynapse or a Platform grid), it’s a must-have for data intensive loads. Peace.

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