Powers Unfiltered

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

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Digipede at SIFMA — Wrap-up

June 23rd, 2007 · 3 Comments

After a little extra travel drama (sitting the standard three hours on the runway at JFK), I’m back in Oakland.  SIFMA was interesting, productive, and exhausting, as usual. 

Thanks to our friends at HP, our decision not to have our own booth at SIFMA worked out great.  We camped in the front corner of their booth for three days — vastly more productive real estate than any independent small booth would have been for us. 

And thanks to our friends at Microsoft, we had plenty of other customer-facing opportunities away from the show floor (their two receptions in their super-crowded 4th-floor suite had acceptable drinks, mediocre food, and really, really good content — exactly the right combination to bring in the right audience!). 

Things I saw that were interesting:

  • HP blades.  I know, I mostly write about software, and if you’re not into hardware, skip ahead.  But I have to say — running our software on the HP cluster in their booth was just a pleasure.  Yes, they use the same Intel and/or AMD chips everybody is using, but that’s where the similarity ends.  HP continues to extend its lead in manageability, convenience, cooling, and more.  We were running demonstrations of the Digipede Network on six dual-core, dual-processor C-class blades with Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Edition (CCE), and the results were impressive.  Even a small system like this (a “grid-in-a-box” configuration) can provide order-of-magnitude increases in application performance for many computational finance applications.  And the real beauty of this setup is how simple it is to expand once you get started — plug in more hardware, and expand your grid.  Link it to your existing desktops and servers throughout your business, and expand your grid further.  All just as smooth and slick as you please.  You will not find a simpler or smoother introduction to the grid experience than an HP cluster running CCE and the Digipede Network Professional Edition.  Period. 
  • The Microsoft / GigaSpaces demonstration of a high-volume market data application.  It looked slick, and showed off low-latency functionality from our friends at GigaSpaces.  Quite cool — and another indication of Stevan Vidich’s impressive breadth of expertise in creating important solutions using technology from Microsoft and its partners.  The Microsoft partner ecosystem is among Microsoft’s most valuable assets — but an underappreciated asset among many at Microsoft.  Kudos to Stevan for continuing to show the way!
  • The Microsoft / Linedata / Lab49 demonstration of a trading application for buy-side customers.  While the underlying functionality was interesting, the presentation layer stole the show.  New apps that really take advantage of Windows Presentation Foundation are going to make a real impact faster than most people realize — and will drive a lot of business for Microsoft and its partners.  In financial services, our friends at Lab49 provide a rare combination of top-notch development expertise and deep domain expertise — and that combination showed through in this demonstration.  Great job, guys.

And the other thing I saw that was interesting was — customers.  While many vendors complained that this year had few real customer prospects, that was not our experience.  We saw customers from small hedge funds to big investment banks that were interested in scheduling follow-up appointments immediately.  Financial services remains the hottest market for grid computing, and it’s moving our way.  So now I’m off to follow up on a thick stack of business cards from prospective customers, partners, and more.  See you all there next year.


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

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 marc // Jun 23, 2007 at 8:08 pm

    Good seeing you again, and remember …… file dem patents!

  • 2 Amnon Raviv // Jun 23, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    Always a pleasure bumping into each other. And as always your grace and integrity are a rare prodigy in our little industry… Thanks for your kind words re GigaSpaces & Microsoft. Indeed, Stevan is THE man!
    Looking forward to collaborating with Digipede in the field and off the field.

  • 3 pligg.com // Jun 24, 2007 at 9:17 am

    GigaSpaces / Microsoft Demo at SIFMA…

    The Microsoft / GigaSpaces demonstration of a high-volume market data application. It looked slick, and showed off low-latency functionality from our friends at GigaSpaces. Quite cool — and another indication of Stevan Vidich’s impressive breadth…

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