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Supercomputing at the Edge: High-Performance Mobile Computing

By Dick Weisinger

IT is moving towards the use of containers, like Docker. But vendors like IBM and HP have a plan to use real containers, shipping-container sized unites, that are stuffed with a supercomputer hardware and are mobile enough to be deployed almost anywhere, wherever computing is needed. The units are self-cooled and self-contained mobile data centers.

For example, IBM has recently built a six-petaflop $12 million mobile supercomputer for the US Army Corps of Engineers. The unit has 1.3 petabytes of solid-state storage and will be used for training and inference workloads.

Dana Deasy, DoD’s chief information officer, said that “one of the things traditional computing has always had a problem with is the warfighter sitting out on the tactical edge, [with the] cloud sitting [elsewhere]. Now imagine a world where we can take that compute power with new applications on top of it, and put the cloud right into the hands of the tactical fighter on the edge.”

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