A few weeks ago I was in Germany for a HPC planning session. I flew into Frankfurt and then took a local flight to Munich. From Munich the ride to Regensburg was about 1 hour. Regensburg is a beautiful medieval town with plenty of history dating back to the Roman Empire. Original structures have been built upon which include fortresses, bridges and churches– but you can also visibly see that the town is part of modern day Europe. After 2 full days of discussion topics which included InfiniBand, MPI Tools and Grid Computing it was time to head back to the United States.
I had the pleasure to experience some results of HPC in action. Heading back to Munich, Josh Simons (Distinguished Engineer) and myself used a car service. Needless to say this automobile was from a well known German automobile manufacturer. The German automobile manufacturer relies on high performance computing to help create these wonderful machines. This manufacturer uses Sun Grid Engine technology to manage workload simulations, analysis and calculations of a massive scale. I asked Josh if he noticed that we were traveling back to Munich at 180 kph (115 mph). The driver overheard our conversation and started a discussion in English. Soon he was showing us the capability of the machine as we were on the German Autobahn. Josh and I had a very fast commute to our hotel in Munich… 38 minutes to be exact. We did cover a large distance of the journey at 250 kph (150 mph)! The car had a V6 turbo disel and just purred like a large fast cat. It was a pure smooth ride in the dark of night and with exhilaration. There was a slight hum at this speed because the car was equipped with high performance snow tires. I had to see what they were when we arrived at the hotel. Of course they were Pirelli tires.
The rest of the journey was unfortunately not as fast or smooth as weather conditions and missed flights could not be solved by HPC this time… But I have to say the ride in Germany was awesome and the application of HPC technology to numerous disciplines is a competitive advantage.