Monday, 16 November 2015

Diversity at NAG: Vision for our future and where we are today

A short time ago my colleague, Andrew Jones, VP HPC Business, introduced me to John West, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). Andrew found his blog posts "Diversity in HPC won't improve until we start counting" and his follow up “How One HPC Center Learned to Count inspiring and suggested we get involved. We were all equally encouraged by John’s work and it gave us the impetus to get behind his initiative by investigating NAG’s Gender Diversification figures and publishing them at SC15.

(we drill down further into NAG’s Gender Diversity figures here)

NAG believes that Diversity among its workforce brings a broader range of ideas and in turn helps us develop more innovative products and services. If our workforce is diverse, just like the population, then we understand market needs better and can offer first class support. Ultimately, promoting and living diversity in the organisation ensures the best possible outcomes for NAG.

Our Diversity figures show that as an organisation, NAG is not where it would like to be, but we are using these to cement our commitment in creating a truly diverse workplace in the future. We continue to work on new initiatives to encourage girls and boys alike to be interested in coding and computing.

There’s a host of Diversity discussions going on at SC15 that we are proud to be part of. Learn more here



Friday, 6 November 2015

Finding the safe path through the HPC fog

The use of HPC (or supercomputing or big data computing or advanced technical computing or …) delivers real and significant benefits to those organizations that can exploit it effectively. However, the world of HPC technology is a complex space, with a plethora of technology options, continuous rapid change, ambiguous long terms trends, diverse business models, and potential disruptive technologies.

This presents challenges for buyers, managers, programmers and users of HPC facilities:
  • how to find the right technology that will accelerate your modelling, simulation and big data processing needs;
  • determining the best time to adopt new technologies (stability vs. first-mover benefits vs. mature ecosystem vs. migration cost vs. missed performance potential, ...);
  • how to reduce the risks in evaluating potential new technologies;
  • minimize time, effort and cost in finding the important information among the clutter in the HPC market;
  • develop confidence in solutions that will improve cost-effectiveness, business impact, or application performance.
NAG, together with our colleagues at Red Oak Consulting, continually explore and analyze this complex space on behalf of our customers. Our HPC experts:
  • regularly attend a wide range of HPC and other technology conferences around the world.
  • have a broad network of other users of HPC technologies and their real world experiences.
  • keep up to date with the many excellent sources of HPC news and analysis that are available.
  • engage with technology providers, liaise with researchers in academia, national labs and industry.
  • undertake in-house or collaborative mini-research projects and technology evaluations.
Most importantly, because HPC technology consulting is a core business for us, we have the time, effort and expertise to engage with all of these sources and to analyse the information to extract insight from the noise.

We have delivered this insight to our consulting customers for several years, with around 50 successful strategy, technology evaluation or procurement consulting projects.

Today, we are announcing a new service to deliver this impartial intelligence and analysis to HPC buyers, managers, programmers and users. The NAG HPC Technology Intelligence Service in partnership with Red Oak Consulting will deliver technology insight and risk-reduction to help HPC buyers and users make better decisions and optimize their HPC investments. The Service will help you find what you need to know about HPC technology with less time, effort and cost on your part and thus enable better decisions focusing on the important information among the clutter in the HPC market.

The central feature of the Service is our Technology Intelligence Report, issued three times per year to subscribers, with fresh intelligence and insight. Each report will have 3 or 4 focus areas that will be explored in depth, an update on the HPC technology space in general, a wildcard topic, and a community news section. Our launch report has four focus areas: compute, programming, storage, and Total-Cost-of-Ownership models. Each focus area chapter explores a particular theme in depth, covering the main technology options and issues, the short term outlook (what will affect your plans this year/next year), the long term outlook (how the future changes might affect your decisions and planning now), and includes our “what this means for you” summary.

For more information visit

We also invite you speak to the NAG and Red Oak Consulting team at booth #1619 at SC15 in Austin.

Watch this space in the next few days for extracts from the first report!