Using High Performance Computing to Solve Grand Challenges with Wolfgang Gentzsch, Co-Founder and President of UberCloud

In this episode, Wolfgang explains what he thinks edge computing is today, and how his company is working to help democratize access to computing power in the cloud.
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Wolfgang is an industry executive consultant for high performance, technical and cloud computing. He was the Chairman of the International ISC Cloud Conference Series, an Advisor to the EU projects DEISA and EUDAT, directed the German D-Grid Initiative, was a Director of the Open Grid Forum, Managing Director of the North Carolina Supercomputer Center (MCNC), and a member of the US President’s Council on Science & Technology PCAST. In the 1990’s Wolfgang founded several HPC companies, including Gridware (which developed the distributed resource management software Grid Engine), which was acquired by Sun where he became Sun’s Senior Director of Grid Computing.

This episode features an interview between Matt Trifiro and Wolfgang Gentzsch, Co-Founder and President of UberCloud. Wolfgang is a passionate engineer, computer scientist, and entrepreneur with 30 years of experience working in engineering simulations, high-performance computing, scientific research, university teaching, and the software industry, from hands-on practices to expert consulting to leadership positions. He is an entrepreneur with six successful startups in Germany and the US, in engineering, high-performance computing, and cloud. Wolfgang is a member of numerous conference program, steering, and organizing committees, with 50+ keynote speaker appointments.

In this episode, Wolfgang tells us about the early days of network computing and how the grid was the predecessor to the cloud. He describes how advancements in connectivity and processing power can lead to revolutionary changes in everything from technology to healthcare. Wolfgang also explains what he thinks edge computing is today, and how his company is working to help democratize access to computing power in the cloud that was previously too expensive or too complex for most organizations to use.


Key Quotes:

“Definitely, the grid was the predecessor of the cloud. And that’s why there is not a real huge difference in both. The cloud infrastructure was completely virtualized and therefore fully automated and now I use that word democratized because almost everybody was able to use cloud resources then; which you couldn’t easily say about grid. The grid was really for specialists in research centers.” 

“You can innovate at your fingertips these days. You don’t have to build, you know, 2, 3, 4, 5 models and crash them against the wall. Now you do it in the cloud, which might cost a thousand dollars or $5,000 even, but it’s much, much, much, cheaper. So, there are tons of benefits these days when you move to the cloud.” 

“Now HPC is really in the hands of everybody. For engineers and scientists a few decades ago it was only given into the hands of specialists, and that door is open for so many new applications,  making any kind of research or products basically coming out much faster with exponential acceleration, which will continue tol help us to solve problems, real problems. It’s I mean, like in healthcare, for example, or climate and weather forecast, and also new technologies like electrical cars, autonomous driving, and all that stuff. So, I mean it is successfully making our lives even more convenient, more comfortable, and also solving mankind problems which we are facing.”


Show Timestamps:

(01:45) Getting involved in technology

(03:05) Difference between Scaler and Vector Computers  

(07:45) Conversion of Parallel Computing and the Internet 

(13:00) Network Computing and the Cloud  

(19:45) Convergence of Grid and Cloud Computing 

(23:45) High Performance Computing and Super Computing 

(28:15) Difference Between the Cloud and High Performance Computing

(30:45) Uber Cloud 

(39:45) Living Heart Valve Project 

(41:45) Uber Cloud Project Example

(46:45) Growth of High Performance Computing and the Edge 

(53:05) Future of the Cloud

(55:15) Is the Network or the Internet the Computer?

(60:30) What’s Exciting in the Future




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