451 Research - Biography

John Barr
Research Director, High-Performance Computing

John covers IT early adoption and innovation in high-performance computing at 451 Research. He is also responsible for the company's research activities within the European Commission Framework Program.

John has over 30 years of experience in the IT industry, initially writing compilers and development tools for HPC platforms. The bulk of his career has been spent in a variety of technical roles at HPC systems vendors, delivering training, running benchmarks, and providing pre- and post-sales customer support. John's core technical skills are in application performance analysis, optimization and parallelization.

Reports by this Analyst

Intel continues its penetration of HPC space with pickup of Lustre backer Whamcloud
TDM Deal Analysis - July, 2012
The Lustre parallel file system is a key component of many giant Exascale high-performance computing projects – and Whamcloud has helped make it simpler to use.
eXludus adds micro-virtualization to its multicore toolkit
MIS Impact Report - July, 2012
How do you get the best throughput from your multicore systems? Just throw more work at it? Wrong – that leads to resource contention. Exludus' Micro-Virtualization helps its MCOpt tool make best use of processor cores and memory.
DataDirect Networks' SFA12K supports IBM's GPFS and Lustre parallel file systems
MIS Impact Report - July, 2012
The company has expanded its offerings for high-performance computing, increasing performance, scalability and functionality
PGI compilers accelerate high-performance computing
MIS Impact Report - July, 2012
The Portland Group takes a dual strategy in supporting accelerators for HPC. On the one hand it supports NVIDIA's proprietary CUDA, while on the other hand it is one of the vendors driving the emerging OpenACC standard.
Convey's new HC-2 system eats 'big data' for breakfast
MIS Impact Report - July, 2012
The vendor's systems used to be considered special-purpose devices for HPC applications, but Convey now sees big data as a big opportunity.
Terascala teams with Dell and EMC to deliver LustreStack
MIS Impact Report - July, 2012
The vendor helps take the Lustre parallel file system beyond high-performance computing to the mainstream.
Univa is dead; long live Univa
MIS Impact Report - July, 2012
It is not often that a briefing with a CEO starts with him telling you to forget everything you ever knew about his company, but Univa has left its baggage behind, and now has a very simple business strategy.
High-performance computing trends and forecasts
MIS Spotlight - July, 2012
There have been times when advances in high-performance computing meant more of the same, but bigger and faster. The current era of HPC is very different, with many technology areas going through significant change.
Bright Computing battles with IBM's Platform over cluster management
MIS Impact Report - June, 2012
The cluster management specialist has released its cloudbursting capability, taking HPC users into the cloud.
Allinea's DDT aims to make the largest Cray supercomputers easier to use
MIS Impact Report - June, 2012
HPC is forever a battle between hardware complexity and software capabilities. As the number of cores in commodity servers trends toward 100, and several supercomputers boast more than one million cores, the need for tools like DDT grows.
CAPS works with Cray and NVIDIA on the OpenACC programming standard
MIS Impact Report - June, 2012
CAPS started its support for heterogeneous parallel processing with its OpenHMPP programming model, and is now a big backer of the emerging OpenACC standard for programming accelerators such as GPUs.
Intel wants to standardize datacenter IT (and double its datacenter revenue)
MIS Impact Report - June, 2012
The chipmaker has ambitious plans to grow its datacenter business. This will bring benefits in terms of standardization (with more common platforms across servers, storage and networking) but could also hinder innovation from rivals.
IBM dominates in latest TOP500 supercomputing list
MIS Spotlight - June, 2012
Big Blue leads the biannual TOP500 list of top-ranked supercomputers. Only four of the previous top 10 entrants remain on the current list.
IBM's SuperMUC iDataPlex system reaches new heights of eco-efficiency
HITS Insight - June, 2012
The recently installed IBM iDataPlex system at the LRZ supercomputer facility near Munich is the most energy-efficient commodity component-based system ever.
High-performance computing is all about flop/s
MIS Spotlight - June, 2012
Understanding the numerical behavior of your applications is key. If single-precision calculations are sufficient for your application, then you could save money and deliver better performance by using single-precision variables and calculations.
NVIDIA's Kepler GPU helps simulate the behavior of celestial bodies
MIS Impact Report - May, 2012
The new Kepler GPU trebles peak performance inside the same power envelope, and adds new features that make it much easier to access its tremendous potential performance.
In its latest networking buy, Intel reaches for Cray's high-performance interconnects
TDM Deal Analysis - April, 2012
Intel will pay $140m in cash for some of Cray's crown jewels, as interconnects become more closely integrated with core CPUs. Cray says its product roadmap will remain unaffected.
M&A activity in high-performance computing swings from systems to software
TDM Sector IQ - April, 2012
The HPC market has more or less standardized on commodity clusters. Does that mean the end of M&A for this segment, or will the likes of IBM, Intel and Rogue Wave continue to be active?
NICE delivers on its promise of HPC in the cloud
MIS Impact Report - April, 2012
The company's EnginFrame and DCV offerings aim to run technical applications in the cloud, and seamlessly share expensive GPU resources.
Xoreax uses grid-like technology to help speed application build times
MIS Impact Report - April, 2012
The company's IncrediBuild XGE uses parallel processing under the hood to enable Sarin Technologies' clients to maximize the value from cut diamonds.
Netlist revs up HPC, cloud and datacenter virtualization
MIS Impact Report - March, 2012
The vendor's HyperCloud memory has twice the capacity of mainstream products, making it ideal for data-hungry applications and well-positioned to target 'big data' requirements.
Having earned its stripes in HPC, Panasas heads for 'big data'
MIS Market Development - March, 2012
Technologies and techniques originally developed in the high-performance computing world often go mainstream (e.g., multicore processors and clusters). Panasas now plans to deploy its HPC storage to support the needs of big data.
Exascale software – is it time for a paradigm shift?
MIS Spotlight - March, 2012
Exascale supercomputers will be 100 times more powerful than the fastest systems available today. Can we expect to program them efficiently with the same tools and approaches we use today, or is new thinking required?
Adaptive updates Moab for HPC and private cloud enablement
MIS Market Development - March, 2012
With new money and a new CEO, the company is seeking to fulfill its cloud promise while continuing to drive its core HPC business.
How hard can it be to program a GPU?
MIS Spotlight - March, 2012
GPUs can deliver great performance, but they are difficult to program. However, tools are becoming both easier to use and more sophisticated, so programming GPUs is not as much of a black art as it used to be.
HP's Gen8 servers will power next-generation HPC systems
MIS Market Development - March, 2012
New generations of systems are often more of the same, but bigger and faster. While this is true for HP's Gen8 servers, it only tells half the story, the rest being low power consumption and an easy-to-use, highly scalable management environment.
Cray branches out, offering storage and a 'big data' appliance
MIS Market Development - March, 2012
The company is known as a leader in high-performance computing, but can it broaden its base?
Intel's Xeon E5 2600 brings Sandy Bridge to servers – plus storage and networking
MIS Impact Report - March, 2012
Server sales should see a boost for the rest of the year now that Intel has delivered new Xeon Romley processors built on its Sandy Bridge micro-architecture, boosting I/O, memory capacity, energy efficiency and performance.
NVIDIA aims to help mitigate risk in financial markets
MIS Market Development - March, 2012
The need for more complex risk analysis of ever-more-complex financial products in an ever-shrinking time window is convincing many finance firms to use GPUs to accelerate their analysis.
Michael Waltrip Racing accelerates in NASCAR
MIS User Deployment Report - March, 2012
NASCAR rules don't allow teams the same opportunities for innovation available to Formula 1 teams, but some NASCAR teams do make use of high-performance computing in search of a competitive edge.
Mellanox grows revenue as well as InfiniBand, Ethernet and messaging performance
MIS Market Development - February, 2012
The company has expanded its market presence in the 10GigE market, while also driving latency down for financial markets and preparing the way for Intel's Romley platform.
Swift Engineering works with Cray and Platform Computing for 'wind tunnel in a box'
MIS User Deployment Report - February, 2012
The company uses computational fluid dynamics running on a Cray cluster, powered by Platform Computing, to accelerate high-performance ground and air vehicles.
Semiconductor designer Inphi minimizes the cost of expensive software licenses
MIS User Deployment Report - February, 2012
Job scheduling is more complicated than just running the next job in the queue. Making the best use of resources, especially expensive software licenses, is often a major driver, to which semiconductor designer Inphi has found a great solution.
Bright adds Lustre to the cloud
MIS Market Development - February, 2012
The scope of the Bright Cluster Manager has been extended from clusters to the cloud; support for the Lustre parallel file system has also been added.
Re-entering the market, Intel buys QLogic's InfiniBand business for $125m
TDM Deal Analysis - January, 2012
Intel backed out of making its own InfiniBand chips almost 10 years ago, but now it's coming back in as QLogic seeks to focus on its core market areas.
2012 M&A Outlook – Storage and systems
TDM Others - January, 2012
As part of our end-of-year series of M&A analysis, we look at the deals that mattered in 2011 and assess the prospects for the next 12 months in the storage and systems sector. Where will we see acquisitions, and who might be involved?
ScaleMP's vSMP delivers clusters, shared-memory systems and clouds
MIS Market Development - January, 2012
The vendor takes standard servers and builds them into easy-to-manage clusters, low-cost shared-memory systems or flexible clouds.
Whamcloud's Chroma has a colorful Lustre
MIS Impact Report - January, 2012
With the launch of its management platform Chroma, the company hopes to take parallel file system Lustre to the masses.
A day at the data races for Corensic
MIS Market Development - January, 2012
Data races are bugs in parallel programs that can be a marathon to track down with conventional debugging tools, but Corensic's Jinx is a walk in the park.
2012 preview – Systems
MIS Reviews / Previews - December, 2011
Here we highlight the major areas in systems technologies that we expect to be driving industry innovation in 2012.