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SGI trumpets one-stop HPC training shop

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SGI has opened a one-stop high-performance computing (HPC) training shop described as "the industry’s first complete, vendor-agnostic training portal" but it misses out many important HPC suppliers.

The portal, www.hpctraining.com offers eLearning training courses, virtual classroom environments and customised on-site classes. A Technical User Forum enables simplified knowledge sharing around best practices.

SGI says hpctraining.com brings an integrated systems approach to training directly to users from experts on a variety of in-depth technical topics. The site assembles instructors from a breadth of notable server, storage and software companies that span the industry.

Notable absentees include Cray, Dell, HP and IBM. Additionally, storage companies with an HPC presence that are not in the list include BlueArc, DataDirect, and Isilon. The claim that this is a "complete, vendor-agnostic training portal" looks a tad optimistic.

Learners on the courses can earn points for the Accreditation for Continued Excellence (ACE) programme. They can get ACE credentials when they successfully complete examinations on topics presented in the classes. Both individual and sequence credentials are available.

The announcement quotes an SGI user (pdf), Peter Guyan, production systems manager at Deluxe Digital London, as saying: “Previously the training approach in the market was ad hoc and fragmented; now my staff and I can consider all of our training needs and benefit from a breadth of experts in one place, decreasing the time and cost of training and increasing our productivity.”

That sounds a good thing and should be true for lots of HPC users unless perhaps they are using non-SGI HPC node hardware.

Hpctraining.com provides coursework in system, network and cluster administration, virtualisation and application software development. SGI's partners in the initiative include: Adaptive Computing, CAPS Software, Spectra Logic, Oracle, Red Hat, Novell, Atempo, Intel, LSI, Octality, Panasas and Platform Computing. More are expected in the coming months.

Does that mean Cray, Dell, HP, IBM and the missing storage companies will join in?

SGI will be talking to them. Peter Luff, SGI's professional services director, said: "The intention is to gather as many of the players in the market as possible. Is it complete at his stage? No, but it's certainly not an SGI-only offering." ®

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