In the heart of the land of merlion, at Suntec City in Singapore, this year’s Spectrum Scale user group meet up was held on 11 March 2019. Organized by Pawsey Supercomputing, the event hosted several interesting sessions from the history of Spectrum Scale till modern day use cases such as AI workloads, autonomous driving and Spark and Hadoop.

Some of the sessions that I found particularly enlightening and interesting were IBM SpectrumAI with NVIDIA that targets the autonomous driving use case, development’s approach in addressing the workload requirements for genomics and how the analogy can be applied to other newer workloads, and some insights from IBM Spectrum Archive.

In addition to the technology talks by IBM, Chris Schlipalius from Pawsey Supercomputing gave the site update and shared their experience with Spectrum Scale. There also was a talk on Lenovo Spectrum Scale Solutions. It was interesting to hear from customers some of their questions and to get an idea of their pain points and what works well for them. An open Q&A session between development and customers was also a good idea by the organizers.

I had the opportunity to talk about two topics-

1. Spectrum Scale on AWS, that also included a live demo. It was a good opportunity to showcase this new area to our customers and demonstrate the capability and potential of this offering. I could take back some of the feedback in terms of performance and cost estimation and hybrid cloud solution to our engineering team.
Link to presentation: https://www.spectrumscaleug.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/SCA19-07-Spectrum-Scale-on-AWS-Marketplace-compressed.pdf

2. Spectrum Scale support for containers: As many customers are experimenting with or are moving to containerized environments, this topic was relevant in the forum. We could get the feedback that customers are looking forward to Container Storage Interface (CSI)
Link to presentation: https://www.spectrumscaleug.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/SCA19-12-Spectrum-Scale-and-containers.pdf

This being the first user group that I attended, overall I felt these meet ups are excellent opportunities for IBMers to demonstrate feature offerings and gain customer insights, and also for customers to talk about their success stories or share the pain points. Personally, it was a wonderful learning experience for me.

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