What we want to learn at DAC

This year’s Design Automation Conference (DAC) in San Francisco is underway and it’s a big one for the IT world – for the first time, the event includes an Infrastructure Alley. This addition to the annual event shows how IT infrastructure is now being taken more seriously by the EDA world. It’s no longer considered an afterthought. IT infrastructure is increasingly central to the design process as compute speeds up and makes even more possible.

As our CEO Rosemary Francis prepares to give her talk at the inaugural Infrastructure Alley, the Ellexus team has been having a ponder about what insights we might take home from the annual show. Here are a few thoughts.

Who is actually using the cloud?

Lots of talks at DAC will concern migration to the cloud. But is anyone actually migrating their systems yet? Are users really ready to go there yet?

We won’t know until the show how many organisations are doing this on any great scale. Hopefully some case studies will shed light on the types of issues that can arise and how organisations have planned to scale their systems for the platform.

Scaling matters

For that matter, whether organisations are looking to migrate to the cloud, to another architecture or improve their current system, scaling matters. Compute is getting faster and there is huge pressure for storage to take on increasingly large workloads – this is already throwing up challenges.

At Ellexus we’re particularly interested in the software that will enable customers to handle larger and different amounts of storage, as organisations embrace new storage solutions. What are users currently doing to ensure their architecture can scale?

Networks matter

When you’re talking about storage, can you have network as a separate conversation? People talk about storage being the most important element, but performance is dependent on the network. We’ll be asking this question as we tour the show.

Telemetry is vital

Still on the subject of scaling, telemetry is vital and lots of companies are trying to address the challenges of what to measure. We are also still a long way from reaching the full potential of automation interpretations of system metrics.

Telemetry can help organisations to reach so many goals: system health, greater performance and tightened security, for example, as well as how to predict future needs in terms of planning and procurement. We hope that some of the talks and discussions will focus on how we can get closer to reaching them.

In whose hands does IT infrastructure lie?

With the growth of cloud storage and the heightened importance of software, who is responsible for developing the IT infrastructure of the future? Is it down to the tools vendors? How much responsibility do the traditional vendors and system integrators still have?

There are many more questions about how the different cogs that make up the system design sector fit together. Cooperation is vital, but do cloud vendors actually understand the needs of EDA? Software and hardware are coming to terms with their new relationship, so is licensing still a concern for IT managers?

Answers on a postcard please, once we’ve learned all that we can from this year’s DAC.