It was interesting to read this morning that Cray have just released a new starter-model super-computer (which in itself is a somewhat oxymoronic descriptor). For a mere price tag of (starting from) $25000 you can get your hands on a Cray CX1. Microsoft got all excited about the release, proudly telling the world that the CX1 will be running Windows HPC Server on it.
I grew up around the time that Cray supercomputers were the big thing – everyone thought they'd be the answer to life's problems – that they'd sequence the human genome or that they'd accelerate the search for extraterrestrial life.
Both of those projects that I mentioned were completed on virtual super-computers – utilising the combined power of millions of distributed users all around the world. It's faster, cheaper and more efficient. While true super-computers have been relegated to the important tasks like assessing our taxes and trying to win chess.
So while the CX1 announcement is interesting in its own right – the major interest comes from the contrast is raises between the centralized days of old, and the cloud that us here on CloudAve live on – right here, right now.