This is the next blog in the continuing series of interviews with top-echelon and renowned professionals. In this blog, I interview Ryan Waite: Partner Director of Development for Technical Computing, Past General Manager for Windows HPC Server, Microsoft Corp.

Ryan WaiteRyan Waite is the partner director of development for Technical Computing at Microsoft Corp. He leads the software engineering team responsible for Windows HPC Server and the Parallel Computing Platform. He has been at Microsoft for 19 years and was most recently the general manager for Windows HPC Server.

Previously he has worked in test, development and program management roles on a variety of server products, including Microsoft Exchange Server, Small Business Server, BackOffice Server, Windows Server and, for a change of pace, Windows Mobile for Smartphones. His passions involve simplifying complex tools for use by the general computing community; Small Business Server allowed small businesses to harness the same types of server technologies previously used solely by large corporations, and Windows HPC Server is bringing cluster-based supercomputing to scientists, researchers and engineers who would have before found setting up, programming and using a cluster a daunting task.

Waite lives in Seattle and in his spare time enjoys sailing.

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link

DISCUSSION:

Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

:00:34:
Can you share with us your background and profile your history?
"....Some of the things that have really surprised me in my career are that it’s hard to underestimate the value for making things simpler for people. So many of the big breakthroughs that Microsoft has had have been around how we make complex technologies more available and easier to use for an increasingly large set of people who have computers as part of their everyday life...."

:03:19:
Let’s drill down further about combining the power of the cloud with netbook computing and enabling the masses with ‘what if’ questions. With regards to that can you profile some of the outcomes and lessons from the Supercomputing 2010 Conference that you are currently at?
"....The cloud is not revolutionary, the cloud is evolutionary - especially in supercomputing....Some of the really incredible things happening at the conference are how people are running huge computations in the clouds that were impossible for them to run before...."

:06:28:
What is the future of the cloud and technical computing?
"....By any measure of success, cluster-based supercomputing has been revolutionary....I think the cloud is in the same place. We are right at the beginning of cloud computing and we are going to see it continue to evolve in some really amazing kinds of ways...."

:07:41:
Do you see a tie-in between consumer computing with mobile devices and smart devices and also in the clouds?
"....I can, but mobile device based and the way that it integrates into the cloud I think is going to be different than the way we do things on the supercomputing side. On the supercomputing side it’s really about huge scale data and huge scale computations...."

:09:34:
Those are some very exciting success stories around the themes of the conference - do you have any others that you can share?
"....One of the technologies that in some ways is a little bit of a sleeper, but is one of most profound changes happening to our industry, is the advancement of multi-core technologies...."

:12:33:
What are the best resources to learn more?
"....http://www.microsoft.com/hpc/...."

:13:06:
You choose the topic area. What do you see as the three top challenges facing us today and how do you propose they be solved?
"....How to harness and continue to mature the clouds as part of cloud-based computing....How to broaden the community of people that can use these big parallel resources....Getting more people into the big parallel computing space...."

:15:38:
Ryan shares his favorite Gates and Ballmer stories.