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Technology investigations: an investment in our future

From Computing Bits, October 2014 

Future of Computing

Informed decision making: a bright future
for Fermilab computing technology

Clementine Jones

Working at an accelerator laboratory means that technology advances are familiar friends; they are the force behind many of our projects, the reasoning behind much of our work. However, without thoughtful planning, these friends can prove fickle, a drain on resources and actually a barrier to development. New technologies can enhance our lives, but informed decision making is the key to investing in the future. Remember devoting your time, money and effort transposing CDs to minidiscs only to have the iPod come along?

In January this year, Rob Roser, then Scientific Computing Division head, and Stu Fuess, associate head for Scientific Computing Facilities, implemented a strategy to invest in technology based on understanding what the options will look like in five years. This approach is intended to maximize the opportunities for SCD to make decisions that will form stepping stones towards the future, not turn into obstacles in its path. This is particularly important in areas like servers and storage, where the SCD makes very large procurements.

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