Visit additional Tabor Communication Publications
September 09, 2008
On Tuesday, IDC reported some encouraging numbers for the HPC server market for the second quarter of 2008. The analyst group estimated that server revenue was 10 percent greater in Q2 compared to Q1, and 4 percent greater compared to the same quarter in 2007. Shipment units actually dropped slightly -- down 5 percent from Q1 -- but since customers ended up buying more expensive gear, revenue rose.
According to IDC, Hewlett-Packard was the clear revenue leader in this market in Q1. HP had 37 percent of the HPC server revenue share compared to 27 percent for IBM and 16 percent for Dell. In 2007, IDC pegged HP and IBM dead even in HPC server revenue (about 33 percent each), but for the past few quarters HP has pulled ahead.
Growth in the HPC server market is benefitting from the popularity of clusters and the introduction of ever more powerful CPUs. The dominance of multicore technology is contributing to fatter (and more expensive) compute nodes, which is keeping revenue numbers above water despite a drop in server units shipped. This seems to reflect what's happening in the broader server market, where much of the Q2 growth was also at the high end -- systems of $500K and up.
It's worth mentioning that IDC has changed the way it tracks HPC server revenue. The firm said it has refined its methodology by "more clearly separating out non-server revenue items like storage, software and services" and by "using both HPC data and IDC's broader enterprise server analysis and data sources." Reading between the lines, that means that IDC probably had previously tallied non-server revenue as server revenue, and may also have cross-reported some HPC and non-HPC server revenue in both categories.
As one might suspect, the new methodology revealed that the 2007 HPC server numbers were inflated. Instead of the $11.5 billion market they originally claimed for 2007, IDC now thinks the HPC server market was probably more like $10 billion. Despite the adjustment, the analyst firm still thinks the HPC server market is growing at a CAGR of 9.2 percent. But with the new baseline, the market is not expected to hit $15.6 billion until 2012. The old projections had the market achieving $15.3 billion in 2010.
If you look at the revenue numbers for the second quarter, the global economic slowdown doesn't seem to have affected server sales -- HPC or otherwise. The reasoning IDC gives for the HPC space is that government and university buyers are shielded from the worst effects of a sluggish economy. At the same time, commercial buyers are using new technology acquisitions to improve the bottom line.
I would guess that even in tough times the continued improvement in server price-performance is probably too hard to ignore for most commercial and non-commercial HPC users, since skipping an upgrade cycle yields too much competitive advantage to your competition. In the current climate, if cost-cutting becomes an issue, most organizations seem inclined to jettison personnel rather than computing gear. That might make it seem like HPC is recession-proof, but in a severe downturn, demand for computing would begin to evaporate. At that point, negative growth would be almost impossible to avoid.
Posted by Michael Feldman - September 08, 2008 @ 9:00 PM, Pacific Daylight Time
Michael Feldman is the editor of HPCwire.
No Recent Blog Comments
In quieter times, sounding the bell of funding big science with big systems tends to resonate further than when ears are already burning with sour economic and national security news. For exascale's future, however, the time could be ripe to instill some sense of urgency....
In a recent solicitation, the NSF laid out needs for furthering its scientific and engineering infrastructure with new tools to go beyond top performance, Having already delivered systems like Stampede and Blue Waters, they're turning an eye to solving data-intensive challenges. We spoke with the agency's Irene Qualters and Barry Schneider about..
Large-scale, worldwide scientific initiatives rely on some cloud-based system to both coordinate efforts and manage computational efforts at peak times that cannot be contained within the combined in-house HPC resources. Last week at Google I/O, Brookhaven National Lab’s Sergey Panitkin discussed the role of the Google Compute Engine in providing computational support to ATLAS, a detector of high-energy particles at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
May 23, 2013 |
The study of climate change is one of those scientific problems where it is almost essential to model the entire Earth to attain accurate results and make worthwhile predictions. In an attempt to make climate science more accessible to smaller research facilities, NASA introduced what they call ‘Climate in a Box,’ a system they note acts as a desktop supercomputer.
May 22, 2013 |
At some point in the not-too-distant future, building powerful, miniature computing systems will be considered a hobby for high schoolers, just as robotics or even Lego-building are today. That could be made possible through recent advancements made with the Raspberry Pi computers.
May 16, 2013 |
When it comes to cloud, long distances mean unacceptably high latencies. Researchers from the University of Bonn in Germany examined those latency issues of doing CFD modeling in the cloud by utilizing a common CFD and its utilization in HPC instance types including both CPU and GPU cores of Amazon EC2.
May 15, 2013 |
Supercomputers at the Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) have worked on important computational problems such as collapse of the atomic state, the optimization of chemical catalysts, and now modeling popping bubbles.
05/10/2013 | Cleversafe, Cray, DDN, NetApp, & Panasas | From Wall Street to Hollywood, drug discovery to homeland security, companies and organizations of all sizes and stripes are coming face to face with the challenges – and opportunities – afforded by Big Data. Before anyone can utilize these extraordinary data repositories, however, they must first harness and manage their data stores, and do so utilizing technologies that underscore affordability, security, and scalability.
04/15/2013 | Bull | “50% of HPC users say their largest jobs scale to 120 cores or less.” How about yours? Are your codes ready to take advantage of today’s and tomorrow’s ultra-parallel HPC systems? Download this White Paper by Analysts Intersect360 Research to see what Bull and Intel’s Center for Excellence in Parallel Programming can do for your codes.
In this demonstration of SGI DMF ZeroWatt disk solution, Dr. Eng Lim Goh, SGI CTO, discusses a function of SGI DMF software to reduce costs and power consumption in an exascale (Big Data) storage datacenter.
The Cray CS300-AC cluster supercomputer offers energy efficient, air-cooled design based on modular, industry-standard platforms featuring the latest processor and network technologies and a wide range of datacenter cooling requirements.