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
Contributing commentator, Andrew Jones, offers a break in the news cycle with an assessment of what the national "size matters" contest means for the U.S. and other nations...
Today at the International Supercomputing Conference in Leipzing, Germany, Jack Dongarra presented on a proposed benchmark that could carry a bit more weight than its older Linpack companion. The high performance conjugate gradient (HPCG) concept takes into account new architectures for new applications, while shedding the floating point....
Not content to let the Tianhe-2 announcement ride alone, Intel rolled out a series of announcements around its Knights Corner and Xeon Phi products--all of which are aimed at adding some options and variety for a wider base of potential users across the HPC spectrum. Today at the International Supercomputing Conference, the company's Raj....
Jun 19, 2013 |
Supercomputer architectures have evolved considerably over the last 20 years, particularly in the number of processors that are linked together. One aspect of HPC architecture that hasn't changed is the MPI programming model.
Jun 18, 2013 |
The world's largest supercomputers, like Tianhe-2, are great at traditional, compute-intensive HPC workloads, such as simulating atomic decay or modeling tornados. But data-intensive applications--such as mining big data sets for connections--is a different sort of workload, and runs best on a different sort of computer.
Jun 18, 2013 |
Researchers are finding innovative uses for Gordon, the 285 teraflop supercomputer housed at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) that has a unique Flash-based storage system. Since going online, researchers have put the incredibly fast I/O to use on a wide variety of workloads, ranging from chemistry to political science.
Jun 17, 2013 |
The advent of low-power mobile processors and cloud delivery models is changing the economics of computing. But just as an economy car is good at different things than a full size truck, an HPC workload still has certain computing demands that neither the fastest smartphone nor the most elastic cloud cluster can fulfill.
Jun 14, 2013 |
For all the progress we've made in IT over the last 50 years, there's one area of life that has steadfastly eluded the grasp of computers: understanding human language. Now, researchers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) are utilizing a Hadoop cluster on its Longhorn supercomputer to move the state of the art of language processing a little bit further.
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.
Join HPCwire Editor Nicole Hemsoth and Dr. David Bader from Georgia Tech as they take center stage on opening night at Atlanta's first Big Data Kick Off Week, filmed in front of a live audience. Nicole and David look at the evolution of HPC, today's big data challenges, discuss real world solutions, and reveal their predictions. Exactly what does the future holds for HPC?
Join our webinar to learn how IT managers can migrate to a more resilient, flexible and scalable solution that grows with the data center. Mellanox VMS is future-proof, efficient and brings significant CAPEX and OPEX savings. The VMS is available today.