Report Shows HPC Spending ‘Solid and Stable’

By Tiffany Trader

July 6, 2015

The staff at Intersect360 Research have published their seventh Site Budget Allocation Map, peeling back the curtains on HPC site spending across industry, government and academic sites to suss out important trends. Overall this was a strong year characterized by fairly stable spending across the major categories (hardware, software, etc.) with 59 percent of all sites anticipating further growth over the next two years.

This histogram of the past five surveys illustrates trends in spending across the seven top-level categories: hardware, software, facilities, staffing, services, cloud/utility/outsourcing computing, and other. The sampled community spans both small HPC and large supercomputing sites with the most common budget sizes falling into the tiers “greater than $2 million” and “$100,000 to $499,999.”

Intersect360 HPC Budget June 2015 table1

Most noticeably, hardware and staffing categories have leveled out after some periods of incline and decline respectively. For the last three years, spending on hardware has averaged about 45 percent, while budget allocated to staffing has stayed in the 21-22 percent range. In fact, this stability persists across all the top-level categories, leading the authors to characterize the 2014 survey patterns as “solid and stable.”

“With regards to hardware, I think the big thing you are seeing is that in the earlier years, we were still seeing some recessionary levels of spending where capital expenditures were constrained and the hardware portion of the budget was down in the high 30th percentile then after that it rebounded up to the low-to-mid 40s where it’s been the last three surveys. And I think that’s going to be a more normal place to see that as a percent of budget,” said Intersect360 CEO Addison Snell in a conversation with HPCwire.

“Staffing would have been higher in those recession years because you cut your external spending faster than you cut people. You try to preserve people’s jobs and therefore it becomes a higher proportion of your budget,” he continued.

Intersect360 HPC Budget June 2015 fig4

Snell observes there may be another reason that staffing numbers are healthy and it relates to a dominant trend in software: open source.

“With the increased architectural complexity, I might have thought that software spending would go up as you got into more complicated or more expensive licensing schemes,” he said. “But what we really saw was that the industry got ahead of that trend by moving the mix of software away from commercial ISV packages and bringing more open source into the mix. Both of those drivers will also have the affect of bolstering your staffing because if you are doing more in-house software development, then that implies staff who are doing that.”

Moving the needle on HPC in the cloud

When it comes to the cloud computing category, Snell said that despite persistent high interest, cloud has so far failed to get a real foothold in HPC, hovering around 3 percent of total spend with public cloud eating a 1 percent share of the total HPC budget pie. As for users who are spending a non-zero amount on cloud, the number has risen to about one-third of HPC users, but these are most test clouds, burst scenarios and small production environments.

HPC in the cloud, especially production-level commercial cloud, has been slow to blossom beyond the bursting model or beyond the new user and this just doesn’t represent a large share of overall budget, but 2015 may be the year that changes – to a point.

“While there hasn’t been a spike yet in real cloud spending,” said Snell, “there are signs of growth ahead, coming primarily from academia and pharmaceuticals. But even then you are talking about some users moving up to, say, 20 percent of their spend in the cloud, at the very high end. I don’t see cloud getting up to 10 percent of the market very soon.”

“It comes down to economics for a lot of users,” he continued. “The general assumption that it’s cheaper to do in the cloud, I think, does not apply across the majority of the HPC landscape. Most established HPC users of at least moderate scale tend to believe that they can do things just as cheaply or cheaper in-house than they could if the paid somebody else to do the same workload. So the question becomes where does that no longer apply where people feel like they can run things more economically in the cloud, and that gets into academia, some pharmaceuticals and some government.”

Other major takeaways (reprinted from the report):

• Hardware represents the largest overall budget item, accounting for 45% of the total HPC budget in 2014. Servers, followed by storage, continue to lead spending within the hardware segment. When asked for future budget trends, hardware is the primary driving force behind budget change. About 50% of sites that provided qualitative input on budget trends reported a change in hardware spending as their reason. About two-thirds expect hardware spending to increase, and one-third expect a decrease.

• Staffing continues to be the second-largest overall expense, accounting for 22% of sites. Average spending on staffing has stabilized over the last three surveys, after a few years of declining share. System management and operations, followed by application programmers, and user support and services, are the top three categories within staffing and account for 71% of the staffing budget.

• Software as a share of the overall HPC budget accounts for 13% of that budget. System software and software tools represent the largest share of expenditures within software, accounting for a combined share of 47% of the HPC software budget.

• Cloud/Utility/Outsourcing computing is still a very small percentage of overall HPC expenditures, with about 3% share. We have seen fluctuations year-to-year in spending on cloud computing but no consistent or significant movement either upwards or downwards.

• Budgets are expected to increase by 1% or more for 59% of all respondents, and 43% expect budgets to increase by more than 5%. Commercial sites showed the most optimism with 78% expecting budgets to increase by at least 1% and 66% expecting budgets to increase by at least 5%. About 19% of academic sites are expecting a decline in their budgets, which is a higher percentage than either commercial or government sites.

The full report is available to Intersect360 clients and can be linked from the executive summary.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

ASC18: Tough Applications & Tough Luck

May 17, 2018

The applications at the ASC18 Student Cluster Competition were tough. Tougher than the $3.99 steak special at your local greasy spoon restaurant. The apps are so tough that even Chuck Norris backs away from them slowly. Read more…

By Dan Olds

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and the technology challenges ahead. These discussions happened in Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPC and AI Convergence is Accelerating New Levels of Intelligence

Data analytics is the most valuable tool in the digital marketplace – so much so that organizations are employing high performance computing (HPC) capabilities to rapidly collect, share, and analyze endless streams of data. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Mastering the Big Data Challenge in Cognitive Healthcare

Patrick Chain, genomics researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory, posed a question in a recent blog: What if a nurse could swipe a patient’s saliva and run a quick genetic test to determine if the patient’s sore throat was caused by a cold virus or a bacterial infection? Read more…

Quantum Network Hub Opens in Japan

May 17, 2018

Following on the launch of its Q Commercial quantum network last December with 12 industrial and academic partners, the official Japanese hub at Keio University is now open to facilitate the exploration of quantum applications important to science and business. The news comes a week after IBM announced that North Carolina State University was the first U.S. university to join its Q Network. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

ASC18: Final Results Revealed & Wrapped Up

May 17, 2018

It was an exciting week at ASC18 in Nanyang, China. The student teams braved extreme heat, extremely difficult applications, and extreme competition in order to cross the cluster competition finish line. The gala awards ceremony took place on Wednesday. The auditorium was packed with student teams, various dignitaries, the media, and other interested parties. So what happened? Read more…

By Dan Olds

Spring Meetings Underscore Quantum Computing’s Rise

May 17, 2018

The month of April 2018 saw four very important and interesting meetings to discuss the state of quantum computing technologies, their potential impacts, and th Read more…

By Alex R. Larzelere

Quantum Network Hub Opens in Japan

May 17, 2018

Following on the launch of its Q Commercial quantum network last December with 12 industrial and academic partners, the official Japanese hub at Keio University is now open to facilitate the exploration of quantum applications important to science and business. The news comes a week after IBM announced that North Carolina State University was the first U.S. university to join its Q Network. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Democratizing HPC: OSC Releases Version 1.3 of OnDemand

May 16, 2018

Making HPC resources readily available and easier to use for scientists who may have less HPC expertise is an ongoing challenge. Open OnDemand is a project by t Read more…

By John Russell

PRACE 2017 Annual Report: Exascale Aspirations; Industry Collaboration; HPC Training

May 15, 2018

The Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE) today released its annual report showcasing 2017 activities and providing a glimpse into thinking about Read more…

By John Russell

US Forms AI Brain Trust

May 11, 2018

Amid calls for a U.S. strategy for promoting AI development, the Trump administration is forming a senior-level panel to help coordinate government and industry research efforts. The Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence was announced Thursday (May 10) during a White House summit organized by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Read more…

By George Leopold

Emerging Advanced Scale Tech Trends Focus of Annual Tabor Conference

May 9, 2018

At Tabor Communications' annual Advanced Scale Forum (ASF) held this week in Austin, the focus was on enterprise adoption of HPC-class technologies and high performance data analytics (HPDA). It’s a confab that brings together end users (CIOs, IT planners, department heads) and vendors and encourages... Read more…

By the Editorial Team

Google I/O 2018: AI Everywhere; TPU 3.0 Delivers 100+ Petaflops but Requires Liquid Cooling

May 9, 2018

All things AI dominated discussion at yesterday’s opening of Google’s I/O 2018 developers meeting covering much of Google's near-term product roadmap. The e Read more…

By John Russell

MLPerf – Will New Machine Learning Benchmark Help Propel AI Forward?

May 2, 2018

Let the AI benchmarking wars begin. Today, a diverse group from academia and industry – Google, Baidu, Intel, AMD, Harvard, and Stanford among them – releas Read more…

By John Russell

How the Cloud Is Falling Short for HPC

March 15, 2018

The last couple of years have seen cloud computing gradually build some legitimacy within the HPC world, but still the HPC industry lies far behind enterprise I Read more…

By Chris Downing

Russian Nuclear Engineers Caught Cryptomining on Lab Supercomputer

February 12, 2018

Nuclear scientists working at the All-Russian Research Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF) have been arrested for using lab supercomputing resources to mine crypto-currency, according to a report in Russia’s Interfax News Agency. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Inventor Claims to Have Solved Floating Point Error Problem

January 17, 2018

"The decades-old floating point error problem has been solved," proclaims a press release from inventor Alan Jorgensen. The computer scientist has filed for and Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Researchers Measure Impact of ‘Meltdown’ and ‘Spectre’ Patches on HPC Workloads

January 17, 2018

Computer scientists from the Center for Computational Research, State University of New York (SUNY), University at Buffalo have examined the effect of Meltdown Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Nvidia highlights strengths of its newest GPU silicon in response to Google's report on the performance and energy advantages of its custom tensor processor. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep Learning at 15 PFlops Enables Training for Extreme Weather Identification at Scale

March 19, 2018

Petaflop per second deep learning training performance on the NERSC (National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center) Cori supercomputer has given climate Read more…

By Rob Farber

AI Cloud Competition Heats Up: Google’s TPUs, Amazon Building AI Chip

February 12, 2018

Competition in the white hot AI (and public cloud) market pits Google against Amazon this week, with Google offering AI hardware on its cloud platform intended Read more…

By Doug Black

Leading Solution Providers

US Plans $1.8 Billion Spend on DOE Exascale Supercomputing

April 11, 2018

On Monday, the United States Department of Energy announced its intention to procure up to three exascale supercomputers at a cost of up to $1.8 billion with th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Lenovo Unveils Warm Water Cooled ThinkSystem SD650 in Rampup to LRZ Install

February 22, 2018

This week Lenovo took the wraps off the ThinkSystem SD650 high-density server with third-generation direct water cooling technology developed in tandem with par Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC and AI – Two Communities Same Future

January 25, 2018

According to Al Gara (Intel Fellow, Data Center Group), high performance computing and artificial intelligence will increasingly intertwine as we transition to Read more…

By Rob Farber

Google Chases Quantum Supremacy with 72-Qubit Processor

March 7, 2018

Google pulled ahead of the pack this week in the race toward "quantum supremacy," with the introduction of a new 72-qubit quantum processor called Bristlecone. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Wins $57 Million DoD Supercomputing Contract

February 20, 2018

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today revealed details of its massive $57 million HPC contract with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The deal calls for HP Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CFO Steps down in Executive Shuffle at Supermicro

January 31, 2018

Supermicro yesterday announced senior management shuffling including prominent departures, the completion of an audit linked to its delayed Nasdaq filings, and Read more…

By John Russell

Deep Learning Portends ‘Sea Change’ for Oil and Gas Sector

February 1, 2018

The billowing compute and data demands that spurred the oil and gas industry to be the largest commercial users of high-performance computing are now propelling Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Ups Hardware Game with 16-GPU DGX-2 Server and 18-Port NVSwitch

March 27, 2018

Nvidia unveiled a raft of new products from its annual technology conference in San Jose today, and despite not offering up a new chip architecture, there were still a few surprises in store for HPC hardware aficionados. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This