Around the HPC World in 81 Slides with IDC

By John Russell

June 21, 2016

IDC presented its annual HPC Update at ISC yesterday. As usual it was a whirlwind tour encompassing HPC market data, technology trends, new IDC initiatives, announcement of the ISC16 Innovation Award recipients, and an update on IDC’s DOE-funded study to demonstrate HPC’s ROI. Small wonder it required an 81-slide deck with Earl Joseph and Bob Sorensen of IDC ably sharing the presenter duties.

Before plunging into the details here are a few key summary bullets:

  • 2015 was an excellent year (11 percent revenue growth) but 2016 is likely to be only “OK’. That said, HPC remains a growth market with the migration of HPC to the cloud and growing recognition of HPC’s strategic value as key market drivers. The forecast for 2015-2020 server growth, however, is a modest 5.9 percent.
  • Vendor positions “shifted greatly” and will keep shuffling according IDC. This year’s winner in supercomputers is Hewlett Packard Enterprise among named vendors while the unglamorous ‘Other’ category, a bit of a catchall bucket, is growing in size and impact reported IDC. Joseph said IDC is thinking about identifying some of the companies lumped together in the category.
  • The formative HPDA continues its growth and will expand vendor opportunities, said Joseph. So will machine learning, cognitive computing, and IoT. Encouragingly HPC ROI numbers are even higher than first indicated in IDC’s pilot study – the latest data suggest $1 invested produces $673 in revenue and $44 in profits (or savings) though Joseph added a caution. On the downside, software remains the number one roadblock for users, cluster management is still not trivial, and
  • Here comes China. Rumors had swirled for some time but the sudden reality of China’s new supercomputer (the Sunway TaihuLight system, 40,960 nodes and 10,649,600 cores and 1.31 PB of memory) appearing atop the latest Top500 list will cause consternation in many quarters. The new computing colossus is also complicating IDC’s efforts to size the supercomputer market because IDC isn’t sure how to count it, says Joseph. No matter how it ends up being counted, it changes the landscape.

IDC.ISC.HPC SERVER MKTHere’s a quick look at IDC’s top line HPC revenue numbers. 2015 server market sales are shown on the first slide followed by IDC’s five-year forecast below. The trend moving forward is positive but hardly bullish.

In terms of the overall HPC market, storage is still the fastest growing segment. IDC estimate 2015 revenue at $4.7B growing to $6.7B in 2019 – that’s 9.4 percent CAGR and indicative of the growth of big data and HPDA requirements. Servers and services are forecast to grow 7.7percent over the same time period. Virtually no growth is forecast for any server segment for the 2019-2020 period pulling down its five-year growth average to 5.9 percent as noted earlier.

Joseph noted the supercomputer segment in particular poses several challenges in characterizing. Sales cycles are variable and one or two big contracts can change revenue totals. The supercomputer market sales curve still has that roller coaster shape. “If you look at just the top three or four supercomputers sold each year, that’s what is causing all the variation here,” he said.

Taking about Sunway, he said “There are a number of definitions as to how it fits our data structure and we have to determine was it actually sold to somebody or was it self-built. At the moment it looks like it might have been self built. If it is self built it doesn’t go into our data structure because we don’t track things that are not built by [one party] and then sold to someone else.” He says it will be a month before they sort how to account for Sunway – if it is not included the segment will show no growth in 2016.

IDC.ISC.WW HPC SERVER FORECAST

HPE/HP (2015 sales) led the pack of ten named supercomputer suppliers with $1.2B. Cray was nearest ($583M), followed by Lenovo ($391M), NEC ($138M), Fujitsu ($106M), SGI ($88M), Dell ($54M), Bull Atos ($41M) and Sugon ($13M). The ‘Other’ category was actually third with $422M.

You can see quickly see how big the ‘other’ category has become, says Sorensen adding, “It’s a collection of vendors that are either too small to be included individually or who don’t want their actual numbers broken out in any great detail. What we are finding is this other category is growing rather aggressively.”

Having followed the HPDA market for time now, IDC continues to refine how it tracks the space. Joseph said IDC recently begun characterizing HPDA in four categories:

  • Fraud and anomaly detection. This “horizontal” workload segment centers around identifying harmful or potentially harmful patterns and causes using graph analysis, semantic analysis, or other high performance analytics techniques. The patterns may point to fraud, which is the deceptive exploitation or annotation of data for wrongful or illegal personal gain, or they may point to cyber security crime or insider threats, significant errors, or other anomalies that may deserve further investigation.
  • Marketing. This segment covers the use of HPDA to promote products or services, typically using complex algorithms to discern potential customers’ demographics, buying preferences and habits.
  • Business intelligence. The workload segment uses HPDA to identify opportunities to advance the market position and competitiveness of businesses, by better understanding themselves, their competitors, and the evolving dynamics of the markets they participate in.
  • Other Commercial HPDA. This catchall segment includes all commercial HPDA workloads other than the three just described. Over time, IDC expects some of these workloads to become significant enough to split out of this “other” category and command their own segments. An example of such a high-potential workload is the use of HPDA to manage large IT infrastructures, ranging from on premise data centers to public clouds and Internet-of-Things (IoT) infrastructures.

Joseph said IDC plans to add segments but how many and when isn’t set.

There were few surprises on IDC hit list of important technologies. Despite Intel’s current dominance in the processor world, a point hammered home at ISC this week with release of Xeon Phi/KNL to general availability, the camp of alternatives continues to grow rather than shrink. The interconnect battle between Intel Omni-Path and Mellanox InfiniBand is also now in full swing said Sorensen. Shown here are some of the technologies IDC.ISC.TOP TECH TRENDSIDC is watching closely

Software challenges are perhaps even more vexing, said Sorensen noting wryly the rush to use the word open – as in OpenHPC, OpenCL, Open ACC, Open Stack, Open Power, an Open Compute (his list).

IDC touched on two new DOE-funded initiatives it’s undertaking. One is a program to track exascale activity around the world. Sorensen explained, “[The idea] is to track, on a quarterly basis, where are the projects, who are the principal investigators, what’s the level of funding, what are the research goals.”

As part of the grant, IDC is supposed to share its results with the HPC community. “Part of the reason this is being made available to the whole community is to help government users and vendor figure out where is the best place to make an R&D investment. The tracking will show holes, where things are missing,” he said.

The mechanism hasn’t yet been sorted out but IDC plans to create a data structure and repository that’s updated every quarter and is made available. “We’d very much like to do it by Supercomputing (November) but I have to say I think we’re going to miss that by about a month.”

The other effort is around cyber security. IDC has already done one study examining problems and practices in how organizations handle cyber security. As described by Sorensen, the results of the early work are not especially comforting. For example, the study reveled that detecting a breach can take a couple of years from the time of its occurrence. “Worse,” said Sorensen, “when something like that happens, rather than fix the problem, organization often simply opt by more insurance.”

IDC.ISC.SECURITYThe first study was done in the summer of 2015. This next phase will drill down further in an effort to identify effective technologies and best practices. Cyber security isn’t necessarily an HPC issue, agrees Sorensen, but it usually is a HPDA issue and often other HPC elements can be deployed. A few conclusions from the first study are shown here.

The 2016 study is designed “to obtain relevant, useful information from large US organizations concerning their cyber security challenges and how they’re addressing those challenges from strategic, proactive, reactive, and crisis management perspectives.” A critical element in the study, says IDC, is exploring the role that HPDA/Big Data analytics can play in advanced cyber security.

Besides discussing the new DOE sponsored programs, IDC also provided an update on its various efforts to establish ROI metrics for HPC. This project has been going on for some time. The early pilot program produced very promising results (HPC ROI: Invest a Dollar to Make $500-plus Reports IDC). IDC has since moved been working on building up the number of samples in the study to refine the results and increase confidence in them.

IDC.ISC.ROIThe new results shown were rather dramatically higher that the pilot, making some in the audience wondered how that could be. Joseph agreed.

“The initial work was to create the model. Now we are at the large scale data collection [stage],” said Joseph. “Our feeling right now is we are going to need about 2000 samples” to have solid confidence in the results. Even so, said Joseph, DOE was now encouraging IDC “to getting the data out to the community more frequently and to create much more information about HPC’s job creation potential.”

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!

Japan Meteorological Agency Takes Delivery of Pair of Crays

May 21, 2018

Cray has supplied two identical Cray XC50 supercomputers to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) in northwestern Tokyo. Boasting more than 18 petaflops combined peak computing capacity, the new systems will extend the a 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

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

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…

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

Japan Meteorological Agency Takes Delivery of Pair of Crays

May 21, 2018

Cray has supplied two identical Cray XC50 supercomputers to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) in northwestern Tokyo. Boasting more than 18 petaflops combine 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

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

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

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

Leading Solution Providers

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

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

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

Hennessy & Patterson: A New Golden Age for Computer Architecture

April 17, 2018

On Monday June 4, 2018, 2017 A.M. Turing Award Winners John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson will deliver the Turing Lecture at the 45th International Sympo Read more…

By Staff

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