HPE No. 1, IBM Surges, in ‘Bucking Bronco’ High Performance Server Market

By Doug Black

September 27, 2018

Riding healthy U.S. and global economies, strong demand for AI-capable hardware and other tailwind trends, the high performance computing server market jumped 28 percent in the second quarter 2018 to $3.7 billion, up from $2.9 billion for the same period last year, according to industry analyst firm Hyperion Research. On a sequential basis, second quarter HPC server revenue grew 16.7 percent over the $3.2 billion figure recorded in Q1 of this year.

For the first half of the year, revenue rose 23.8 percent over the 2017 first half, from $5.6 billion to $6.9 billion. Hyperion forecasts that revenue for HPC server systems will reach about $12.9 billion in full-year 2018 and will grow to $19.6 billion in 2022.

Taken together, growth is somewhat better than expected, according to Hyperion SVP of Research Steve Conway.

“The second-quarter numbers contained a bit of upside surprise but not a lot,” said Conway in an interview. “We were expecting strong results because the U.S. and world economies are generally strong and improving, and because we’ve been seeing a ramp-up in HPC adoption in commercial markets to run advanced analytics – both on the R&D side, for uses including automated driving systems and precision medicine, and on the business operations side for fraud detection, affinity marketing and other applications.”

In the vendor race for the industry supremacy, Hewlett Packard Enterprise remained the HPC server system global market leader with a revenue share of 30.7 percent. Dell EMC kept its place as the second-ranking vendor with an 18 percent share. And IBM moved up to 11 percent and third place based on a strong boost in revenue from the Summit and Sierra supercomputers installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, respectively – the former now ranked the world’s most powerful supercomputer.

For the largest year-over-year second-quarter percentage gains, IBM led the way at 208.8 percent, followed by Japan’s NEC at 76.8 percent, Penguin Computing at 75.2 percent and Cray at 61.9 percent.

Conway termed IBM’s surge “episodic,” rather than a one-time phenomenon.

“The high end of the HPC market has always been lumpy, with results moving up and down when very big systems that can top $100 million each hit a quarter, or are absent from a quarter,” he said. “Big pre-exascale and exascale system acceptances will cause even larger bumps in the quarters they affect because the price tags can sometimes be $300 million or more. Increased revenue is good for the HPC market and it was very good in the second quarter for IBM, but like other vendors able to compete in the stratospheric pre- and full-exascale markets, that market is likely to provide a bumpy ride for IBM. But these vendors already know this market is a bucking bronco.”

Conway attributed HPE’s perennial market leadership to several factors, starting with IBM’s sale of its x86 server business in 2014.

Steve Conway of Hyperion Research

“For years, HPE and IBM battled for revenue leadership in the global HPC market,” Conway said. “IBM’s sale of its x86 server business to Lenovo left HPE as the clear revenue leader and vaulted Dell into second place worldwide, though Lenovo and IBM are still forces to contend with. HPE’s strengths have been strong corporate commitment to the HPC market, wide product choice, especially following the SGI acquisition, and strong and growing domain expertise that enables peer-to-peer selling.”

As for HPC market sectors, YoY second-quarter growth was led by the high-end supercomputers segment (systems sold for $500,000 and up), with revenue climbing 36.8 percent to $1.6 billion, compared with $1.2 billion in the prior-year second quarter. It accounted for 43.4 percent of second-quarter 2018 HPC server revenue.

The divisional segment (systems sold for $250,000 to $499,000) grew by a “robust though less dramatic” 16.7 percent, from $537 million in the second quarter of 2017 to $627 million this latest quarter. The departmental segment ($100,000 to $249,000) rose 22.2 percent to $958 million from the 2017 second-quarter total of $784 million. And the workgroup segment (less than $100,000) grew 25.7 percent, from $409 million in the 2017 quarter to $514 million this year.

According to Conway, there could be reason to expect the high performance server sector to remain robust for reasons beyond the strong economic climate and AI-related demand. He noted a higher-than-usual number of vendors in Hyperion’s “other” category, a catchall bucket that includes more than 30 unnamed vendors, accounting for 16 percent of worldwide HPC server revenue.

“Most are small vendors and seeing that many small vendors in the market is a strong sign that we’re in a period of substantial innovation,” Conway said. “Not all periods in HPC history have been like that.”

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!

First All-Petaflops Top500 List Debuts; US Maintains Performance Lead

June 17, 2019

With the kick-off of the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt this morning, the 53rd Top500 list made its debut, and this one's for petafloppers only. The entry point for the new list is 1.022 petaf Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its intention to make Arm a full citizen in the processing arch Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Jack Wells Joins OpenACC; Arm Support Coming

June 17, 2019

Perhaps the most significant ISC19 news for OpenACC wasn’t in its official press release yesterday which touted growing user traction and the notable addition of HPC leader Jack Wells, director of science, Oak Ridge Le Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

HPE and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture: How to Power a Cloud

Learn how HPE and Intel® Omni-Path Architecture provide critical infrastructure for leading Nordic HPC provider’s HPCFLOW cloud service.

For decades, HPE has been at the forefront of high-performance computing, and we’ve powered some of the fastest and most robust supercomputers in the world. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

5 Benefits Artificial Intelligence Brings to HPC

According to findings from Hyperion Research, simulation is primarily responsible for expanding the global HPC market from $2 billion in 1990 to a projected $38 billion in 2022. Read more…

At ISC: DDN Launches EXA5 for AI, Big Data, HPC Workloads

June 17, 2019

DDN, for two decades competing at the headwaters of high performance storage, this morning announced an enterprise-oriented end-to-end high performance storage and data management for AI, big data and HPC acceleration. I Read more…

By Doug Black

First All-Petaflops Top500 List Debuts; US Maintains Performance Lead

June 17, 2019

With the kick-off of the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC) in Frankfurt this morning, the 53rd Top500 list made its debut, and this one's for petafl Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Jack Wells Joins OpenACC; Arm Support Coming

June 17, 2019

Perhaps the most significant ISC19 news for OpenACC wasn’t in its official press release yesterday which touted growing user traction and the notable addition Read more…

By John Russell

At ISC: DDN Launches EXA5 for AI, Big Data, HPC Workloads

June 17, 2019

DDN, for two decades competing at the headwaters of high performance storage, this morning announced an enterprise-oriented end-to-end high performance storage Read more…

By Doug Black

Final Countdown to ISC19: What to See

June 13, 2019

If you're attending the International Supercomputing Conference, taking place in Frankfurt next week (June 16-20), you're either packing, in transit, or are alr Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

The US Global Weather Forecast System Just Got a Major Upgrade

June 13, 2019

The United States’ Global Forecast System (GFS) has received a major upgrade to its modeling capabilities. The new dynamical core that has been added to the G Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

TSMC and Samsung Moving to 5nm; Whither Moore’s Law?

June 12, 2019

With reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TMSC) and Samsung are moving quickly to 5nm manufacturing, it’s a good time to again ponder whither goes the venerable Moore’s law. Shrinking feature size has of course been the primary hallmark of achieving Moore’s law... Read more…

By John Russell

The Spaceborne Computer Returns to Earth, and HPE Eyes an AI-Protected Spaceborne 2

June 10, 2019

After 615 days on the International Space Station (ISS), HPE’s Spaceborne Computer has returned to Earth. The computer touched down onboard the same SpaceX Dr Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

High Performance (Potato) Chips

May 5, 2006

In this article, we focus on how Procter & Gamble is using high performance computing to create some common, everyday supermarket products. Tom Lange, a 27-year veteran of the company, tells us how P&G models products, processes and production systems for the betterment of consumer package goods. Read more…

By Michael Feldman

Cray, AMD to Extend DOE’s Exascale Frontier

May 7, 2019

Cray and AMD are coming back to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to partner on the world’s largest and most expensive supercomputer. The Department of Energy’s Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Graphene Surprises Again, This Time for Quantum Computing

May 8, 2019

Graphene is fascinating stuff with promise for use in a seeming endless number of applications. This month researchers from the University of Vienna and Institu Read more…

By John Russell

Why Nvidia Bought Mellanox: ‘Future Datacenters Will Be…Like High Performance Computers’

March 14, 2019

“Future datacenters of all kinds will be built like high performance computers,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang during a phone briefing on Monday after Nvidia revealed scooping up the high performance networking company Mellanox for $6.9 billion. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AMD Verifies Its Largest 7nm Chip Design in Ten Hours

June 5, 2019

AMD announced last week that its engineers had successfully executed the first physical verification of its largest 7nm chip design – in just ten hours. The AMD Radeon Instinct Vega20 – which boasts 13.2 billion transistors – was tested using a TSMC-certified Calibre nmDRC software platform from Mentor. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

It’s Official: Aurora on Track to Be First US Exascale Computer in 2021

March 18, 2019

The U.S. Department of Energy along with Intel and Cray confirmed today that an Intel/Cray supercomputer, "Aurora," capable of sustained performance of one exaf Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Deep Learning Competitors Stalk Nvidia

May 14, 2019

There is no shortage of processing architectures emerging to accelerate deep learning workloads, with two more options emerging this week to challenge GPU leader Nvidia. First, Intel researchers claimed a new deep learning record for image classification on the ResNet-50 convolutional neural network. Separately, Israeli AI chip startup Hailo.ai... Read more…

By George Leopold

The Case Against ‘The Case Against Quantum Computing’

January 9, 2019

It’s not easy to be a physicist. Richard Feynman (basically the Jimi Hendrix of physicists) once said: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourse Read more…

By Ben Criger

Leading Solution Providers

SC 18 Virtual Booth Video Tour

Advania @ SC18 AMD @ SC18
ASRock Rack @ SC18
DDN Storage @ SC18
HPE @ SC18
IBM @ SC18
Lenovo @ SC18 Mellanox Technologies @ SC18
NVIDIA @ SC18
One Stop Systems @ SC18
Oracle @ SC18 Panasas @ SC18
Supermicro @ SC18 SUSE @ SC18 TYAN @ SC18
Verne Global @ SC18

TSMC and Samsung Moving to 5nm; Whither Moore’s Law?

June 12, 2019

With reports that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TMSC) and Samsung are moving quickly to 5nm manufacturing, it’s a good time to again ponder whither goes the venerable Moore’s law. Shrinking feature size has of course been the primary hallmark of achieving Moore’s law... Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Launches Cascade Lake Xeons with Up to 56 Cores

April 2, 2019

At Intel's Data-Centric Innovation Day in San Francisco (April 2), the company unveiled its second-generation Xeon Scalable (Cascade Lake) family and debuted it Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cray – and the Cray Brand – to Be Positioned at Tip of HPE’s HPC Spear

May 22, 2019

More so than with most acquisitions of this kind, HPE’s purchase of Cray for $1.3 billion, announced last week, seems to have elements of that overused, often Read more…

By Doug Black and Tiffany Trader

Arm Unveils Neoverse N1 Platform with up to 128-Cores

February 20, 2019

Following on its Neoverse roadmap announcement last October, Arm today revealed its next-gen Neoverse microarchitecture with compute and throughput-optimized si Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Announcing four new HPC capabilities in Google Cloud Platform

April 15, 2019

When you’re running compute-bound or memory-bound applications for high performance computing or large, data-dependent machine learning training workloads on Read more…

By Wyatt Gorman, HPC Specialist, Google Cloud; Brad Calder, VP of Engineering, Google Cloud; Bart Sano, VP of Platforms, Google Cloud

In Wake of Nvidia-Mellanox: Xilinx to Acquire Solarflare

April 25, 2019

With echoes of Nvidia’s recent acquisition of Mellanox, FPGA maker Xilinx has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Solarflare Communications, provider Read more…

By Doug Black

Nvidia Claims 6000x Speed-Up for Stock Trading Backtest Benchmark

May 13, 2019

A stock trading backtesting algorithm used by hedge funds to simulate trading variants has received a massive, GPU-based performance boost, according to Nvidia, Read more…

By Doug Black

Nvidia Embraces Arm, Declares Intent to Accelerate All CPU Architectures

June 17, 2019

As the Top500 list was being announced at ISC in Frankfurt today with an upgraded petascale Arm supercomputer in the top third of the list, Nvidia announced its Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This