DDN’s 5th Annual High Performance Computing Trends Survey Cites Complex I/O Workloads as #1 Challenge

December 5, 2017

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 5, 2017 – DataDirect Networks (DDN) today announced the results of its annual High Performance Computing (HPC) Trends survey, which reflects the continued adoption of flash-based storage as essential to respondent’s overall data center strategy. While flash is deemed essential, respondents anticipate needing additional technology innovations to unlock the full performance of their HPC applications.  Managing complex I/O workload performance remains far and away the largest challenge to survey respondents, with 60 percent of end-users citing this as their number one challenge.

Run for the fifth year in a row by DDN, the survey results included input from more than 100 global end-users across a wide number of data-intensive industries. Respondents included individuals responsible for high performance computing as well as networking and storage systems from financial services, government, higher education, life sciences, manufacturing, national labs, and oil and gas organizations. As expected, the amount of data under management in these organizations continues to grow. Of organizations surveyed: 85 percent manage or use more than one petabyte of data storage (up 12-percentage points from last year).

Survey respondents continue to take a nuanced approach to cloud adoption. Respondents planning to leverage cloud-based storage (encompassing both private and public clouds) for at least part of their data in 2017 jumped to 48 percent, an 11-percentage point increase from 2016 survey results.  Despite a more positive disposition toward cloud storage, only 5 percent of respondents anticipated more than 30 percent of their data residing in the cloud. Maybe because of the limited use, as well as the ever-improving economics of public cloud services, a full 40 percent of respondents anticipated using public cloud in some way as a solution in the coming year even if for a limited amount of data. This response compares with only 20 percent of respondents last year who said they anticipated using public cloud storage options.

While the basic application of flash storage in HPC data centers remains relatively flat, at approximately 90 percent of respondents using flash storage at some level within their data centers today, the main shift is in how much data is being retained in flash. While the vast majority of respondents (76 percent) store less than 20 percent of their data on flash media, many respondents anticipate an increase in 2018, with a quarter of respondents expecting 20-to-30 percent of their data to be flash based, and another 10 percent expecting 20-to-40 percent of their storage to be on a flash tier.

How customers are applying flash to their workflows is also particularly interesting.  A majority of survey respondents (54 percent) are primarily using flash to accelerate file system metadata.  There is a growing interest in using flash for application-specific data as well, with 45 percent of respondents indicating that they are using at least some of their flash storage this way. On the other end of the flash usage spectrum few customers are using flash user data, which is logical given current cost deltas between flash and spinning disk storage.

“Once again, DDN’s annual HPC Trends Survey reflects the developments we see in the wider HPC community. I/O performance is a huge bottleneck to unlocking the power of HPC applications in use today, and customers are beginning to realize that simply adding flash to the storage infrastructure isn’t delivering the anticipated application level improvements,” said Kurt Kuckein, director of marketing for DDN. “Suppliers are starting to offer architectures that include flash tiers optimized specifically for NVM and customers are actively pursuing implementations utilizing these technologies. Technologies like DDN’s IME are specifically targeted to have the most impact on accelerating I/O all the way to the application.”

I/O bottlenecks continue to be the main concern for HPC storage administrators.  Especially in intensive I/O workflows like analytics, where 76 percent of customers running analytics workloads consider I/O their top challenge.  Given this, it is not surprising that only 19 percent of survey participates consider existing storage technologies sufficient to scale to exascale requirements.

A majority of respondents (68 percent) view flash-native caches as the most likely technology to resolve the I/O challenge and to push HPC storage to the next level, reflecting an eight-percentage point increase versus last year’s survey.  HPC storage administrators have already, or are beginning to evaluate flash-native cache technologies at a greater rate than before, with more than 60 percent of the responses indicating that they have implemented, are evaluating now, or plan to evaluate flash-native cache solutions such as NVM.  Evidence of the impact of these technologies can be seen in the recent io500.org results where JCAHPC utilized a flash-based cache to achieve stellar performance and the top spot in the first annual storage I/O benchmark ranking.

As an increasing number of HPC sites move to real-world implementation of multi-site HPC collaboration, concerns about security remain at the forefront. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, the second highest barrier to multi-site collaboration has nothing to do with technology or security.   Organizational bureaucracy was identified by 43 percent of respondents as a major impediment to data sharing. This means that even though data sharing has become technically possible as well as cost effective, there are still limiting perceptions that stand in the way of wider collaboration.

About DDN

DataDirect Networks (DDN) is a leading big data storage supplier to data-intensive, global organizations. For almost 20 years, DDN has designed, developed, deployed and optimized systems, software and storage solutions that enable enterprises, service providers, universities and government agencies to generate more value and to accelerate time to insight from their data and information, on premise and in the cloud. Organizations leverage the power of DDN storage technology and the deep technical expertise of its team to capture, store, process, analyze, collaborate and distribute data, information and content at the largest scale in the most efficient, reliable and cost-effective manner. DDN customers include many of the world’s leading financial services firms and banks, healthcare and life science organizations, manufacturing and energy companies, government and research facilities, and web and cloud service providers. For more information, go to www.ddn.com or call 1-800-837-2298.

Source: DDN

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!

InfiniBand Still Tops in Supercomputing

July 19, 2018

In the competitive global HPC landscape, system and processor vendors, nations and end user sites certainly get a lot of attention--deservedly so--but more than ever, the network plays a crucial role. While fast, perform Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC for Life: Genomics, Brain Research, and Beyond

July 19, 2018

During the past few decades, the life sciences have witnessed one landmark discovery after another with the aid of HPC, paving the way toward a new era of personalized treatments based on an individual’s genetic makeup Read more…

By Warren Froelich

WCRP’s New Strategic Plan for Climate Research Highlights the Importance of HPC

July 19, 2018

As climate modeling increasingly leverages exascale computing and researchers warn of an impending computing gap in climate research, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) is developing its new Strategic Plan – and high-performance computing is slated to play a critical role. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Introducing the First Integrated System Management Software for HPC Clusters from HPE

How do you manage your complex, growing cluster environments? Answer that big challenge with the new HPC cluster management solution: HPE Performance Cluster Manager. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Are Your Software Licenses Impeding Your Productivity?

In my previous article, Improving chip yield rates with cognitive manufacturing, I highlighted the costs associated with semiconductor manufacturing, and how cognitive methods can yield benefits in both design and manufacture.  Read more…

U.S. Exascale Computing Project Releases Software Technology Progress Report

July 19, 2018

As is often noted the race to exascale computing isn’t just about hardware. This week the U.S. Exascale Computing Project (ECP) released its latest Software Technology (ST) Capability Assessment Report detailing progress so far. Read more…

By John Russell

InfiniBand Still Tops in Supercomputing

July 19, 2018

In the competitive global HPC landscape, system and processor vendors, nations and end user sites certainly get a lot of attention--deservedly so--but more than Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC for Life: Genomics, Brain Research, and Beyond

July 19, 2018

During the past few decades, the life sciences have witnessed one landmark discovery after another with the aid of HPC, paving the way toward a new era of perso Read more…

By Warren Froelich

D-Wave Breaks New Ground in Quantum Simulation

July 16, 2018

Last Friday D-Wave scientists and colleagues published work in Science which they say represents the first fulfillment of Richard Feynman’s 1982 notion that Read more…

By John Russell

AI Thought Leaders on Capitol Hill

July 14, 2018

On Thursday, July 12, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology heard from four academic and industry leaders – representatives from Berkeley Lab, Argonne Lab, GE Global Research and Carnegie Mellon University – on the opportunities springing from the intersection of machine learning and advanced-scale computing. Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Serves as a ‘Rosetta Stone’ for the Information Age

July 12, 2018

In an age defined and transformed by its data, several large-scale scientific instruments around the globe might be viewed as a ‘mother lode’ of precious data. With names seemingly created for a ‘techno-speak’ glossary, these interferometers, cyclotrons, sequencers, solenoids, satellite altimeters, and cryo-electron microscopes are churning out data in previously unthinkable and seemingly incomprehensible quantities -- billions, trillions and quadrillions of bits and bytes of electro-magnetic code. Read more…

By Warren Froelich

Tsinghua Powers Through ISC18 Field

July 10, 2018

Tsinghua University topped all other competitors at the ISC18 Student Cluster Competition with an overall score of 88.43 out of 100. This gives Tsinghua their s Read more…

By Dan Olds

HPE, EPFL Launch Blue Brain 5 Supercomputer

July 10, 2018

HPE and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausannne (EPFL) Blue Brain Project yesterday introduced Blue Brain 5, a new supercomputer built by HPE, which displ Read more…

By John Russell

Pumping New Life into HPC Clusters, the Case for Liquid Cooling

July 10, 2018

High Performance Computing (HPC) faces some daunting challenges in the coming years as traditional, industry-standard systems push the boundaries of data center Read more…

By Scott Tease

Leading Solution Providers

SC17 Booth Video Tours Playlist

Altair @ SC17


AMD @ SC17


ASRock Rack @ SC17

ASRock Rack



DDN Storage @ SC17

DDN Storage

Huawei @ SC17


IBM @ SC17


IBM Power Systems @ SC17

IBM Power Systems

Intel @ SC17


Lenovo @ SC17


Mellanox Technologies @ SC17

Mellanox Technologies

Microsoft @ SC17


Penguin Computing @ SC17

Penguin Computing

Pure Storage @ SC17

Pure Storage

Supericro @ SC17


Tyan @ SC17


Univa @ SC17


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