However, when it comes to solving big problems that require lots of processor horsepower, the opposite approach has been used. For these High-Performance Computing (HPC) problems, computer scientists have created supercomputing clusters that combine the power of many CPU cores and memory across multiple servers to bring as much power as possible to help solve one problem. Now, HPC delivers world-changing results while accelerating business outcomes.
“HPC today has become a competitive necessity for organizations across a broad range of industries. This has broadened the user base of HPC and as a result, HPC servers were an $11 billion market worldwide in 2015, and is forecast to grow at about a 7% compound annual growth rate over the next five years,” says Tarun Bhasin, Research Manager, Servers for the Infrastructure Solutions research team at IDC Canada. He adds that IDC expects the finance, HPDA, healthcare, government, cybersecurity, and the academic space to drive much of this growth.
From Labs to Datacentres
These massively parallel data intensive tasks began in universities and within the academic world – think finding large prime numbers or solving Pi to a million places – and then moved to life sciences, weather forecasting, oil and gas exploration, and even to NASA.
Several factors kept these systems from being adopted by most business users, primarily cost, size, and energy consumption, but today, HPC systems have become more affordable, can fit in a single standard 19-inch rack, and are much more energy efficient than systems of years past.
This is enabling a new range of HPC applications, from gene sequencing and medical imaging analysis, to industrial engineering that simulates complex designs, to the vast world of Big Data analytics born from the data deluge of the past decade.
Real World Benefits
Healthcare providers are using HPC for a wide variety of data-driven ‘digital hospital’ programs. HPC can simplify the deluge of unstructured data from DNA, and it can also help researchers test new hypotheses and explore areas like bioinformatics, fluid dynamics, nanotechnology, and computational chemistry.
Leading cancer research centres also use HPC to advance integrated patient care, research, and prevention via personalized molecular medicine.
In the financial services field, HPC now enables analytic tools that enhance credit and customer relationship profitability while trading operations leverage HPC and real-time data analytics to help get a handle on today’s rapid high-volume trading.
For the oil and gas industry, price volatility demands precision in predictive analytics and optimization in drilling, production, and asset integrity, and HPC delivers tools that speed decision-making with an increased focus on safety, water management, and emissions to ensure profitability and regulatory compliance.
HPE has created a partner ecosystem with software solutions for a broad range of industries including oil and gas exploration, financial services, and Hadoop Big Data clusters to help speed the time to value for enterprise HPC projects.
“HPE ended 2015 as the strong revenue market leader in this growing worldwide market for HPC servers. In fact, HPE’s 2015 market share of the global HPC-related server market revenue was more than double the size of any competitor,” Bhasin says.
By providing tuned and balanced systems for specific workloads, High Performance Computing helps organizations of all kinds turn data into insight, and turn insight into action, while supporting growth and scalability as new HPC applications come to light.
Visit HPE here to find out how your business can start to benefit from High Performance Computing.
Rob Adley is Vice President, Pre-Sales & Solutions Architecture at Hewlett Packard Enterprise Canada.
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