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High Performance Computing: Companies use Big Computers to Process Big Data

By Dick Weisinger

Supercomputers — computers with pricetags of more than $500,000 — are being deployed at a healthy pace. Businesses are investing in these fast computers in an effort to spark innovation.

A recent report by IDC in high performance computing (HPC) systems finds that their use in cloud computing scenarios has nearly doubled over the last two years.

67 percent of the companies surveyed by IDC said that they are using HPC systems for performing Big Data analysis. In fact 30 percent of the available computing cycles on their large scale machines is being used for Big Data analysis.

  • HPC server spending for data analysis will grow from $743.8 million in 2012 to $1.4 billion in 2017.
  • HPC storage spending is expected to increase to $6 billion by 2017. Storage is by far the fastest growing HPC technology area.
  • HPC application software spending will reach $4.8 billion by 2017.
  • HPC systems software spending will reach $1.5 billion by 2017.
Earl Joseph, program vice president for technical computing at IDC, said that “the most surprising findings of the 2013 IDC study are the substantially increased penetration of co-processors and accelerators at HPC sites around the world. Also of note is the large proportion of sites that are applying Big Data technologies and methods to their problems and the steady growth in cloud computing for HPC.”
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