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User Site Census: Primary Applications at HPTC Sites

by Christopher G. Willard, Ph.D., Addison Snell, Laura Segervall
for Intersect360 Research
August 2011

This report is part of our HPC User Site Census series and provides an examination of the primary application software found at a sample of HPTC user sites. We surveyed a broad range of users about their current computer system installations, storage systems, networks, middleware, and applications software supporting these computer installations. Other reports in this series include: HPC User Site Census: Systems; HPC User Site Census: Processors; HPC User Site Census: Interconnects/Networks; HPC User Site Census: Storage and HPC User Site Census: Middleware.

Our goal in this analysis of applications is to examine the suppliers, products, and primary usage of the software packages.

Key findings of the Site Census surveys include the following:

  • 320 unique supplier packages were listed by the HPTC sites. About three-fourths appeared at only one site, indicating the diversity of application needs and the research nature of the HPC market.
  • Biological/chemical research, fluid dynamics, and structural analysis were the top three usage categories for application software for the last four survey years.
  • The leading application software packages were Gaussian, ANSYS’s Fluent, and Simulia’s Abaqus. All of these top packages were used at multiple sites.
  • Of the top 10 applications by number of mentions, five were biological/chemical, three were structural, one was fluid dynamics, and one was weather/environmental modeling.
  • Open Source was the leading source of programs, with 34% of mentions, overtaking commercial ISVs with the addition of the 2011 survey results. About 90% of the open source codes were reported by academic and government sites. Commercial ISVs accounted for 31% of mentions. The remaining software was developed in-house or was public software.

System vendors should work to support applications through a multi-stage process, which includes: basic programming support, development of applications support staff, porting of major codes, and development of vertical market expertise.



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