HPC Budget Allocation Map: HPC Budget Distribution


Intersect360 Research surveyed the High Performance Computing (HPC) user community to complete its eleventh Site Budget Allocation Map, a look at how HPC
sites divide and spend their budgets. We surveyed users on their spending in seven top-level categories: hardware, software, facilities, staffing,
services, cloud computing, and other. Each category was further divided into constituent subcategories, resulting in 27 unique items included in the

This report provides the average budget distribution for the responding sites within each top-level category and presents an entire view of the total HPC
budget distribution and HPC product and services spending (excluding facilities and staffing).

Our Budget Map survey series includes the following reports:

  • HPC Site Budget Allocation Map: Budget Expectations
  • HPC Site Budget Allocation Map: Budget Distribution
  • HPC Site Budget Allocation Map: Machine Learning’s Impact on HPC Environments

Hardware represents the largest overall budget item, accounting for almost 51% of the total HPC budget in 2018. That is the largest average share ever
reported in any of our studies. Most of the hardware share increase can be attributed to an increase in server spending, related to recent trends in
machine learning and the adoption of GPU accelerators and non-volatile memory components. In addition, public cloud spending continued to increase
to the highest share of budget ever reported in our surveys. For further analysis of these trends, see Worldwide High Performance Computing 2018 Total Market Model and 2019–2023 Forecast: Products and Services.

The number-two largest expense varies by sector. For public-sector (academic and government) HPC sites, staffing is the next-largest expense. For commercial
sites, software is the second-largest expense. Commercial sites spend more on commercial, licensed software than public sector sites, which have a
higher proportion of open-source or in-house software. When academic sites do use commercial software, it is often at reduced or no licensing cost.



  • HPC system elements
  • Systems, clusters
  • Processor elements
  • System processors
  • Accelerators
  • Storage elements
  • Storage systems
  • Network-attached storage (NAS)
  • Storage area networks (SAN)
  • Cloud storage
  • Storage components
  • Storage software
  • Software elements
  • Operating systems
  • Middleware
  • Developer tools
  • Application software
  • Independent software vendor (ISV) or third-party (purchased/licensed) applications
  • In-house developed applications
  • Facilities-level technologies
  • Services
  • Cloud computing, grid computing, utility computing
  • Public cloud technologies