HPC Technology Survey 2021: Server Technologies and Configurations


Intersect360 Research surveyed the High-Performance Computing (HPC) user community on a wide range of technology issues. The complete study analyzes users’ current computing systems, storage systems, networks, cloud computing usage, and selected purchasing criteria. Our goal in this analysis is to provide an overview of how HPC systems are configured, including the breadth of technologies most commonly used.

Intersect360 Research defines HPC as the use of servers, clusters, and supercomputers—plus associated software, tools, components, storage, and services—for scientific, engineering, or analytical tasks that are particularly intensive in computation, memory usage, or data management. Intersect360 Research reports available in this HPC Technology Survey report series include the following segmentations:

  • Server Technologies and Configurations: including system vendors installed, segmentation of systems into classes (entry-level, midrange, high-end, supercomputer), system interconnects, and usage of liquid cooling
  • Storage Technologies and Configurations: including total active HPC data; storage configurations spanning on-node, attached storage arrays, and cloud storage; parallel file system usage; and interdependence of storage and server elements for purchasing
  • Processing Elements—CPUs and Accelerators: including installations and user preferences for both CPUs and accelerators, independently and in combination, plus configuration options and interconnects
  • Cloud Computing: including proportion of computing and storage in public cloud for HPC and top named cloud vendors

This report provides a detailed examination of system vendors, system interconnects and liquid cooling installed among responding HPC user sites. This analysis includes both a look at the type of system interconnects and cooling systems used across different segments and the projected usage in the future. For system interconnects, this includes multiple speeds of Ethernet and InfiniBand, as well as Omni-Path, Cray Slingshot, Fujitsu Tofu, and Atos BXI.



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                                                                                                                                                  2

TABLE OF CONTENTS                                                                                                                                                                                      3

INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                                                                                                 5

Methodology                                                                                                                                                                                                          5

What Is HPC?                                                                                                                                                                                                        6

Total Responses                                                                                                                                                                                                    6

Table 1: Total Estimated Clusters in Respondent Organizations                                                                                                                7

HPC SERVER TECHNOLOGIES AND CONFIGURATIONS                                                                                                                      8

Definitions                                                                                                                                                                                                              8

Current System Vendors                                                                                                                                                                                      8

Figure 1: Current System Vendors                                                                                                                                                                       9

Figure 2: Current System Vendors: Commercial/Industrial Segment                                                                                                             9

Figure 3: Current System Vendors: Academic Segment                                                                                                                                   10

Figure 4: Current System Vendors: Government Segment                                                                                                                             11

Segmentation of Systems into Classes                                                                                                                                                                11

Table 2: HPC Cluster Size & Current Population                                                                                                                                              11

Table 3: HPC Cluster Size: Commercial/Industrial Segment                                                                                                                          12

Table 4: HPC Cluster Size: Academic Segment                                                                                                                                                   12

Table 5: HPC Cluster Size: Government Segment                                                                                                                                             12

Liquid Cooling                                                                                                                                                                                                        12

Figure 5: Current Liquid Cooling Usage                                                                                                                                                           13

Figure 6: Current Liquid Cooling Usage: Commercial/Industrial                                                                                                                 14

Figure 7: Current Liquid Cooling Usage: Academic                                                                                                                                         14

Figure 8: Current Liquid Cooling Usage: Government                                                                                                                                   15

Figure 9: Liquid Cooling Future Plans                                                                                                                                                              16

Cluster Interconnects                                                                                                                                                                                           16

Figure 10: Cluster Interconnects                                                                                                                                                                      17

Figure 11: Cluster Interconnects: Commercial/Industrial Segment                                                                                                            18

Figure 12: Cluster Interconnects: Academic Segment                                                                                                                                    19

Figure 13: Cluster Interconnects: Government Segment                                                                                                                              19

Figure 14: Cluster Interconnect Future Usage                                                                                                                                                20

CONCLUSIONS                                                                                                                                                                                                     20

APPENDIX A: SURVEY DEMOGRAPHICS                                                                                                                                                    21

Table A1: Geographic Region of Respondent                                                                                                                                                    21

Table A2: Economic Sector of Respondent Organization                                                                                                                                21

Table A3: Number of Employees for Respondent Organization                                                                                                                      21

Figure A1: Role of Survey Respondent in Organization                                                                                                                                   22

Figure A2: HPC Purchasing Responsibility of Respondent                                                                                                                              22

Figure A3: Total Annual HPC Budget of Responding Organization                                                                                                               23