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The State of HPC Storage – Requirements & Challenges

In this video from the Panasas User Group, Steve Conway from Hyperion Research presents: The State of HPC Storage – Requirements & Challenges.

Hyperion Research conducted an industry survey to better understand TCO vs. initial costs/other purchase criteria, the benefits of greater simplicity, and buyer/user perceptions of major vendors of HPC storage systems.

Key Findings:

  • Growth Drivers. The largest factors driving the growth of HPC storage capacity wore iterative simulation workloads and new workloads such as Al and other Big Data jobs.
  • Growth Inhibitors. The most often-named challenge for HPC storage operations was recruiting and hiring qualified staff, followed by the time and cost needed to tune and optimize the storage systems.
  • Total Cost of Ownership. Deliberately presented without a definition. TCO emerged as the second-most-important of all purchasing critena for the surveyed group of HPC storage buyers, tied with “price” and trailing only “performance.” Though the definitions respondents had in mind presumably differed in some particulars, as a group these buyers endorsed the importance of TCO
  • Downtime. Almost half of the surveyed sites experience storage system failures once a month or more frequently. Downtimes range from less than one day to more than a week. A single day of downtime costs from under $100,000 to more than $1 million.
  • Satisfaction and Loyalty. Although a large majority (82%) of respondents were relatively satisfied with their current HPC storage vendors, a substantial minority said they are likely to switch storage vendors the next time they upgrade their primary HPC system. The implication here is that a lair number of HPC storage buyers are scrutinizing vendors for competencies as well as price.
  • Storage Source. HPC buyers as a group have grown sophisticated enough about storage to pay more attention to the product than to who sells it to them. The study showed that most buyers sometimes purchase storage at the same time as the HPC system it will support other times separately. Many buyers don’t care whether the storage system is sold by a dedicated storage vendor or a system vendor intermediary. It’s the product and the support staff that count most.

Panasas delivers high-performance computing (HPC) data storage solutions that support industry and research innovation around the world. Whether it’s building the next Dreamliner, winning a Formula One race, creating mind-bending visual effects, curing disease, or modeling climate change, the world’s leading companies trust Panasas to support their most innovative HPC projects.

Steve Conway is Senior Adviser, HPC Market Dynamics at Hyperion Research. He directs research related to the worldwide market for high performance computing. He also leads Hyperion Research’s practice in high performance data analysis (big data needing HPC). Hyperion industry experts are the former IDC high performance computing (HPC) analyst team, which remains intact and continues all of its global activities. The group is comprised of the world’s most respected HPC industry analysts who have worked together for more than 25 years.”

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