Dell: Threats and Opportunities for U.S. HPC Leadership

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[SPONSORED GUEST ARTICLE]   Driving the development and leveraging the use of supercomputing technologies and systems is a critical strategic advantage for geopolitical players. The U.S. Council on Competitiveness, which champions entrepreneurship and commercialization of innovative ideas, coined the phrase “To Out-compute is to Out-compete” for describing the place of supercomputing as a centerpiece of competitive strategies across science, business and national defense.

In fact, the U.S., having been at the forefront of supercomputing for more than 50 years, is under increasing international pressure as more countries and regions increase their investments in HPC and associated areas, including AI, applications development and optimization, and workforce development and retention.

For example, while the U.S. has the world’s no. 1 supercomputer, the Frontier exascale-class system at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, it is believed the People’s Republic of China may have three or more exascale systems, with several more on the way. In Europe, EU countries now have two of the top five systems on the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful systems. This has pushed the U.S. to build out its leadership-class systems capabilities, with new exascale-class systems scheduled to be installed at two national labs, Lawrence Livermore and Argonne National, over the next 18-24 months.

HPC is not only crucial for global competitiveness, it’s also a good investment. Studies by HPC industry analyst firm Hyperion Research show HPC ROI can reach $507 dollars in sales revenues per dollar invested, and $47 dollars in profits or cost savings per dollar invested in dedicated strategic HPC activities.

What accounts for ROI of this scale? In some use-case scenarios, HPC allows users to skip entire (and expensive) steps in the R&D process. HPC-based computer simulation, for example, is often referred to as the “third pillar” of scientific discovery, complementing traditional theory and experimentation. HPC enables the modeling of phenomena that are impossible or undesirable to test (e.g., nuclear accidents). Another example: Using HPC and CAE software, engineers design cars, and car components without building physical models, a major time and cost saver. Supercomputers are a tool for researching scientific areas in ways that were previously impossible, resulting in dramatically faster time-to-solution and time-to-discovery.

Navigating today’s HPC ecosystem is no small task. A proper balance of performance, scale, applications, and support is required to provide users and their data center managers the right infrastructure for their needs.

Download the whitepaper to read more about “To Out-compute is to Out-compete: Competitive Threats and Opportunities Relative to U.S. Government HPC Leadership.”

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