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IT pros see a role for high-performance computing in business

New application areas are pushing the limits of current computing architecture, leading to HPC moving out of research facilities

Four-fifths of UK IT staff link the practical application of high-performance computing (HPC) with maintaining a competitive advantage in the next five years, according to a survey of 903 IT professionals by Censuswide.

Although HPC is traditionally linked to scientific research, the majority (87%) of UK IT staff questioned in the survey agreed that HPC systems now hold massive economic potential for the government, academia and other industries.

The study found that three-quarters (74%) of UK IT professionals – compared with 83% in Germany and 73% in France – have a good idea of how HPC could positively affect their business.

Almost two-thirds (63%) of  the IT professionals in Germany said they were already using a practical application of HPC in their business, while in France, 41%  have deployed applications using HPC. In the UK, more than two-fifths (43%) of the IT professionals surveyed said their business was already using a practical application of HPC, and 48% were considering taking this approach.

Of the UK organisations looking into implementing a practical application of HPC, more than one-third (35%) plan to do so in less than a year, while 47% are working to a one- to two-year timeline. Fewer than one in 10 (9%) UK companies are neither doing this nor considering it.

According to SuSE, businesses are upskilling staff and preparing to implement practical applications of HPC. The survey found that almost one in five (17%) UK IT professionals are concerned about not having the right skills available to handle this move to HPC while 15% are worried about compute power, such as finding faster processing power given that Moore’s Law, which has driven computational performance since 1965, appears to be coming to an end.

Matt Eckersall, regional director, EMEA West, at SuSE, said: “While the historic cost of HPC or ‘supercomputers’ had limited its use to certain market segments, the evolution of both lower-cost hardware and Linux has dramatically reduced the price of these systems. With compute power increasing on a scale of 1,000 in just a few years, many commercial companies are now able to tap into the power of supercomputers in the form of an HPC Linux cluster – and reap the rewards.”

Read more about high-performance computing

  • Enterprises’ interest in HPC is reportedly being fuelled by the rising demand for artificial intelligence-based applications and services, and Cray is one of a number of providers looking to cash in.
  • A Huawei executive makes the case for dedicated high-performance computing (HPC) infrastructure, despite the growth of public cloud services that have democratised access to HPC and AI capabilities.

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