Not long ago, high-performance computing use cases came solely from the rarefied realm of government agencies, research institutions and the largest corporations. The ability of HPC systems to process large data sets and perform complex calculations at high speeds — on machines that cost hundreds of millions of dollars — was not a critical business need for many enterprises. The closest most senior executives came to an HPC machine was to read a news item about the world’s fastest computer, a label that might last months or weeks, until the arrival of a still faster machine.
No more. With the proliferation of data, the need to extract insights from big data and escalating customer demands for near-real-time service, HPC is becoming relevant to a broad range of mainstream businesses — even as those high-performance computing systems morph into new shapes, both on-premise and in the cloud. Increasingly, use of high-performance computing is no longer limited by high costs and esoteric skill sets, but only by the user’s imagination.
Industry data shows HPC’s growing appeal. According to Hyperion Research, the high-performance computing market for businesses will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.8% from 2017 to 2022. The growth is fueled in part by falling hardware costs. “Prices start at well under $50,000 today. That’s affordable for many types of organizations,” said Steve Conway, senior research vice president at Hyperion Research.