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HPC User Site Census: Primary Middleware

by Addison Snell, Christopher G. Willard, Ph.D., Laura Segervall, Debra Goldfarb
for Intersect360 Research (originally published under the Tabor Research name)
November 2008

This sixth report in our Site Census series provides an examination of middleware found at a sample of HPC user sites. We surveyed a broad range of users about their current computer system installations, storage systems, networks, middleware, and application software supporting these computer installations. The other reports in this series include: HPC User Site Census: Systems, HPC User Site Census: Processors, HPC User Site Census: Storage, HPC User Site Census: Life Cycle, and HPC User Site Census: Interconnects/Networks.

Our goal in this analysis of middleware is to examine the suppliers, products, and primary usage of the middleware at these sites.

Key findings of the survey include the following:

  • A wide variety of middleware packages is currently installed at user sites. 90 different middleware packages were considered primary applications at the surveyed sites.
  • Programming Environment and Job Management were the two main usage categories of middleware packages.
  • Leading middleware packages were Platform Computing’s LSF and Altair’s PBS, both of which manage and distribute the workload across the resources available. These top packages were used at 11 or fewer sites.
  • Open Source was the primary source for obtaining middleware with 16% of the middleware packages obtained in this manner. The academic sector was more likely to utilize open source software than the commercial sector.

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