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HPC Budget Allocation Map: HPC Budget Distribution

by Christopher G. Willard, Ph.D., Addison Snell, Laura Segervall, Michael Feldman
for Intersect360 Research
January 2016

Intersect360 Research surveyed the High Performance Computing user community to complete its eighth Site Budget Allocation Map, a look at how HPC sites divide and spend their budgets. We surveyed users on their spending in seven top-level categories: hardware, software, facilities, staffing, services, cloud/utility/outsourcing computing, and other. Each category was further divided into constituent subcategories, resulting in 27 unique items included in the analysis.
This report provides the average budget distribution for the responding sites within each top-level category and presents an entire view of the total HPC budget distribution and product and services spending (excluding facilities and staffing).
  • Highlights from this study include:  Hardware represents the largest overall budget item, accounting for 48% of the total HPC budget in 2015, an increase from 45% in our 2014 survey. Servers, followed by storage, continue to lead spending within the hardware segment.
  • Staffing is the second-largest overall expense at HPC sites, accounting for 20% of the budget. System management and operations is the primary component of this category.
  • Software is the third-largest overall expense at HPC sites at 12% of the budget, with software tools as the major budget item.
  • Cloud/Utility/Outsourcingcomputing is still a very small percentage of overall HPC expenditures, with about a 3% share. We have seen fluctuations year-to-year in spending on cloud computing but no consistent or significant movement either upwards or downwards.
  • The top four HPC categories (server, storage, systems management and operations personnel, and networks) account for half (51%) of the total HPC budgets in 2015.
  • Servers, storage, and networks account for 64% of all HPC spending on products and services (excludes facilities and staffing).

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