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HPC User Site Census: Application Software

by Christopher Willard, Ph.D., Addison Snell, Debra Goldfarb
for Intersect360 Research (originally published under the Tabor Research name)
March 2009

This seventh report in our Site Census series provides an examination of the primary application software 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 applications 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; HPC User Site Census: Interconnects/Networks; and HPC User Site Census: Middleware.

Our goal in this analysis of applications is to examine the suppliers, products, and primary usage of the software packages.

Key findings of the survey include the following:

  • Biological/chemical research followed by structural analysis and fluid dynamics were the top three usage categories of application software.
  • The leading application software packages were Gaussian, ANSYS’s Fluent, and Simulia’s Abaqus. All of these top packages were used at multiple sites.
  • Open source followed by in-house applications were the leading sources of programs.
  • ISV codes accounted for more than half of all applications mentioned.
  • System vendors should work to support applications through a multi-stage process, which includes: basic programming support, development of applications support staff, porting of major codes, and development of vertical market expertise.

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