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Intersect360 Research User Site Census: Applications

by Christopher G. Willard, Ph.D., Addison Snell, Laura Segervall
for Intersect360 Research
July 2010

This report is part of our HPC User Site Census series and 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. Other reports in this series include: HPC User Site Census: Systems; HPC User Site Census: Processors; HPC User Site Census: Interconnects/Networks; HPC User Site Census: Storage 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 Site Census surveys include the following:

  • 72% of the primary packages provided by the HPC sites were used by only one site, indicating the diversity of application needs and the research nature of the HPC market.
  • Biological/chemical research, fluid dynamics, and structural analysis were the top three usage categories for application software.
  • The leading application software packages were ANSYS's Fluent, Gaussian, and Simulia's Abaqus. All of these top packages were used at multiple sites.
  • Of the top 10 applications by number of mentions, five were biological/chemical, two were structural, one was fluid dynamics, one was weather/climate modeling, and one was a general application.
  • Commercial ISVs were the leading sources of programs, with 36% of mentions. 31% of programs were open-source. The remaining software was developed in-house or was public software.
  • Five Edge HPC applications were mentioned in the 2009 and 2010 surveys. Four sites were using HPC systems for process optimization and one site was using the application for complex event processing.

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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