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Adaptive Computing Addresses Converging HPC-Cloud Market

After a less-than-stellar 2009, the high-performance computing industry turned in a strong showing in 2010, surging 22.4% to $25.6 billion in total product and services revenue. Performance will continue to grow at a 7% compound annual growth rate, reaching $36 billion in 2015 (Intersect360 Research Worldwide). HPC specialists Adaptive Computing are looking to cash in on this growth with the launch of the Torque 4.0 beta and the new Moab HPC Suite Enterprise Edition.

Torque offers petaflop scalability and enterprise-ready speed and reliability, while the Enterprise Edition combines Moab’s battle-tested HPC workload management products with implementation services and 24-by7 support, says Lane Franks, VP strategy and operations. HPC and cloud customers concerned with scale and costs are looking for alternative solutions, says Franks.

Adaptive Computing has been focusing on making its solutions more scalable, reliable and faster, and now is combining Torque with Moab to make sure they work in concert because its customers are using them in concert. It is also adding more resources to Torque, including quality testing. The company is trying to make it enterprise-ready while keeping it open source, Franks said.

According to IDC, HP accounted for 32% of 2010 HPC revenues, just edging out IBM with 30%. Dell held down third place (15%), followed by Cray and SGI (3% each) and a host of other vendors, including Hitachi, Fujitsu and NEC. The research company says the market is growing because HPC has become a competitive weapon and many governments view HPC leadership as critical. Among IDC's 2011 predictions were that more real-world applications will be run at trans-petaflop speeds and that there may be more emphasis on software--finally.

Torque is an open source job/resource manager that provides control over batch jobs and distributed compute nodes and continually reports information regarding the state of nodes and workload status. The latest release extends scalability for petaflop capacity and beyond, adds parallel multithreading to improve response and reliability, and strengthens reliability. Scheduled for free general availability in January, version 4.0 also enhances control and security over users.

The new version of Moab, which joins the Moab Cluster Suite that is being renamed as Moab HPC Suite Basic Edition, improves productivity and uptime while meeting the SLAs and business priorities for HPC systems and HPC clouds, says Adaptive Computing. It brings together key enterprise use cases and capabilities, including productivity acceleration, uptime automation, automatic SLA enforcement, grid- and cloud-ready HPC management, and usage reporting.

Intersect360 Research says that HPTC applications (high-performance technical computing science and engineering) comprised 69% of the total market revenue in 2010, with HPBC (high-performance business computing applications in nonscientific business areas such as financial services, logistics, online games and insurance) contributing the remaining 31%. Business has become a new growth market for Adaptive Computing, says Lane. These customers have put up with some of the non-enterprise features, but now the company is giving them the features they have been asking for.

Lane says these markets are moving fast, so the company is working to bring the release cycles together and has managed to narrow the gap to 30 days. Looking ahead, he says, there will be a Moab virtualization edition. The worlds of HPC and cloud are coming together, creating an ideal situation for Adaptive Computing because it is a leader in both worlds, he says.

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