High performance computing's influence has grown tremendously in recent years. In the past, this technology's utility was limited to only the most advanced research and demanding computing tasks. New advances have greatly expanded the potential applicability of HPC tools, though, opening up opportunities for countless firms, including relatively small organizations. As a result, demand for HPC solutions is growing rapidly around the world.
HPC in India
Highlighting this trend, Financial Express reported that HPC technology is now moving into the mainstream in India, where numerous companies are leveraging these tools for a wide range of purposes.
"The demand is increasing for higher quality product and simulations always help in designing faster," said Sanjiv Shah, vice president of Intel's Software and Services Group, the news source reported.
Shah explained that current uses of HPC technology in India include weather forecasting, physical simulations, quantum mechanics calculations and molecular modeling. Companies in numerous sectors now face increasingly competitive markets and demand for innovative product design, and HPC solutions enable these firms to keep pace or gain a clear advantage over their industry rivals.
"The ability to simulate complex real-world problems allows manufacturers to better predict actual behavior before investing time in the actual manufacturing process," said Shah, the source reported.
Critically, the source noted that HPC adoption in India is not limited to huge corporations and institutions focused on advanced research and development. Small to medium-sized enterprises are also turning to these solutions, thanks largely to their growing adoption of cloud computing. By using cloud-based HPC solutions, SMEs are able to take advantage of this technology without investing in hardware and other infrastructure that would otherwise make HPC unaffordable.
At the same time, HPC remains critical for its more typical applications. Notably, the technology played a key role in the design of the recently launched Indian Mars Mission, the source reported.
Big data's influence
Among the various factors influencing the expansion of HPC's influence, arguably the most significant may be the rise of big data analytics. Shah emphasized big data's importance for HPC in India, and Andrew McNiven made a similar point in regard to the technology's use in South Africa and the U.S., as IT Web reported.
"Now, every industry is starting to see the potential business value of being able to analyze and understand vast amounts of structured and unstructured data," said McNiven, HP South Africa's industry standard servers category manager, the source reported.
As an example, McNiven noted that marketing agencies can leverage big data analytics to gain an unprecedented degree of insight into their customers, according to the source. He noted that his company worked with NASCAR to develop a Fan and Media Engagement Center for tracking NASCAR's media coverage and social media attention in real time.
McNiven pointed out that HPC accounts for 30 percent of HP's total server sales in the U.S. While South Africa's market is less developed, he expects to see similar growth in the near future, according to the source.
As a growing number and more diverse range of organizations adopt HPC solutions, the importance of HPC support solutions becomes increasingly critical. Firms looking to take advantage of this technology must also embrace the tools that are necessary to ensure that their HPC investments deliver the maximum possible results.
This includes HPC-specific visual debuggers. These tools allow companies to gain control over and manipulate multiple processes and threads simultaneously, reducing testing costs, time to market and program complexity. By making debugging easier and faster, firms can more fully utilize their HPC resources. Without these tools, though, many companies will struggle to keep pace with their industry rivals' more sophisticated HPC efforts.