Friday, August 7, 2009

Survey results on storage for high performance computing.

Panasas, Inc, recently announced the results of a survey of 114 professionals from a cross section of industries regarding their high performance computing environments. For those not familiar with Panasas they are what I would describe as a boutique developer of high performance clustered storage solutions focused on the high performance computing environment.

Unfortunately I have not had the benefit of seeing how the survey was designed or the actual survey data. I add this qualification as past experiences with vendor based surveys creates a degree of skepticism. However, that said, the summary of the results Panasas published in their press release was interesting and worth passing along.

Key Findings from the Panasas Survey:
  • 41 percent of respondents believed increasing performance of highest-need applications would save their company money. Given the economy, this statistic is not surprising due to the fact that organizations are being asked to do more with fewer resources.
  • 93 percent of respondents stated that high performance computing was fundamental to the growth of their business. Even with today’s constrained budgets, they are faced with the increased demands for faster access to information and accelerated processes to stay competitive and support their business.
  • 50 percent of respondents believe that improved customer service would be a direct benefit to increased performance for highest-need applications. This statistic, coupled with open ended comments regarding faster reporting, higher quality results, and improved scientific input, reveals that higher performance would have a positive impact on service levels and quality of research results.
  • 48 percent reported that they were not satisfied with the performance of the applications that required the highest performance. Despite the advanced technology that is available today, the survey suggests that many organizations are still using legacy solutions that don’t perform at required levels.
  • 63 percent plan to invest in high performance storage over the next year and 67 percent of those surveyed indicated they are considering deploying parallel storage.
  • An overwhelming 67 percent of respondents stated that they need a faster, more scalable storage solution to keep up with the data and I/O performance requirements of their computing environments.