Time to act ASAP on HPC
Christoph Reichert, VP of HPC EMEA, Platform Computing

The European Commission’s recently published report into the future of HPC in Europe paints a telling picture about the state of investment in clusters, grids and clouds in Europe. Some of the report’s key findings include:

- European countries are under-investing in HPC, while other nations grew their supercomputer investments dramatically even in 2009, the most difficult year of the global economic recession
- Supercomputing revenues increased by 25% worldwide in during the period 2007-2009, but decreased 9% in Europe
- Few EU countries have a coherent HPC development strategy

These are stark findings and ones that do cause some level of concern given the huge benefits HPC offers public and private sector organisations. Today, computing power is pivotal in ensuring organisations remain competitive and have the infrastructure in place to innovate quickly and respond swiftly to market conditions. Everything from product design and financial risk management to energy exploration and drug development requires increased computing power. Unless action is taken soon, Europe will continue to lag behind the rest of the world, something that could seriously undermine organisations abilities to recover quickly from the economic downturn.

Despite this, when it comes to HPC it’s wrong to assume all organisations in Europe are lagging behind. Take the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) for instance. It has been using Platform’s private cloud management and HPC cloud-enabling software solutions for many months, piloting the world’s largest cloud computing environment. The set up allows CERN to deliver increased computing performance and offer better infrastructure services to its 10,000 researchers from 85 countries. The highly scalable and flexible IT infrastructure the organisation has in place is crucial in allowing its scientists to process huge amounts of data and solve some of our planet’s greatest mysteries.

If that isn’t enough to get everyone in Europe excited about the benefits of HPC I don’t know what will.


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