Straw Poll Shows HPC Looking to the Cloud

If what we saw at the Supercomputing 2010 (SC’10) Conference in New Orleans proves to be any indicator, 2011 will see real cloud deployments for many HPC users. As Chris Porter reported in his blog from the show, and as we reported in today’s press release on the short survey we did at the conference, the cloud is coming to HPC and it’s coming fast!

We spoke to 100 delegates at the conference from a number of disciplines—research, government, education, manufacturing to name a few—and almost two-thirds of them have already been experimenting with public and private cloud environments within their organizations. What’s more—they’re generally happy with their cloud experiences thus far—and many of those who have not done cloud trials are planning to do so within the next 12 months.

What a far cry from last year. In our 2009 survey, users were only “considering” establishing a private cloud, let alone actually starting a cloud initiative. What’s driving this move toward experimenting with both public and private clouds? The ability to offload applications and workloads to public cloud providers (23 percent) and to burst workloads (15 percent) is according to our survey. HPC users have been generally skeptical about the hype around cloud but eager to reduce costs as they require more performance and scale. Our recent webinar on "when offloading to the cloud works and doesn't" along with the proper cloud strategy, are some considerations for organizations considering HPC in the cloud.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out our whitepaper on HPC cloud scenarios—we’ve got customers running some really fascinating HPC solutions in the cloud right now.