Hyperion Research, the company that recently emerged from the spin-out of the IDC HPC analyst team, has come out with its 2016 server revenue numbers for high performance computing. Their data shows that global sales of these servers totaled $11.2 billion last year, up 4.4 percent from 2015, and beating the previous record of $11.1 billion in 2012.
According to Hyperion, the growth was driven by exceptionally strong expansion of the Supercomputer segment, which in their breakdown encompasses all systems costing $500,000 and up. From 2015 to 2016, that segment grew from $3.2 billion to $4.0 billion, representing a 26.2 percent increase.
In fact, the higher end of the market, in general, outperformed the low end. Hyperion’s Divisional segment, those systems between $250,000 and $499,000, grew 18.2 percent, from $1.9 billion in 2015 to $2.3 billion in 2016. Meanwhile, the Departmental segment, which runs from $100,000 to $249,000, declined by 19.3 percent from last year. The sub-$100,000 Workgroup segment dropped 6.9 percent.
Hyperion didn’t offer any particular reason why the upper end of the market was expanding while the lower end was not. However, the analysts did note that the market for high performance data analysis (HPDA) is driving HPC growth in general. And although they didn’t say so, one could hypothesize that many of these more expensive systems are being bought by organizations that are ramping up their hardware to accommodate more demanding advanced analytics and machine learning software.
According to Steve Conway, Hyperion Research senior vice president for research, “HPDA challenges have moved HPC to the forefront of R&D for machine learning, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things.”
Vendor-wise, the usual suspects are leading the market, with HP Enterprise (HPE) claiming a 34.6 percent market share, followed by Dell at 17.9 percent, and Lenovo at 8.1 percent. Hyperion noted that a couple of non-US-based system vendors had exceptionally good years, with Fujitsu growing 43.2 percent, year-over-year, and Bull (Atos) growing 22.0 percent.
Hyperion Research projects that the global HPC server market will grow at a 7.8 percent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) through the rest of the decade, reaching $15.1 billion in 2020.