[Beowulf] How Can Microsoft's HPC Server Succeed?

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Wed Apr 2 17:41:14 PDT 2008

On Wed, 2 Apr 2008, Joe Landman wrote:

>>> Remember the size of our market is pretty small -- a few thousand installs 
>>> would have a pretty significant impact in this space although within MS 
>>> that may qualify as an embarrassing product failure.
>> According to the latest reports from IDC and others, the HPC server
>> market is 20% of the total server market, and it is fast growing
>> segment. Will reach 30% in 2 years or less. The virtualization effect
> It is also worth noting that aside from HPC the server market was flat.  HPC 
> is a $15B USD market, which while the USD is dropping, I think the market 
> growth is driven in part by the fact that HPC is fundamentally an enabling 
> technology.
>> helps with this % increase as it reduces the number of servers in the
>> EDC segment. You can also check IDC report on InfiniBand - it is growing
>> fast, and one of the reasons is the growth of the HPC market. The HPC
>> market is not small at all, and it is growing very fast. This is the
>> reason driving the big vendors. 
> I would expect storage and data center backbone to be driving IB and 10 GbE 
> (in addition to clusters).

It is a market that will be growing with the affluence of various parts
of the world, as well.  Silicon India published an article maybe
yesterday projecting India as either the number two or number three
global economy in a surprisingly short time -- behind China as number 1
and MAYBE behind the US as number 2.  They do have the (human) numbers,
and there is considerable entrepreneurial energy there these days, as
the money they are bringing home from providing cheap remote programming
and support is showing up invested in all different levels of industry.

The interesting question will be whether or not Microsoft can win much
of these emerging markets.  These are not deep pockets, and linux is
free (in addition to doing a better job of nearly everything, but free
is pretty important in India in particular).


Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
Duke University Physics Dept, Box 90305
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Web: http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb
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