Magazine Button
Exploring the complexities of HPC storage

Exploring the complexities of HPC storage


Todd Ruff, VP Corporate Marketing of Panasas, explores the complexities of HPC storage solutions and why organisations must demand predictability, ease of use and reliability from their technology providers.

HPC IT environments are the driving force behind a growing number of industries and use cases. According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025 an estimated 463 exabytes of data will be created on a daily basis. Organisations, from governments to banks to automotive manufacturers, are taking advantage of this ever-growing mountain of data to make quicker and better-informed decisions. Indeed, the global HPC memory market is growing at an average rate of 7% and is expected to reach US$7 billion by 2023.

However, the majority of HPC storage solutions are shrouded in complexity, unreliability and frighteningly high costs. A global study by Hyperion Research highlights three ways in which organisations can become ensnared in a high total cost of ownership.

  1. Cost of HPC storage staffing

Employees represent a monstrous cost factor for HPC storage; 18% of HPC storage installations each require four or more people to manage it, while almost 14% had expenditures of US$500,000 or more for HPC storage staff. For 38% of organisations, recruiting and training storage professionals alone was the most difficult operational aspect of HPC storage.

  • Installation and maintenance

Organisations are also plagued by complicated installation and maintenance tasks. Just 6% of organisations had their new HPC storage rigs up and running within a day, while 28% were still installing after a week. And the challenges don’t disappear once the storage system is up and running – almost half had to tune and retune systems monthly, with 4% retuning weekly (and 2% even daily).

  • Outages

Last but not least, the most petrifying of HPC horrors: outages. One-third of organisations suffered monthly failures and 8% weekly outages. An alarming 41% revealed that recovery took two days or longer. Depending on company size, a day’s outage can cost up to, or even above, US$1 million.

These entanglements of complex and unreliable storage back organisations into a corner where they are victims of a shockingly high total cost of ownership, impacting their productivity and, ultimately, their bottom lines. As HPC storage installations increasingly tackle a broader range of use cases, the shortcomings of traditional approaches are becoming increasingly clear and the hidden costs of HPC storage – such as staffing and outages – are harder to ignore.

Organisations must take a step back to re-evaluate their storage solutions and demand predictability, ease of use and reliability from their technology providers.

Click below to share this article

Browse our latest issue

Intelligent Data Centres

View Magazine Archive