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Burlington, MA-based Exa sells Supercomputing as an on-demand service in the Cloud June 8, 2009

Posted by HubTechInsider in Supercomputing.
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Burlington, MA-based Exa sells supercomputing cycles as a Cloud service over the Internet.

Exa is a privately held 170-person outfit in burlington, MA that sells supercomputer time by the slice. The company was launched in 1992 by selling fluid dynamics simulation software one of its MIT founders created while a professor there.

The company owns a network of 3,500 Intel and AMD-based servers and has the capability to rent thousands more. These servers are housed by IBM in their Poughkeepsie, NY data center.

Exa charges around a dollar per processor core per hour for the supercomputer time, which is offered over the Internet using Exa’s modeling software as a “Cloud computing” option, much as Google lets users access documents and spreadsheets over the web or Amazon’s EC2 service rents out simple processing and storage capability.

Exa’s had revenues of $34 million in 2008, with on-demand supercomputer services accounting for $10.5 MM, up from 48% in 2007. Software sales grew a mere 13% to $21 million last year.

Selling supercomputing as a service is still just a tiny fraction of the $9.8 billion market for high-performance computing. But others such as oil-services firm Schlumberger are also selling supercomputing services to a select client base and industry vertical.

Exa has several customers with “bursty” supercomputing needs, such as Dodge and Peugeot, the U.S. National Bobsled Team, and tractor manufacturer Agco.

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