HPC Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator

Impartial tool to calculate TCO and compare costs of different options for HPC, including cloud vs on-premises

This calculator is provided as a working example of a TCO model. Feel free to use our example HPC TCO calculator to:

  • quickly estimate your TCO;
  • learn the basics of TCO models;
  • explore whether you need a more complex model.

The initial data in the calculator are not necessarily intended to be representative and were mostly sourced from the audience at our SC18 tutorial on TCO models for HPC. You can edit the values in the white boxes, and the values in the yellow boxes should be updated automatically. Any data you enter, and any results, stay on your computer and are not sent to NAG or anyone else. This calculator is provided as is. No responsibility is accepted by NAG for your use of this model.

Of course, this is only a simple model - although it is good enough to be useful quickly for many situations. However, we could add further detail to this model if needed, for example:

  • More years (i.e., service life longer than 3 years)
  • Technology refresh
  • Performance comparisons/factors as well as cost
  • Many other TCO elements - e.g., security costs, insurance, software costs, etc. See the blue box at the bottom of the page for for a longer list of possible elements
  • Finance effects
  • Hybrid on-prem/cloud
  • Effects of GPUs and other accelerators

Please do contact us for advice on using the tool, help with building your own model appropriate to your situation, to get an Excel copy of the tool, or for anything else we might be able to help with.

You can view a short video about this tool on our YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqyqEaqkthk

You can also discuss TCO models with us on social media - e.g., on Twitter @NAGtalk or @hpcnotes.

 

© Copyright 2018 The Numerical Algorithms Group Ltd

 

BASELINE TCO MODEL FOR ON-PREMISES HPC SERVICE

PARAMETERS
Cost of electricity $/kWhr

0.10

PUE (ratio of total power used by the datacenter vs power delivered to the HPC systems)

1.60

Capital (i.e., total amount spent on the hardware)

$10,000,000

Number of racks [calculated]  
Power consumption kW/rack

50

Utilization (i.e., percentage of the available cycles that are used)

85%

Service time (i.e., percentage of time that the system is available to users)

95%

Total number of core-hrs user per year [calculated]  
Cost of a person per year

$250,000

Price per node

$7,000

Nodes per rack

80

Price per rack [calculated]  
Cores per node

48

Cost of hosting per rack per year

$30,000

Effort spent on procurement & commissioning (person years)

2.5

Effort spent on decommissioning (person years)

1.5

System management team (number of persons or 'FTE')

3

User support team (number of persons or 'FTE')

3

 

CALCULATED COST PROFILE FOR ON-PREMISES HPC
Year 0 (Commission) 1 (User Service) 2 (User Service) 3 (User Service) 4 (Decommission) TOTAL Fraction
Occupancy (fraction of year the system is in place)

0.25

1

1

1

0.25

   
Hardware              
Electricity              
Cooling              
Support              
Datacenter              
Procure & Commission              
Decommissioning              
Sysadmin              
User support              
TOTAL            

 

KEY METRICS
TCO  
Actual cost per core-hr used  

 

TCO MODEL FOR CLOUD COMPUTING TO DELIVER SAME AMOUNT OF ACTUAL USED CORE-HRS

PARAMETERS
Cost of cloud cycles - $ per core-hr

$0.040

Total number of core-hrs user per year [calculated]  
Cost of a person per year

$250,000

Effort spent on procurement & commissioning (person years)

1.5

Effort spent on decommissioning (person years)

0.5

Management & support team for cloud service / virtual cluster (number of persons or 'FTE')

3

User support team (number of persons or 'FTE')

3

 

CALCULATED COST PROFILE FOR CLOUD HPC
Year 0 (Commission) 1 (User Service) 2 (User Service) 3 (User Service) 4 (Decommission) TOTAL Fraction
Occupancy (fraction of year the service is in place)

0.25

1

1

1

0.25

   
Procure & Commission              
Decommissioning              
Sysadmin              
User support              
Cost of cloud cycles              
TOTAL            

 

KEY METRICS
TCO to use this same computing capacity from on-premises system  
TCO to use this same computing capacity from the cloud  
Actual TCO per core-hr used in the cloud  
Ratio of cloud TCO to on-premise TCO (i.e., cloud is more expensive than on-premises if factor is >1)  

 

Example costs to put into a HPC TCO model

HPC system, Storage, Network, People (system management), People (user support), People (service management), Electricity, Cooling, Facility costs, Financing effects, Security (physical & cyber), Security (IP etc.), Resilience (systems), Resilience (service), Equipment monitoring, Service measurement & reporting, Insurance & Business Continuity, Procurement project, Supplier management, Application porting, Software licenses, User training & support, Documentation, Data migration, Commission, Warranty/support/maintenance, Decommission, Service fees, ... and more ...

 

Total Cost of Ownership for HPC

Does your HPC deliver the best impact at the best cost?

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