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Results of Multi-core Survey Released

Rogue Wave Software has announced results of a global survey of nearly 700 software developers and IT architects to gauge their organizations' attitudes towards and understand their plans to begin migrating legacy applications to multi-core hardware. As the enterprise IT sector hits performance thresholds with single-core servers, devising a resource-efficient strategy is paramount. The survey was designed to better understand the challenges they are facing in this process and the strategies they are employing to address those issues.

According to the research:

  • The shift to multi-core is imminent:
    • 52% said that addressing the multi-core issue is either a top priority or an important issue within their organization.
    • 63% are either considering moving in the next 12 months or have moved at least a portion of their existing C++ apps to multi-core hardware; 43% said that a number of those were mission critical apps.
    • More than half (55%) said that they have a large portion, most or all of their production servers on multi-core.
  • Performance requirements are the primary driver for the flight to multi-core servers:
    • 58% said that an increase in performance has been the reason behind their organizations shifting existing applications to multi-core hardware.
    • 92% said that their business applications have high performance requirements; of those that have high performance apps, 69% said that their business applications have requirements to support high throughput.
    • 82% said that performance requirements for their organizations' apps are on the rise.

Of those that said performance requirements are increasing, nearly 40% said that increase in data volumes are growing.

Several of the respondents noted that achieving high performance cost efficiently was a critical success factor:

  • "Our applications are typically heavily multi-threaded. Multi-core servers offer more parallelism without the high cost of higher end hardware (with many CPUs).
  • For one particular organization "Applying complex mathematical model calculations to large portfolios is a known performance hog for capital markets."
  • "Better utilization of multi-core servers provides direct benefits in the operation costs of our services."
  • "It looks like at some point we won't be able to purchase (single)-core chips. So, (1) if we have the processing horsepower, we should be leveraging it, and (2) there is risk that as there are more cores per chip that the per core clock rate will decrease and (single)-core apps will actually run slower, which we cannot tolerate."

There are varying strategies in addressing the multi-core dilemma:

  • 55% said that they would either rely on in-house development teams for re-configuration, or re-write/re-architect existing applications to run in parallel or a combination of both.
  • 60% said they would rely on vendors for either tools or platforms to address the multi-core issue or a combination of both.
  • 60% said they would rely on tools to address multi-threading, parallelism and thread execution improvements.

"Multi-core and many-core hardware is offering huge increases in processing power that can greatly reduce costs while increasing application throughput," said Patrick Leonard, Vice President, Engineering and Product Strategy at Rogue Wave Software."

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