Dell Innovation to Democratize High Performance Computing and Accelerate Mainstream Adoption

  • Extends HPC initiative with new solutions, technologies and collaborations
  • Introduces Dell HPC System Portfolio to foster mainstream HPC adoption
  • Announces investments in the latest HPC technologies and partnerships including expansion of its Dell High Performance Computing Innovation Lab
  • Highlights growing customer momentum and collaboration with recognized HPC community leaders

Dell today unveiled sweeping advancements to its industry-leading high performance computing (HPC) portfolio. These advances include innovative new systems designed to simplify mainstream adoption of HPC and data analytics in research, manufacturing and genomics. Dell also unveiled expansions to its HPC Innovation Lab and showcased next-generation technologies including the Intel® Omni-Path Fabric.

HPC is becoming increasingly critical to how organizations of all sizes innovate and compete. Many organizations lack the in-house expertise to configure, build and deploy an HPC system without losing focus on their core science, engineering and analytic missions. As an example, according to the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, 98 percent of all products will be designed digitally by 2020, yet 95 percent of the center’s 300,000 manufacturing companies have little or no HPC expertise.

“HPC is no longer a tool only for the most sophisticated researchers. We’re taking what we’ve learned from working with some of the most advanced, sophisticated universities and research institutions and customizing that for delivery to mainstream enterprises,” said Jim Ganthier, vice president and general manager, Engineered Solutions and Cloud, Dell. “As the leading provider of systems in this space, Dell continues to break down barriers and democratize HPC. We’re seeing customers in even more industry verticals embrace its power.”

Dell Accelerating Mainstream Adoption of HPC

Dell announced the new Dell HPC System Portfolio, a family of HPC and data analytics solutions combining the flexibility of custom systems with the simplicity, reliability and value of a preconfigured, factory-built system that includes:

  • Simplified design, configuration, and ordering in a matter of hours instead of weeks;
  • Domain-specific design that’s designed and tuned by Dell engineers and domain experts for specific science, engineering and analytics workloads using flexible industry-standard building blocks; and,
  • Fully tested and validated systems by Dell engineering with a single point of hardware support and a wide range of additional service options.

New application-specific Dell HPC System Portfolio offerings include:

  • Dell HPC System for Genomic Data Analysis is designed to meet the needs of genomic research organizations to enable cost-effective bioinformatics centers delivering results and identifying treatments in clinically relevant timeframes while maintaining compliance and protecting confidential data. The platform is a result of key learnings from Dell’s relationship with Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) to help clinical researchers and doctors expand the reach and impact of the world's first Food and Drug Administration-approved precision medicine trial for pediatric cancer. TGen has been able to improve outcomes for more patients by creating targeted treatments at least one week faster than they could be accomplished previously.
  • Dell HPC System for Manufacturing is designed for customers running complex manufacturing design simulations using workstations, clusters or both. Applicable use cases include Finite Element Analysis for structural analysis using ANSYS Mechanical & Computational Fluid Dynamics for predicting fluid behavior in designs utilizing ANSYS Fluent or CD-adapco STAR-CCM+.
  • Dell HPC System for Research is designed as a foundation, or reference architecture, for baseline research systems and numerous applications involving complex scientific analysis. This standard cluster configuration can be used as a starting point for Dell’s customers and systems engineers to quickly develop research systems that match the unique needs of research customers requiring systems for a wide variety of research agendas.

Dell Accelerating HPC Technology Innovation and Partnerships

Dell also showcased new investments in capabilities, partnerships, programs and technologies designed to chart a course for advancing innovation from the desktop to petaflops with future-ready systems.

Dell announced a new expansion of its Dell HPC Innovation Lab in cooperation with Intel specifically for support of its Intel® Scalable System Framework . This multi-million dollar expansion to the Austin, Texas, facility includes additional domain expertise, infrastructure and technologists. The lab is designed to unlock the capabilities and commercialize the benefits of advanced processing, network and storage technologies as well as enable open standards across the industry.

Dell and Intel Partnership

Beyond becoming the first major original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to join the Intel Fabric Builders program, Dell is working closely with Intel to support its Intel® Scalable System Framework , which includes Intel® Omni-Path Fabric technology, next-generation Intel® Xeon® processors, the Intel® Xeon Phi™ processor family, and the Intel® Enterprise Edition for Lustre . Announcements include:

  • New Dell Networking H-Series switches and adapters for PowerEdge servers featuring the Intel® Omni-Path Architecture. These provide a next-generation fabric technology designed for HPC deployments. The architecture includes advanced features such as traffic flow optimization, packet integrity protection and dynamic lane scaling allowing for finer-grained control on the fabric level to enable high resiliency, high performance and optimized traffic movement.
  • Dell and Intel support for the Linux Foundation’s OpenHPC community. The community is designed to provide a common platform on which end-users can collaborate and innovate to simplify the complexity of installation, configuration and ongoing maintenance of implementing a custom software stack and easing a path to exascale.
  • Dell will showcase many components of the Intel® Scalable System Framework including Intel® Omni-Path Architecture, Intel® Enterprise Edition of Lustre, and Intel® Xeon Phi™ processor family. In addition, Dell is hosting numerous confidential advisory sessions with customers at the show gathering insights to help optimize its implementation of systems using next-generation Intel® Xeon Phi™.

“We’re excited to collaborate with Dell to bring advanced systems to market early next year using the Intel® Scalable System Framework,” said Charles Wuischpard, vice president and general manager of HPC Platform Group at Intel. “Dell’s position as our largest and fastest-growing customer for Intel Enterprise Edition for Lustre, their work on Omni-Path Architecture and next-generation Intel® Xeon Phi™, and their initiatives to expand the Dell Innovation Lab demonstrate their commitment to rapidly expanding the ecosystem for HPC.”

Dell and Mellanox Partnership

Dell and Mellanox Technologies have a long history of collaboration and leadership in the HPC community. Together they have already published numerous best industry practices and application case studies with the HPC Advisory Council demonstrating superior application scalability and performance. Dell and Mellanox have been contributing HPC clusters to the HPC Advisory Council for several years, enabling the HPC community with best in class systems for application optimizations and overall HPC outreach and education.

Dell and Mellanox announced additional investment in Dell’s existing HPC Innovation Lab to provide an end-to-end EDR 100Gb/s InfiniBand supercomputer system. The system is designed to showcase extreme scalability by leveraging the offloading capabilities and advanced acceleration engines of the Mellanox interconnect as well as provide application specific benchmarking, and characterizations for customers and partners.

“With this new investment, Dell’s HPC Innovation Lab will now enable new levels of applications efficiency and innovative research capabilities. Together we will help build the solutions of the future,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing, Mellanox Technologies.

Customer and Community Momentum

Dell announced today that it is continuing to deploy HPC solutions across the globe to help organizations drive scientific advancement as well as economic and global competitiveness. HPC is high on many countries’ national agenda because it is vital to interests such as science, industrial productivity, climate change, energy, security and other industry verticals. Additionally, these HPC initiatives are increasingly converging with big data and cloud initiatives.

“Comet provides ‘HPC for the 99 percent’—serving as a gateway to discovery for a much larger research community so we needed a solid hardware foundation,” said Michael Norman, SDSC director and principal investigator for the Comet project. “We chose the Dell PowerEdge C6320s because of Dell’s reputation in the HPC space, its leading hardware design and innovations, and its ease of deployment. We’re excited to be working with Dell to help accelerate discovery by expanding access to researchers who have not traditionally relied on supercomputers.”

  • The Texas Advanced Computing Center at The University of Texas at Austin provides comprehensive advanced computing resources and support services to researchers in Texas and across the U.S. The center specializes in high-performance computing, scientific visualization, data analysis and storage systems, software, research and development and portal interfaces.

“The mission of TACC is to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies,” said Tommy Minyard, director of Advanced Computing Systems at TACC. “Dell technology and support is integral to the core of several of our supercomputing clusters, including Stampede and Wrangler. With Dell, we can push the envelope of computational capabilities, enabling breakthroughs never before imagined.”

  • Two years after the HiPerGator supercomputer was introduced at the University of Florida , it is now being expanded to add capacity and capabilities with 30,000 cores in approximately 1,000 nodes made by Dell. HiPerGator performs complex calculations and data analyses for researchers to find life-saving drugs, make decades-long weather forecasts and improve armor for troops.

“The adoption of HiPerGator by the university community has been rapid and across all disciplines, making it clear that an expansion of capacity would be needed to meet current demand and expected growth,” said Dr. Erik Deumens, Director of UF Research Computing, University of Florida. “This expansion is a huge undertaking and we are working with Dell to give our researchers’ high-impact research projects a competitive edge with faster processing.”

  • The Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) in Cape Town, South Africa is currently in the process of upgrading its system to provide more simulation and data-centric science capabilities. For this upgrade, the Center had four constraints: physical data center space, power, cooling and budget.

“The key aims of the petascale system are to support and enable CHPC to remain globally competitive while accelerating Africa's socio-economic uplift,” said Dr. Happy Sithole, Director, Centre for High Performance Computing. “The Dell solution was able to meet the performance requirement within our constraints as well as provide a roadmap for further scale – scalability and flexibility are key tenets of the system’s design.”

  • Jetstream , scheduled to enter production in January 2016 at Indiana University , is a new and creative approach to delivering computational resources to an increasingly diverse community of scientific research and education. A user-friendly cloud environment, Jetstream is designed to give researchers access to interactive computing and data analysis resources on demand, whenever and wherever they want to analyze their data.

“Jetstream is a first-of-its-kind cloud environment aimed for everyday use by practicing scientists. Jetstream will bring to XSEDE and the national research community a user-friendly cloud environment that allows researchers to analyze their data now – whenever now is for that researcher,” said Craig Stewart, Executive Director, Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute and Associate Dean, Research Technologies, Indiana University. “With Dell hardware at the core, we can provide interactive computing and data analysis resources for science and engineering research across all areas of National Science Foundation-supported activity.”


  • The Dell HPC System for Genomic Data Analysis is available today.
  • The Dell HPC Systems for Manufacturing and Research will be available in early 2016.
  • The Dell Networking H-series switches, adapters and software based on the Intel® Omni-Path Architecture will be available in the first half of 2016.
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