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Dell Takes High Performance Computing to the Final Frontier

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:58 am
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PRESS RELEASE: Dell Takes High Performance Computing to the Final Frontier; SpaceX, Sandia Labs, University of Arkansas Among Latest HPC Customers Deploying Standards-Based Clusters

Extended enterprise-class services for high-performance computing (HPC) and a host of new academic, commercial and government HPC customers were announced today by Dell (NASDAQ:DELL).

As analysts report that customers are increasingly turning to standards-based clusters for high-performance computing(a), Dell is simplifying advanced computing with standards-based systems, software and services that meet and exceed performance benchmarks formerly found in legacy mainframes using proprietary technology. For example:

– SpaceX uses an eight-node cluster of Dell PowerEdge 1855 blade servers with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Infiniband switches to further the company’s mission to dramatically reduce the cost and increase the reliability of access to space. With this cluster, SpaceX should be able to reduce the time needed to run computational aerodynamics simulations, structural analyses and trajectory optimizations. More information on SpaceX is available at www.spacex.com;

– Sandia National Laboratories’ “Thunderbird” utilizes 4,096 Dell PowerEdge 1850 servers to power an 8,000-processor supercomputer. The cluster, which features Cisco interconnect technology, is capable of more than 58 trillion floating point operations per second (TFLOPS);

– University of Arkansas’ “Red Diamond” supercomputer, No. 379 on the June 2005 list of the 500 largest supercomputers, is being used in research projects ranging from identifying DNA structures for new drugs to the behavior of tornados and volcanoes. The 128-node cluster uses dual-processor Dell PowerEdge servers with 64-bit Intel Xeon processors and IBRIX cluster file system technology for enhanced data input, processing and output;

– Merlin Securities is expediting portfolio analysis and reporting for some of the world’s most sophisticated hedge funds by relying on an HPC cluster of Dell PowerEdge servers running Red Hat Linux. The cluster of Dell PowerEdge 1850 and 2850 servers helps Merlin create hundreds of thousands of real-time portfolio reports, improving reporting processes and eliminating up to 10 hours of daily cycle time typical of other prime brokerages, breaking new ground in analysis and reporting for hedge fund managers; and

– Secure-24, an infrastructure outsourcing company specializing in Web hosting and secure business-critical offerings, including HPC clusters, uses a cluster of 200 Dell PowerEdge servers to give its customer base a 15 percent savings(b) compared with industry competitors.

“Dell is making significant inroads into high-performance computing because it has invested the time and effort to make it easy for its customers to design, deploy, and manage their HPC cluster environments,” said Joe Clabby, vice president and practice director, Summit Strategies. “With excellent performance and a creative building block approach, Dell is helping customers drive maximum efficiency and productivity from their HPC clusters.”

New Enterprise Support Services Extend HPC Investments

Dell is helping organizations maximize their HPC investment with new services that give customers 24×7 access to Dell engineers specializing in support of HPC environments. HPCC Enterprise Support services offer a cost-effective extension to customer information-technology staffs through available Dell HPC experts providing hardware and software support as well as technical collaboration. For larger installations, Dell can designate an HPC engineer to conduct site visits, address planning issues and assist in the periodic reporting on the system. Prices for high-performance computing support start at $199 per node. Dell has applied its operational excellence to create a repeatable service that will deliver customers quality and value in their HPCC environments.

HPCC Enterprise Support services are now available in the U.S. For more information on Dell Services visit www.dell.com/services/hpcc.

Analysts Continue to See Market, Dell Growth

Market data throughout the year has confirmed increased demand for HPC clusters and in Dell x86-server clusters in particular. The TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers, released in June 2005, included more than 300 configurations using a clustered server approach — a new record. IDC’s Q2 2005 High Performance Technical Computer(c) report found that Dell has moved up to No. 3 in revenue for the overall HPC sector. The report also stated Dell sustained its No. 1 position in the departmental cluster sub-market with 35 percent revenue share and 31 percent unit share, as well as the largest unit vendor for Intel-based cluster systems.

IDC noted in the second quarter of 2005 Dell took over the lead in worldwide unit shipments of x86-based Linux servers.

“The demand for HPCC is continuing to grow across a number of markets, from its roots in research labs to a broad range of commercial environments,” said Reza Rooholamini, Dell director of enterprise solutions engineering. “Dell is dedicated to driving innovation around scalable and reliable computing, from working closely with partners to develop the latest technologies to making HPC clusters easy to buy and manage. We will continue to deliver scalable, standards-based offerings enabling customers to garner more processing power for their budgets across a broader range of computing demands.”

For more information about the Dell HPCC program, visit: www.dell.com/hpcc.

About Dell

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL) is a trusted and diversified information-technology supplier and partner, and sells a comprehensive portfolio of products and services directly to customers worldwide. Dell, recognized by Fortune magazine as America’s most admired company and No. 3 globally, designs, builds and delivers innovative, tailored systems that provide customers with exceptional value. Company revenue for the last four quarters was $54.2 billion. For more information about Dell and its products and services, visit www.dell.com.

Dell is a trademark of Dell Inc.

Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

Pricing, specifications, availability, and terms of offers may change without notice. Dell cannot be responsible for pricing or other errors, and reserves the right to cancel orders arising from such errors.

(a) Summit Strategies “Dell’s High Performance Computing Clusters” research brief, September 2005.

(b) Dell cannot guarantee these exact results for all customers.

(c) IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, Re-Release September 2005.

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