Government // Mobile & Wireless
Commentary
7/15/2010
04:53 PM
Lamont Wood
Lamont Wood
Commentary
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NASA Chooses Dell Servers For Climate Modeling

Dell PowerEdge C6100 rack servers, popular with research organizations, will provide 300 trillion calculations per second for NASA's Center for Climate Simulation.

Dell PowerEdge C6100 rack servers, popular with research organizations, will provide 300 trillion calculations per second for NASA's Center for Climate Simulation.Dell has announced that it is providing PowerEdge C6100 rack servers to the NASA Center for Climate Simulation. The center was recently organized at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD, although that facility has been providing computational support to NASA for 25 years.

The number of servers that Dell will supply was not specified but the contract amount was set at $5.1 million.

The C6100 is a 2U unit with four dual-socket server nodes with quad or six-core Xeon 5600 processors, supporting up to 96 gigabytes of RAM. Dell lists it as a best-of-class machine suitable for medium-sized businesses. It is also touted for its simplified installation.

Dell says the new servers should supply a 67 percent performance improvement and a 47 percent improvement in energy efficient over previous servers, without mentioning what they were.

The center previously touted a system with about 15,000 processors (8,000 of which were added last year) capable of 160 trillion operations per second. It has recently run climate simulations with resolutions as fine as two miles.

The center also has a 17x6-foot multi-screen visualization wall for displaying high-definition videos of simulation results, plus interactive data visualizations. It was built with funds allocated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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