Dell Aims To Drive Down Cost Of High-Performance Computing
Vendor offers server, switch, and host-channel adapter bundle with increased I/O bandwidth, processing capability, and memory.
Dell applied its formula of standards and commodity components to high-performance computing clusters with the introduction Monday of a bundle of servers, switches, and host-channel adapters. With the new package, the company aims to drive down the cost of high-performance computing, a niche market known to be willing to pay a premium for highly customized configurations.
The key to Dell's strategy is to combine its two-way PowerEdge 1850 servers powered by Intel Xeon EM64T processors with InfiniBand switches and PCI Express host-channel adapters from Topspin Communications Inc. The bundle addresses three requirements of supercomputing configurations: increased input/output bandwidth, processing capability, and memory size, says Reza Rooholamini, Dell's director of enterprise solutions engineering.
The package, which runs Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, starts at $55,000. Dell's comparable Itanium-based high-performance computing configuration, which doesn't support InfiniBand, starts at $75,000.
Dell may be ready for the high-performance computing market, but it's uncertain whether this market is ready to embrace Dell, Gartner research VP John Enck says. "It's a good-news/bad-news scenario," he says. "This is another step toward the standardization of the high-performance computing cluster market. Dell is seeing volume-selling opportunities in that space, but it doesn't mean that the entire space is ready to be commoditized."
Enck says that many scientists and researchers who depend upon high-performance clusters still want very specific configurations that Dell and its top-tier competitors--Hewlett-Packard and IBM--don't provide cheaply.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.