Plump Dell lays its table for the upcoming HPC Stampede

Texas gamble accompanies business trio


Michael Dell is getting out the good china as his firm prepares to dine on a slice of the world's supercomputer market.

Dell’s PC and server shop has rolled out a series of High Performance Computer Systems targeting applications in life sciences, manufacturing and research.

They are: the HPC System for Life Sciences, designed for bio informatics and genomics; the HPC System for Manufacturing, which targets complex design and structural analysis; and the HPC System for Research, for complex scientific analysis.

Doors are also open on an early access programme for Dell’s PowerEdge C6320p server node, a 1U server node with up to 72 cores running on Intel’s Xeon Phi.

The PowerEdge, for HPC and analytics, will ship in the second-half of 2016.

Dell has also announced that, together with Intel, it has beefed up the Stampede supercomputer at Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), University of Texas, Austin, a system that ranked number 12 in the Top500 supercomputer list published this week.

Stampede was installed in 2012 and was upgraded in partnership with Dell and Intel to 462,800 core Intel Xeon Phi system. It’s capable of a theoretical 8.5 petaflops.

Stampede is a part of the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) network of supers used for massive workloads. The system is employed for projects ranging from cancer cure research to severe weather modeling.

However, plans are now underway for a Dell Stampede 2 capable of hitting up to 18 petaflops thanks to a $30m grant from the National Science Foundation.

Dell’s strategy is to exploit what it sees as a big market for supercomputer clusters outside the super leagues – in more “mainstream” manufacturing, for example – currently using single workstations as opposed to parallel clusters.

In the back of everyone's minds, however, will be that Top500 ranking. The US is eager to increase its presence in the list of the top 500 of the world’s most powerful supercomputers.

China cemented its hold with the Sunway TaihuLight, which displaced incumbent the Tianhe-2 on Intel Xeon-Xeon Phi.

Sunway, with more than 10 million cores, is capable of a theoretical peak performance of 125.4 petaflops.

Importantly, Sunway is a Chinese super that runs on ShenWei processors, and not those of Intel, although there has been a debate over the ShenWei processors’ provenance. At a theoretical 18 petaflops, Stampede 2 will remain outside the list of highest performers but it may, at least, help maintain Dell's presence. ®

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • US-APAC trade deal leaves out Taiwan, military defense not ruled out
    All fun and games until the chip factories are in the crosshairs

    US President Joe Biden has heralded an Indo-Pacific trade deal signed by several nations that do not include Taiwan. At the same time, Biden warned China that America would defend Taiwan from attack; it is home to a critical slice of the global chip industry, after all. 

    The agreement, known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), is still in its infancy, with today's announcement enabling the United States and the other 12 participating countries to begin negotiating "rules of the road that ensure [US businesses] can compete in the Indo-Pacific," the White House said. 

    Along with America, other IPEF signatories are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Combined, the White House said, the 13 countries participating in the IPEF make up 40 percent of the global economy. 

    Continue reading
  • 381,000-plus Kubernetes API servers 'exposed to internet'
    Firewall isn't a made-up word from the Hackers movie, people

    A large number of servers running the Kubernetes API have been left exposed to the internet, which is not great: they're potentially vulnerable to abuse.

    Nonprofit security organization The Shadowserver Foundation recently scanned 454,729 systems hosting the popular open-source platform for managing and orchestrating containers, finding that more than 381,645 – or about 84 percent – are accessible via the internet to varying degrees thus providing a cracked door into a corporate network.

    "While this does not mean that these instances are fully open or vulnerable to an attack, it is likely that this level of access was not intended and these instances are an unnecessarily exposed attack surface," Shadowserver's team stressed in a write-up. "They also allow for information leakage on version and build."

    Continue reading
  • A peek into Gigabyte's GPU Arm for AI, HPC shops
    High-performance platform choices are going beyond the ubiquitous x86 standard

    Arm-based servers continue to gain momentum with Gigabyte Technology introducing a system based on Ampere's Altra processors paired with Nvidia A100 GPUs, aimed at demanding workloads such as AI training and high-performance compute (HPC) applications.

    The G492-PD0 runs either an Ampere Altra or Altra Max processor, the latter delivering 128 64-bit cores that are compatible with the Armv8.2 architecture.

    It supports 16 DDR4 DIMM slots, which would be enough space for up to 4TB of memory if all slots were filled with 256GB memory modules. The chassis also has space for no fewer than eight Nvidia A100 GPUs, which would make for a costly but very powerful system for those workloads that benefit from GPU acceleration.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022