Thanks to recent core density increases, falling cluster costs and recent acquisitions, Dell is poised to capitalize on a larger stake in high performance computing. In my mind, HPC has somewhat split into two major groups. The smaller of the two include the leadership class computing folks constantly pushing the technical envelope with innovative software and hardware approaches. The latter, and arguably much larger, group relies solely on what amounts to COTS hardware. More and more enterprise organizations are beginning to rely upon HPC and/or HPC methodologies as a core part of their business.
If you’ve kind of followed the whole supercomputing space, you’ve seen a real transition over the last 10 or 15 years to clusters of microprocessor-driven computers,” said Chief Executive Michael Dell.
There are all these grand challenges that are out there… and as we get this exponential increasing computational power, that unlocks the ability to go solve these problems at a faster and faster rate.”
Michael Dell went so far as to name HPC as a “key vertical” for the company. He really means it. Dell executives, including Michael, met with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory officials last week in order to talk shop [and likely a little turkey] on their latest Dell installation, “Coastal.” Lawrence Livermore spends a significant amount of their yearly HPC procurement dollars on capacity machines designed to meet the “everyday” workloads of their constituent DoE researchers. Despite popular belief, most of their procurements don’t look like BlueGene/L.
Michael Dell is no fool. He built a multi-billion dollar empire out of his Austin, TX garage. We speculated on Monday that their acquisition of IT integrator, Perot Systems, would subsequently make its way into their HPC biz. They’ve also landed several very talented individuals from high profile HPC competitors. Keep an eye on Dell. They may be poised to make several other moves in HPC in the near future.