Last week I wrote about Dell’s recently launched PowerEdge C6100. The product isn’t new — there are over 60,000 units already shipped from its custom services unit according to the company — but the addition to the mainline product portfolio is new.
There is a lot of thought and engineering in this product, and as I interacted with the HPC systems engineers at Dell who strongly influenced the design I was impressed by the degree to which Dell appears to be earnestly focusing on the HPC market and not just looking for another channel for hardware it already makes. Examples? Dell brought an A+ HPC guy into its group shortly before the C6100 was to have launched last year. After he reviewed the tech specs and pointed out several flaws in the design as an HPC solution, the company delayed the launch by nearly six months to address the flaws and reengineer it.
Today you get a chance to see some of that engineering for yourself. Dell has posted a short (3:36 minute) video up on YouTube. The video is informal and shot with a Flip video camera, but it is an effective tour around the C6100 and conveys the sense that this is a solidly designed, well thought out product.
On another note, I think videos like this are a very effective way to help potential customers internalize what a product really is in a way that is simply not possible from reading a website or product brochure. If you’re selling HPC hardware you owe it to yourself to lay out a couple hundred bucks for a cheap video camera, grab a systems engineer, and start shooting short video tours.
But don’t tell marketing: over producing something like this with scripts and professional on-camera talent is a guaranteed way to make sure that people will point and laugh at your lameness.