The Data Center Solutions (DCS) team at Dell have added another box to their PowerEdge C servers, announced back in March. According to a blog post at Dell, the new PowerEdge C410x was designed to satisfy the requirements of a Dell DCS oil and gas customer. The C410x doesn’t come with processors or memory — it is just a PCIe expansion box, designed to power and cool up to 16 NVIDIA Tesla M1060 or M2050 computing modules in 3U, and can be paired with up to 8 host servers.
The Data Center Solutions (DCS) team have an Oil & Gas customer that is always looking to push the envelope when it comes to getting the most out of GPGPU’s in order to deliver seismic mapping results faster. One of the best ways to do this is by increasing the GPU to server ratio. In the market today, there are a variety of servers that have 1-2 internal GPUs and there is a PCIe expansion chassis that has 4 GPUs.
What we announced today is the PowerEdge C410x PCIe expansion chassis, the first PCIe expansion chassis to connect 1-8 servers to 1-16 GPUs. This chassis enables massive parallel calculations separate from the server, adding up to 16.48 teraflops of computational power to a datacenter.
The blog post comes with a video walkthrough by the engineer who designed it — a marketing tool that Dell uses pretty effectively in my opinion. The focus is on putting GPUs in the C410x, but you could imagine slotting a bunch of Fusion-io storage in there, or even networking cards, for interesting I/O heavy applications.