Dell upgrades high-performance cluster line

Dell has announced upgrades to its high-performance computing clusters (HPCC) through the addition of support for larger Topspin InfiniBand switches and PCIe host channel adapters.

In an announcement Monday, Dell said the changes to its line of PowerEdge 1850 servers equipped with Intel's Xeon EM64T processors will offer improved performance for 64-bit extended applications used in engineering and supercomputing.

"These are the most significant performance upgrades we've made to the Dell HPCC platforms since we introduced them," Reza Rooholamini, director of enterprise solutions engineering at Dell, said in a statement. "The PowerEdge 1850 server combined with Topspin InfiniBand switches and PCIe adapters will enable up to 8Gbit/sec. of theoretical throughput from a single server." That's up to eight times higher than previous Dell systems, he said.

The new 96-port Topspin TS270 InfiniBand-based server switch allows larger InfiniBand-based clusters to be built more efficiently, according to Dell. Topspin PCIe host channel adapters offer throughput increases that can further boost performance.

"This is an exciting combination, enabling our mutual HPC customers to achieve the performance and scalability previously reserved for large proprietary servers, but now with the ease and economics of standards-based building blocks," said Pat Conte, vice president of worldwide sales and field operations at Topspin Communications.

The eight-, 16-, 32-, 64- and 128-node HPCC configurations with PowerEdge 1850 servers are available immediately in the U.S. and come loaded with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3. Configurations with Topspin TS270 InfiniBand switches and Topspin PCIe host channel adapters will be available by the end of the third quarter, according to the company.

Prices for a basic configuration with InfiniBand and PCIe will start at US$55,000.

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