Supercharging AI and HPC Engines with Dell Technologies and NVIDIA

Dell Technologies and NVIDIA deliver unprecedented acceleration and flexibility for AI, data analytics and HPC to tackle some of the world’s toughest computing challenges.

Dell Technologies has long been on the forefront of innovation when it comes to artificial intelligence and high performance computing, and in many cases NVIDIA has been right there with us.

This close relationship of two global technology leaders got started well before 2013, when Dell and NVIDIA worked together to advance the concept of a dense GPU platform, which would emerge in the Dell PowerEdge server family. This concept came to market in 2014, when Dell introduced the industry’s first dense 1U four-GPU platform — the Dell PowerEdge C4130 server.

This legacy of innovation continued in the days that followed, and in 2016 Dell Technologies became the first OEM to support NVIDIA SXM2 technology. This technology, which is used in the NVIDIA Tesla V100 SXM2 GPU, enables high-speed, direct GPU-to-GPU communication via the NVIDIA NVLink interconnect.

The following year, in 2017, Dell Technologies became the first vendor to support the NVIDIA Volta V100 GPU in a unique, balanced CPU-to-GPU dense platform — the Dell PowerEdge C4140 server. This accelerator-optimized, high-density server is built to meet the demands of cognitive computing workloads in a 1U server format that supports four GPUs.

In the years since, we have built on our strategic partnership to bring new Dell Ready Solutions for AI to market. These offerings include Deep Learning with NVIDIA, a Dell Ready Solution that provides a GPU‑optimized solution stack that helps organizations shave valuable time from deep learning projects. The Deep Learning with NVIDIA solution is built around NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs.

Success stories

Over the years, the team of Dell Technologies and NVIDIA has had great success with our common customer base. Here’s a small sample of our mutual successes:

  • We worked closely on a major expansion of the HPC5 supercomputer at Eni, an Italy-based integrated energy company. This system is based on 1,820 Dell PowerEdge C4140 servers, each with four NVIDIA V100 Tensor Core GPUs and two 2nd Generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors. With the performance of the HPC5 supercomputer, Eni’s scientists and engineers can use extremely sophisticated in-house algorithms to process subsoil data.
  • We worked in collaboration with the Research Computing Service at the University of Cambridge to develop the Wilkes2 supercomputer, which debuted in 2017 as a TOP500 system and the largest GPU-enabled supercomputer for academic research in the UK. This system is based on Dell PowerEdge servers, each with four NVIDIA GPUs. It supports a wide-range of compute- and data-intensive research, from aeronautical turbulence and automotive combustion simulations to materials modeling and medical applications.
  • We collaborated on the development of one of Canada’s most powerful academic supercomputers, the Super Cedar system at Simon Fraser University. This TOP500 system, launched in 2017, revs up scientific studies with the power of 584 NVIDIA GPUs. It is helping thousands of researchers from British Columbia and across Canada collect, analyze, share and store immense volumes of data.

Market leadership

In developing products and solutions with NVIDIA, Dell Technologies builds on a broad and deep product portfolio that spans from best-in-class servers with the latest processing architectures to leading-edge storage and networking systems, all backed by expert services.

In a sign of this leadership, Dell Technologies took the top spot in both server revenue and shipments in 2019, with 20.5 percent market share and 16.3 percent market share, respectively, according to Gartner. Meanwhile, Dell Technologies  maintains “a commanding market share lead” in high-performance storage, according to a 2019 report from Intersect360 Research. The firm noted that Dell Technologies also has the No. 1 revenue share position for storage for HPC applications and  is the overall leader in total HPC solutions revenue. 

Looking ahead

Today, we’re excited about our opportunities to support the new NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPU in systems, solutions and services that accelerate workloads, from edge to core to cloud, just as we support other NVIDIA GPU accelerators and technologies in a wide range of our offerings.

This new GPU is designed to help users tackle some of the world’s toughest computing challenges. It delivers unprecedented acceleration at every scale for AI, data analytics and HPC. As the engine of the NVIDIA data center platform, A100 can efficiently scale up to thousands of GPUs, or it can be partitioned into isolated GPU instances to accelerate workloads of all sizes.

NVIDIA reports that the A100 accelerates major deep learning frameworks and more than 700 HPC applications — and that’s one of the reasons why we at Dell Technologies are excited to incorporate this GPU in our portfolio for HPC, AI and data analytics.

To learn more

For a look at how the San Diego Supercomputer Center is capitalizing on NVIDIA GPUs in its new Expanse supercomputer from Dell Technologies, see the case study “Architecting for Mixed Workloads at Massive Scale.”

About the Author: Thierry Pellegrino

Thierry Pellegrino is vice president of business strategy for Server and Infrastructure Systems at Dell EMC and general manager for Dell EMC’s high performance computing (HPC) business. A 20-year Dell veteran, Thierry is an experienced leader with a background in engineering, go-to-market, technology and strategy. During his tenure at Dell, Thierry led the first Dell converged infrastructure product (M1000e), assembled the Global OEM Custom Engineering organization, led technology strategy for the Dell and EMC combination. In his current role, he leads all aspects of the global HPC business for Dell EMC (engineering across the full portfolio, product management, go-to-market and enablement). Thierry also forms and shapes the business strategy direction for multiple value chain organizations tied to the Dell EMC server business for the next 5-10 years, working closely with product teams and the CTO organization. Thierry has a strong global background. Born and raised in France, he also speaks five languages. He spent his last 20 years in Austin, Texas, where he currently lives with his family.