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Dell Intros Hyperscale-Inspired Server for High-Performance Computing

Designed to accelerate virtualization and cloud-computing deployments, Dell's new PowerEdge C6145 boasts two four-socket AMD Opteron 6100-series processor-based servers in a 2U form factor, with 10 PCIe card slots.


Dell today announced its new PowerEdge C6145, one of thehighest-performing 2U servers on the market. Designed for more efficient virtualization, faster cloud computing deployments, and mission-critical application workload consolidation, the PowerEdge C6145 is designed to take the processing power previously available only to the biggest organizations and put it in the hands of high-performance computing (HPC) users, such as universities.

The C6145 is the latest offering in the PowerEdge C-series of servers developed by Dell's Data Center Solutions (DCS) team. DCS was formed four years ago in response to the new class of "hyperscale" customer--such as Facebook, Windows Azure, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory--that was deploying thousands or tens of thousands of servers at a time. DCS would meet with the customer, find out what problem they were trying to solve, and then build custom servers to fit their needs.

HPC users wanted in on the action. "We took some of the ideas in system design that we were seeing from these biggest of the big and used them to create not custom systems, but to make a specialized line of systems, which we debuted last year. It's called the PowerEdge C line," said Barton George, Cloud Computing and Scale-Out EvAngelist with DCS. "The announcement today is about one particular product within that line--the C6145."

"The PowerEdge C6145 allows customers to do high-end computing and really maximizes the amount of performance they're getting for their dollar," said Armando Acosta, Dell's PowerEdge C Product Manager.

In recent benchmarks, the PowerEdge C6145 ranked as the highest performing x86 2U shared infrastructure server on the market based on SPECfp_rate2006 results. Acosta said in a comparison with the HP ProLiant DL980, Dell's PowerEdge C6145 performed 21 percent faster, and did it in one-fourth the space and at one-fifth the cost.

"If users are running a cluster and doing gene sequencing, they can do gene sequencing rounds much faster, solve a problem much quicker, and really what it's all about is crunching the data faster and getting results faster so you can make better decisions," said Acosta.

With its 2U form factor, the C6145 is designed to maximize compute density and minimize the total cost of ownership.

PowerEdge C6145 specs include:

  • Two four-socket AMD Opteron 6100 Series "Magny-Cours" processors (up to 96 cores of processing power);
  • Hyper-efficient 2 rack unit (2U) form factor;
  • 10 PCIe slots--six PCIe Gen 2 16x slots, two 8x mezzanine, and two dedicated 16x host interface card slots (HICs);
  • 1 TB of memory; and
  • 40 Gbps I/O per 16x card slot.

The C6145 is customizable in terms of processor options, memory configuration, and hard drive configuration. Customers can also mix and match RAID controllers, InfiniBand cards, 10 GbE cards, and HIC cards, all in the same server, using the 10 available PCIe card slots.

If the C6145 alone doesn't provide enough power, users can combine it with the PowerEdge C410x PCIe Expansion Chassis. The C410x supports one to eight server connections to up to 16 graphical processing unit (GPU) cards. "It's just a way of taking that already powerful machine and supercharging it by orders of magnitude," said Barton George.

Dell has also put together turnkey offerings with software partners to provide the software to run on top of the servers, including the Dell Cloud Solution for Web Applications, Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, and Dell | Aster Data Analytics Cloud.

Concurrent with the release of the C6145, Dell will also begin offering new AMD Opteron 6000-series processors with its PowerEdge R715 and R815 servers and Intel Xeon 5600-series processors with its other PowerEdge C-series servers, providing increased performance over previous-generation processors.

The Dell PowerEdge C6145 will be available Monday, Feb. 28, 2011 with an entry-level price of around $14,000. For more information about the Dell PowerEdge C series, click here.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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