What’s different about the Dell Technologies approach to HPC cloud?

In a newly published report, Gabriel Consulting Group offers a close-up look at the distinctive Dell Technologies approach to delivering HPC via cloud models.

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In a notable trend for today’s enterprise environments, IT and business leaders are increasingly looking to the cloud to run their high performance computing and artificial intelligence workloads. And there are lots of good reasons for this shift to accessing high-powered computational resources as services.

For starters, cloud-based HPC services give IT organizations the flexibility to add leading-edge resources on demand, which makes for a more agile enterprise. Business initiatives are no longer slowed by the need to design, procure and deploy complex HPC systems to support new applications. And then there are the budgetary advantages of paying for HPC as a usage-based operational expense, as opposed to making large upfront capital investments.

At the same time, enterprises are looking for cloud alternatives that offer greater performance, more HPC-centric configurations and better prices than what public cloud offers today. And this is the gap in the market that Dell Technologies with Intel are looking to fill in its mission to provide the broadest range of HPC/AI alternatives, ranging from on-premises to public cloud.

That’s the assessment of Gabriel Consulting Group in a new report that evaluates the Dell Technologies multifaceted strategy for making HPC accessible in today’s enterprise environments.

“Dell Technologies is heading into the HPC public cloud market in a big way,” the firm notes in its report on the Dell strategy. “Partnered with companies like R Systems, Dell Technologies has put together HPC-optimized managed services, infrastructure as a service and instances that will make it much quicker and easier for organizations to get HPC resources on demand from anywhere. Even better, Dell Technologies is determined to offer better price/performance than existing HPC cloud solutions.”

That’s the big picture. Now let’s drill down into some Gabriel Consulting Group’s observations on the Dell Technologies approach to HPC cloud.

The Dell Technologies approach

“Dell’s approach to the HPC public cloud differs radically from the existing solutions offered by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft,” Gabriel notes. “While the major cloud providers are trying to be all things to potential cloud users, Dell Technologies is tightly focused on HPC and AI workloads like modeling and simulation, machine learning and model training. This gives them the ability to tailor-make a cloud solution that fits customer needs much better than the legacy clouds.”

In another notable differentiator, the Dell Technologies HPC & AI engineering team has developed expertise in architecting solutions for the most demanding HPC application stacks, Gabriel notes. Dell Technologies uses these workload-optimized architectures to craft cloud instances that combine the right hardware and software configurations to achieve the customers’ performance goals.

The power of partnerships

Partnerships are a foundational element of the Dell approach to delivering HPC cloud, Gabriel says, noting that Dell is leveraging its relationships with partners to physically host HPC systems.

“Last year, Dell Technologies announced HPC and AI as a Service through partners R Systems, Verne Global and DXC, mindful that many customers want or need to keep their data local,” the firm says. “While these options remain available, they are largely dedicated infrastructure. The addition of a VMware option at R Systems adds multi-tenancy, self-service and billing per CPU hour.”

With this new VMware option, Dell Technologies provides the hardware and software recipe for specific HPC solutions and the VMware management software while the location partner — R Systems in this case — provides the physical hosting and management of the hardware, Gabriel explains.

The bottom line

In the view of the Gabriel Consulting Group, Dell Technologies is getting HPC cloud right with a well- thought-out approach.

“Dell Technologies’ read of what HPC/AI customers desire from a public cloud is very accurate based on our discussions with real-world HPC users,” the firm says. “Giving customers ready-made optimized HPC/AI configurations and instances for a large number of widely-used applications, workflows, and adding Dell’s domain expertise gives Dell Technologies an advantage that the existing public cloud providers can’t equal.”

For the full story, see the Gabriel Consulting Group report “HPC Cloud: The Dell Way.” Special thanks to Intel for supporting Dell Technologies HPC/AI.

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