Dell Technologies releases three AI-focused Dell EMC Ready solutions

Dell also emphasized that many customers, especially in the 500 employee and under category, who need AI and HPC but don’t want to manage them, are showing increasing interest in consuming them as a service.

Dell EMC Ready Solution for HPC Genomics

Dell Technologies has announced the availability of three new Dell EMC Ready Solutions around AI and high performance computing [HPC]. They are Dell EMC Ready Solutions for HPC Genomics, and two others which involve third party partnerships. Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Digital Manufacturing involves Altair HyperWorks appliances. Dell EMC Ready Solutions for HPC utilize Bright Computing Cluster Manager. Dell also announced that they are seeing momentum in AI-as-a-Service, which complements their broader corporate strategy.

Dell’s HP strategy is the same this year as it was last year, and likely will be next year, said Thierry Pellegrino, vice president, Data-Centric Workloads & Solutions at Dell Technologies. It consists of advancing the state of the art, both organically and with new partnerships, providing a robust portfolio of HPC-optimized products and services, and democratizing HPC and AI.

“We are democratizing HPC and AI for customers, making them more accessible for everybody,” Pellegrino said. “The science itself is really core to how customers will unlock value of the data and get new discoveries in their science and research. Democratizing is really core to what we do.”

The first of these solutions, the Dell EMC Ready Solution for HPC Genomics, is targeted at small and medium life sciences and health care organizations, and is designed to help them get systems for genomic analysis into production quickly and economically.

“We continued to leverage the best building blocks technology wise,” Pellegrino noted. He said that the modular building blocks, which include Dell EMC PowerEdge servers, Dell EMC PowerSwitch networking and Dell EMC storage, can shorten the time to production by 6-12 months.

Dell’s reference customer for Dell EMC Ready Solution for HPC Genomics is TGen, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, which uses the solution to move and process massive quantities of data for genomic sequencing.

“What we deployed for them is a ready solution which enabled them to get time to genomic sequencing down to seven to eight hours from something that used to be two weeks,” Pellegrino said. “That’s faster time to science, time to a cure.”

Pellegrino said that the learning from this particular customer has been broadened into a vertically specific solution for the genomic space.

Another new offering is the Dell EMC Ready Solution for Digital Manufacturing, with Altair Hyperworks Unlimited appliances. It is delivered as a managed service. Pellegrino emphasized how it fits into the Project APEX model which Dell featured at Dell Technologies World in October.

“APEX is all about enabling value to our customers as a service,” Pellegrino said. “This example here is a good one that describes how we want to start enabling HPC and AI as a service for our customers.”

The original reference customer was Indian motorcycle company Royal Enfield, and the partner was Altair Hyperworks Limited. The solution combined Dell server, storage and networking with Altair’s simulation applications and HPC middleware.

“Many years back, workstations would have been more than enough to get to the design and innovation that Royal Enfield needed, but over time they had a need to progress quickly into larger scale infrastructure,” Pellegrino said. “This solution enabled 15x faster increases in productivity. The company also noticed that the number of prototypes, because they were able to iterate faster on their research and their modelling, was reduced by 25%.”

The same concepts from this solution is deployable broadly in Dell EMC Ready Solutions for Digital Manufacturing, with the target audience being small and medium manufacturers of 500 employees and under.

The final new offering, Dell EMC Ready Solutions with Bright Computing’s Bright Cluster Manager, is designed to automate the process of building and managing modern high-performance clusters.

“This is a new integration coming up between VMware and Bright Computing,” said Onur Celebioglu, Senior Director of Engineering, HPC and Emerging Workloads at Dell. “We work hand in hand with VMware and Bright to enable Bright to be able to provision VMs and cluster of clusters, using VMware’s virtualization technology.:

Celebioglu said that until a couple years ago, HPC customers would standardize on bare metal systems and not consider virtualization technology, but that has dropped with the platform overhead.

“We have also seen a lot of commercial companies that previously did not use HPC but standardized on VMware needing HPC systems and AI systems, and since they are standardized on VMware technology for their IT infrastructure, they are also interested in managing their AI and HPC systems the same way,” Celebioglu added.

The partnership with VMware and Bright Computing was the result. The software combines provisioning, monitoring and change management into one tool that spans the entire cluster lifecycle. It lets customers build a cluster in public clouds or expand their physical cluster into public clouds.

Dell also emphasized how many customers are showing interest in HPC or AI as-a-service from Dell’s Cloud Service Provider partners.

“There are also some companies who want dedicated bare metal HPC systems, but still do not want the complexity of managing those systems,” said Jay Boisseau, AI & HPC Technology Strategist at Dell Technologies. He highlighted how a partner, R Systems, has this capability. Dell and R Systems are involved with customer Spire Global, which has an earth observing system satellite data into information usable by HPC systems for uses like weather forecasting.

“This is now a great success story for us how we can make HPC as a service in a different kind of way, in a colo, with an expert CSP managing all of the infrastructure,” Boisseau said. “It’s as much like a utility as possible.

Boisseau said that this is an area of growth for Dell, with other hosted and managed HPC and AI-as-a-Service offerings available in conjunction with partners like DXC Technology and Verne Global, as well as R Systems.

“We expect this model will grow for the many companies who are not science or engineering focused, but absolutely need simple, effective access to HPC,” Boisseau concluded.