HPC at the Edge … of the Parking Lot

The Dell Technologies Rattler supercomputer is a TOP500 system deployed in a modular data center in the company parking lot.

The Rattler supercomputer at the Dell Technologies Edge Innovation Center has earned yet another claim to fame. The high performance computing (HPC) system, stemming from a partnership with NVIDIA®, placed at No. 233 on the latest TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

While that distinction alone shows that we’re talking about a world-class HPC system, this story gets even better when you consider that part of the Rattler cluster is in a modular data center in the parking lot of a Dell Technologies building in Austin, Texas. That makes Rattler truly HPC at the physical edge.

The Rattler system is designed to showcase extreme scalability by leveraging GPUs with NVIDIA NVLink™, the world’s first high-speed GPU interconnect offering a significantly faster alternative for multi-GPU systems than traditional PCIe-based solutions.¹ Even better, Rattler not only accelerates traffic between GPUs inside servers, but also between servers with an NVIDIA InfiniBand interconnect. Teams use this system for application‑specific benchmarking and workload characterizations.

The Rattler supercomputer at the Dell Technologies Edge Innovation Center in Austin, TX.

The Dell Technologies HPC & AI Innovation Lab

The Rattler system is one of three powerful HPC clusters that are part of the overarching Dell Technologies HPC & AI Innovation Lab in Austin. This world-renowned lab encompasses a 13,000‑square-foot data center devoted to high performance computing and artificial intelligence (AI). It houses thousands of servers, along with a wide range of storage and network systems.

In addition to leading-edge infrastructure, the HPC & AI Innovation Lab brings together HPC operational excellence and expertise. It is staffed by computer scientists, engineers and subject matter experts who actively partner and collaborate with Dell Technologies customers and other members of the HPC community. The team receives and provides early access to new technologies, integrates and tunes clusters, benchmarks applications, develops best practices and publishes their results.

In short, this lab shows what’s possible with HPC systems — even when they are out in the parking lot.

For a closer look at the Rattler cluster, see the flyer. And to learn more about the work that Dell Technologies in doing to advance the frontiers of high performance computing, explore the HPC & AI Innovation Lab.

¹ NVIDIA, “NVIDIA NVLink,” accessed November 15, 2021.

About the Author: Janet Morss

Passionate about data analytics, including machine learning and high performance computing, Janet Morss works in product marketing. Her favorite: Sharing the amazing impact our customers have on people's lives using technology. Prior to joining Dell EMC, Janet worked in HPE Server Strategy, Planning and Operations with a focus on SMB and Enterprise solutions. With multiple degrees and a love of learning, Janet is a start-up style marketer from Colorado who loves to snowboard.