Munira Hussain, HPC Innovation Lab, July 2017

This is an announcement about the Dell EMC HPC refresh that introduces support for 14th Generation servers based on the new Intel® Xeon® Processor Scalable Family (micro-architecture also known as “Skylake”). This includes the addition of PowerEdge R740, R740xd, R640, R940 and C6420 servers to the portfolio. The portfolio consists of fully tested, validated, and integrated solution offerings. These provide high speed interconnects, storage, an option for both hardware and cluster level system management and monitoring software.


On a high level, the new generation Dell EMC Skylake servers for HPC provide greater computation power, which includes support for up to 28 cores and memory speed up to 2667 MT/s; the architecture extends AVX instructions to AVX512. The AVX512 instructions can execute up to 32 DP FLOP per cycle, which is twice the capability of the previous 13th generation servers that used Intel Xeon E5-2600 v4 processors (“Broadwell”). Additionally, the number of core counts per socket is 20% higher per system when compared to the previous generation, which consisted of a maximum 22 cores. It consists of six memory channels per socket; therefore, a minimum of 12 DIMMs are needed for a dual socket server to provide up to full memory bandwidth. The chipset also has 48 PCI-E lanes per socket, up from 40 lanes in the previous generation.


The table below notes the enhancements in the latest PowerEdge servers over the previous generations:


High Level Comparison of the Dell EMC Server Generations for HPC Offering:



The HPC release supporting Dell EMC 14G servers is based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 operating system. It is based on the 3.10.0-514.el7.x86_64 kernel. The release also supports the new version of Bright Cluster Manager 8.0. Bright Cluster Manager (BCM) is integrated with Dell EMC supported tools, drivers, and third-party software components for the ease of deployment, configuration, and management of the cluster. It includes Dell EMC System Management tools based on OpenManage 9.0.1 and Dell EMC Deployment ToolKit 6.0.1 that help manage, monitor, and administer Dell EMC hardware. Additionally, updated third party drivers and development tools from Mellanox OFED for InfiniBand, Intel IFS for Omni-Path, NVIDIA CUDA for latest Accelerators, and other packages for Machine Learning are also included. Details of the components are as below:

  • Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 (Kernel 3.10.0-514.el7.x86_64)
  • Dell EMC System Management tools from Open Manage 9.0.1 and DTK 6.0.1 for 14G and Open Manage 8.5 and DTK 5.5 for up to 13G Dell EMC servers
  • Updated Dell EMC supported drivers for network and storage deployed during install

    • megaraid_sas = 7.700.50
    • igb =
    • ixgbe = 4.6.3
    • i40e = 1.6.44
    • tg3 = 1.137q
    • bnx2 = 2.2.5r
    • bnx2x = 1.714.2
  • Mellanox OFED 3.4 and 4.0 for InfiniBand
  • Intel IFS 10.3.1 drivers for Omni-Path
  • CUDA 8.0 drivers for NVidia accelerators
  • Intel XPPSL 1.5.1 for Intel Xeon Phi processors
  • Additional Machine Learning packages such as TensorFlow, Caffe, Cudnn, Digits and required dependencies are also supported and available for download


Below are some images of the Bright Cluster Manager 8.0 BrightView:

Figure1: This shows the overview of the Cluster. It displays the total capacity, usage, and job status.


Figure 2: Displays the cascading view of Cluster configuration and respective settings within a group. The settings can be modified and applied from the console.


Figure 3: Dell EMC Settings Tab shows the parsed info on hardware configuration and the required BIOS level settings.


Dell EMC HPC Systems based on the 14th Generation servers expand HPC computation capacity and demands. They are fully balanced and architected solutions that are validated and verified for the customers, and the configurations are scalable. Please stay tuned as follow-on blogs will cover performance and application study; these will be posted here: